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Full text of "A continuation of the memoirs of Charles Mathews, comedian"

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CONTINUATION 

OF THB 

MEMOIRS 

OF 

CHARLES MATHEWS, 

COMEDIAN. 



BY MRS. MATHEWS. 



INCLTTDINO BI8 

CORRESPONDENCE 

AND 

W AN ACCOUNT 

OF HIS 

RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES. 



IN TWO VOLUMES* 
VOL. L 



PHILADELPHIA! 
LEA & BLANCHA&D, 

SUCClflSOBS TO CARXT & CO. 

183a 

■^ iA /> 



IUe'xew YoaK 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 

249432B 

TILDEN y-w »,.vr j.,S 
t 104t L 



CONTENTS 



FIRST VOLUME. 



CHAPTER I. 



Journey to Liverpool — Incidents on the Rood. — Adventure at Dart- 
ford. — Letter to Mrs, Mathews. — Reception of Mr. Mathews by his 
friends at Swansea. — ^Visit to Mr. and Mrs. Rolls, at Briton Ferry.— 
Letters to Mrs. Mathews. — Miseries of an Irish Packet-boat.-»Un. 
propitious Performance at Kilkenny.— Mr. Mathews's dog Fop. 13 

CHAPTER II. 

The Mayor of Kilkenny and his Deputy. — Letters to Mrs. Mathews. 
— Miseries of Absence. — Anecdote. — Irish Pronunciation. — Mendi- 
city Association. — Letter of the Lord Mayor of Dublin to Mr. Ma- 
thews. — Mr. Mathews's Reply. — Letter to Mrs. Mathews.— Mr. Ma- 
thews g^reat success in Dublin,-^ Anticipated Delights of Briton Ferry. 
— ^Theatre at Waterford. — Death of Queen Charlotte. — Epigramw— 
The disappointed Doctor. — Hr. Mathews and the Irish Beggar. — 
Letter to Mrs. Mathews. — Mr. Mathews at Ipswich in ** The Actor 
of All Work/'— His personation of i&rtt*. ... 27 

CHAPTER HI. 

Mr. Mathews's second "At Home;" Trip to Paris. — Description of 
that Entertainment. — His Farewell address. — Literary Pirates. — Ivy 
Cottage and the Picture Gallery, — Letter from Mr. Poole to Mr. Ma- 
thews : death of Madame Blanchard, the Aeronaut. — Letters from 
Mr. to Mrs. Mathews. — ^Letters from Mr. Poole to Mr. and Mrs. 
Mathews. - 42 

CHAPTER IV. 

Mrs. Mathews at Leeds.— The Hoaxer hoaxed: A Yorkshire Manager 
and his Daughter.— Retaliation.-*Letter from Mr. Mathews to his 
Wife.— Reception of the "Scotch Lady" in her native City. — Dis- 
tressing Dilemma.^Mr. Mathew8*8 Performancet at Whitehaven. — 
An Escape,— Ryley, the Itinerant -57 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER V. 

Mr. Mathews again ^ At Home/'^-^ountry Cousins.— ^Address to the 
Audience. — Analysis of the Performance, and G<$niu8 of Mr. Ma- 
thews.— Ho|rg, the Ettrick Shepherd.—- Letters of Mr. Mathews. — • 
Mr. Wilton, the East Indian Chesterfield.— Popularity of Mr. Ma- 
thews's Entertainments, and Presents to propitiate Puffs. — Whimsi- 
cal Alarms.^Auecdote 72 

CHAPTER VL 

Visit to a Military Amateur Actor. — Ludicrous Contretemps. — Nego- 
tiation between Mr. Mathews and Mr. Harris. — Close of the Per- 
formance at the English Opera House, and Mr. Mathews's Address 

on the Occasion. - - 84 

k 

CHAPTER Vn. 

Mr. Mathews's Visit to the Provinces.^His Letters to Mrs. Mathews. 
— Interesting AssociAtions connected with Litchfield. — Lady Butler 
and Miss Ponsonby. — Personification of the late J. P. Curran. — 
Opinion of Mathews by Lord Byron and Sir Walter Scott. — Letters 
of Mr. Mathews to Mrs. Mathews. — ^Sensitiveness of Mr. Mathews. 
— Anecdote. — Letters continued. — Two Impostors. — Mr. Mathews's 
Proposal to erect a Monument to Shakspeare at Stratford ; Public 
Meeting on the Occasion. — Intended Ascent in a Balloon. . 95 

CHAPTER Vm. 

Announcement of Mr. Mathews's Adventures in Air, Earth, and Wa- 
ter. — Account of these Adventures. — ^Address on the close of the 
Fourth Season of Mr. Mathews's Entertainments. — Whimsical Mis. 
take. — Mrs. Siddons in Nell in the " Devil to Pay," and Mr. John 
Kemble as Falstaff.->-Anecdotes of Mr. Coleridge and Mr. Charles 
Lamb. — Letter of Mr. Coleridge to Mr. Mathews. - - 112 

CHAPTER IX. 

Mr. Mathews's Zeal with Regard to the Erection of the Shakspeare 
Monument. — ^Letters on this Subject from royal, noble, and other 
Personages. — Mr. Mathews and the celebrated Dwarf, Count Bo- 
ruwlaski. — Description of the Count when a young Man. — His Visit 
to Ivy Cottage. — Mr. Mathews's Attempt to procure an Interview 
for the Count with George IV. — ^The Visit to Carleton House. — 
Reception of Boruwlaaki and Mr. Mathews b^ the King. — Conver- 
sation of his Majesty with the Counts— -The Kind's Inquiries of Mr. 
Mathews as to the Uircnmstanccs of Boruwlaaki.— The Count and 
the King's dying Servant — ^The King's Present to Boruwlaaki. — 
Mr. Patmore's Deacription of the County . . , .. 127 



CQMTEIITB. 



CHAPTER X. 

Mr. Mathews's fondoesa for the Society of Foreigfnen.— Natdi, Am- 
brogetti, Sor. — Droll Translation. — A Foreigner's Compliment— 

. Count D'Orsay's Boru Jirote.~Monsiear P lie and hu Wife.— 

Unreasonable augmentation to a Family.^-Letter to Mrs. Mathews. 
— ^A deaf Avditor. — Ludicrous Interruption during one of Mr. Ma- 
thews's Performances. — A Provincial Lady-Patroness — her Delight 
and Surprise at Mr. Mathews's Transformations. — ^Letters to Mrs. 
Mathews. — Whimsical Perplexities of Mr. Mathews with Trades- 
men. — ^Singular Memorandums. — Letters to Mrs. Mathews. 148 

CHAPTER XL 

The Original of Major Longbow, — ^Letter from Colonel Tliomton on 
the Subject of his own Death. — Letters to Mrs. Mathews: a Road 
Anecdote; Arrival at Edinburgh; Hoax there; Conversation with 
Sir Walter Scott; Visit to the great Novelist— Mr. Mathews " At 
Home " for the Fifth Season at the English Opera House.— «« The 
Youthful Days of Mr. Mathews." — Remarks on the Performance.— 
Letters to Mr. Mathows from Mr. Knight and Mr. Theodore Hook. — 
Private Theatricals. — Performances of Mr. C. J. Mathews. — Mr. 
Mathews's Advice to his Son. — Success of the latter as an Amateur 
Performer. - - 161 

CHAPTER XII. 

Mr. Mathews's Performance in Aid of a Subscription for the Irish Pea- 
sants. — Letter from Mr. J. Wilson Croker; Portrait of Mrs. Clive.— 
Letter from Mr. Mathews to the Rev. T. Sp^idell; Visit to Stratford 
on Avon. — Letter to Mrs. Mathews; Charles mistaken for Lord Bles- 
sington. — Letter from Mr. Terry to Mr. Mathews. — Mr. Mathews's 
Begret at his Compact with Mr. Arnold. — Causes of the Nervous 
JBxcItability of Mr. Mathews. — Proposed Engfagement with Mr. 
Price in America. — Stipulations with Mr. Arnold. — Mr. Mathews's 
Address on taking Leave of the London Public. — Letters to Mr. 
Mathews from Mr. Elliston and Mr. Macready. — ^Letter from Mr. 
Horace Smith; absui*d Mistranslations; Speculations on tlie Voyage to 
America. — Letter from Mr. Freeling. — Mr. Mathews's Performance 
at Carlton House.— Conversation with the King.-^His Majesty's 
Anecdoteof Mr. Kemble.— Royal Munificence. - - 175 

CHAPTER XIII. 

Mr. Mathews's Departure for New York. — His Letters relating his 
Adventures- during his Absence from Home. — ^The Voyage.— Cabin 
Passengers.— Squally Weather. — The Yellow Fever in New York.— 
Arrival at Bristol, in the United States.- Excessive Heat. — Arrival 
in Philadelphia.— EUzabethtown. — Independent Landlords.— A Hot- 
tentot Adonis.— -An American Booifiice.— Port Wine.— -RodeneM of 



6 CONTENTS. 

the Lower Orders of Americans. — Hospitality of the Higher Or- 
ders. — Arrival at Baltimore, — Mr. Mathews's I>Bbut oa the Americaa 
Stage. — His Reception. — American Audiences. — ^Letter from Mr. 
Young to Mr. Mathews : Elliston's Management. — Mr. Mathews's 
Letters from America resumed. — Difference of the Time between 
England and America.— -An American Party.— A Yankee Election. 
—Theatrical Sacoess. 190 

CHAPTER XIV. 

New York. — The Weather in America. ^Republican Rudeness. — The 
Yellow Fever. — Alarming Mortality. — Mr. Mathews's appearance 
on the New York Stage. — His enthusiastic Rgieption. — Hospitality 
of the higher Classes. — Society of New York. — A sore Point with 
the Americans. — A Fanatic. — Mr. Mathews one of the Causes of 
the Yellow Fever. — Severity of the winter in America. - 201 

CHAPTER XV. 

Mr. Mathews's Reply to the Rev. Paschal N. Strong". — Letters to Mrs. 
Mathews; Reception at Boston of Mr. Mathews; Winter in America; 
A Black Preacher. — Letter from Mr. Mathews to Mrs. Rolls; Yellow 

, Fever in America; American Society; the Lower Orders. — Letters 
to Mrs. Mathews; Inclemency of the Climate at Boston; American 
Frolics; Manners of the Upper Ranks. — "A Portrait of Ma- 
thews." 213 

CHAPTER XVI. 

Interview at Boston between Mr. Mathews and an old friend of his Fa- 
ther. — Letter from that Gentleman to Mr. Mathews. — Letters to Mrs. 
Mathews; Travelling in the United Slates; Anecdote; Recoveiy of 
the lost Brooch; Intense Cold; Dialogue between Mr. Price ^nd Mr. 
Mathews; Action for Libel against an Editor at Boston. — Portrait of 
Kemble in Cato. — Loixi Blessington. — Sir Thomas Lawrence $ an 
agreeable Surprise. 224 

CHAPTER XVH. 

Letter from Mr. Mathews to Mr. James Smith ; the American Charac- 
ter; Inordinate Love of Petty Titles; Yankee Conversation; Inde- 
pendent Landlords; Conversation with an American Boniface; a 
Black Methodist ; Negro Songs. — Letters to Mrs. Mathews ; Fever 
at Baltimore. — Account of Mr. Mathews's Performance at Philadel- 
phia.— Letters to Mrs. Mathews; Joseph Bonaparte; Terrific Storm; 
American Atmosphere ; a Curer of Lameness ; the Hudson River ; 
a Waterfall; Anecdote; Preparations for Return to England. 234 

CHAPTER XVm. 

Mr. Mathews at New York in the character of OlAeUo,— Suooess of 
the Attempt. — ^Anticipation by the AmericftBS that Mr. Mathews 



CONTENTS. 7 

would, cm his retorn to £n£[land« ridicule their pecaliaritie8.<^Pab- 
11c dinner given to him. — Invitation to Montreal, declined by Mr. 
Mathews. — Letter to Mrs. Mathews : destructive storm ; providential 
escape.— Mr. Mathews's arrival in England. — Letter from Mr. Ma- 
thews to Mr. Miller: the homeward voyage. — Mr. Mathews's per- 
formance of Othello at Liverpool.— Letter from Mr. Theodore Hook 
to Mr. Mathews. — Mr. Hook's sketches of himself. — Commission to 
Mr. Mathews, jon. by Lord Blessington.-— Letter from Mr. Mathews 
to a friend. — ^Mr. Mathews's engagement to perform in the regnlar 
drama — ^his jonrney to Dublin. — Letter to Mrs. Mathews: a stage- 
coach nuisance. — Mr. Mathews's dislike of idle visiters. — Letters to 
Mrs. Mathews : arrival at Seapoint; success at Dublin. . 250 

CHAPTER XIX. 

Mr. Mathews's Reluctance to give Offence in his Representation of 
American Character. — Letter on this Subject from Mr. James 
Smith. — Letters to Mrs. Mathews: Irish Anecdotes: Danger of 
Suffocation: Arrival in Wales: Thurtell, the Murderer. — Invitation 
to Oxford. — Letters to Mrs. Mathews: Sadler the JEronaut. — Letter 
from Sir John Carr to Mr. Mathews: Last Moments of Bellingharo, 
the murderer. — Mr. Mathews's new Entertainment, the " Trip to 
America." — Account of the Performance.— Motives of the present 
Biographer fbr preserving the Public Records of Mr. Mathews's 
« Table Performances." 262 

CHAPTER XX. 

Letter from the Right Honourable J. W. Croker to Mr. Mathews. — 
Letter to Mr. Mathews from Mr. John Bannister. — Letter to Mrs. Ma- 
thews; Disturbance at the Dublin Theatre. — ^Mr. Talbot's Attempts 
to thwart the Success of Mr. Mathews. — Letters to Mrs. Mathews: 
Passage to Ireland. — Letter from Mr. Peake to Mr. Mathews: " Ma- 
thews's Meros.:*' Anecdote: Dr. Kitchiner and the Rival Managers: 
Thomas Hood: an Act of Charity: the Conjurer Gyngell: Sir George 
Smart, and the Lightning. — Letters to Mrs. Mathews: the Picture 
Gallery: Hoax upon Mr. Abbot. — Count Boniwlaski's Letters to Mrs. 
Mathews, and Mr. C. J. Mathews. — ^Unlucky Speculations of Mr. 
Mathews. — ^Letters to Mrs. Mathews: Effect of the Hoax upon Mr. 
Abbot: Mr. Mathews Reception in Liverpool: Letter from Mr. Ab- 
bot to Mr. Mathews.-^Retaliation. 276 

CHAPTER XXI. 

Mr. Mathews's new Entertainment, called his •* Memorandum Book." 
— ^Programme* — Description of the Performance. — ^Remonstratory' 
Ode from the Elephant at Exeter Change to Mr. Mathews. — ^Lettdr 
from Mr. J. 6. Lockhart to Mr. Mathews.— Letters to Mrs. Ma- 
thews. — ^Letter from Mr. Knight to Mr. Mathews. — ^Letters to Mrs. 
Mathews : Plymouth Gaieties : Expedition to Loa — ^Letter from Mr. 
Nash to Mr. Mathews. — The Shakspeare Monument — Delusion of 
Mr. Nash respecting the age of Mr. Mathews^ — ^Mr. Mathews's 



8 CONTENTS. 

power of repreaenting extreme age, — ^AneodoteSd — ^Letter from Mr. 
Theodore Hook to Mr. Mathews : unsuccessfu] hunt for a Dumer. — 
Letter to Mrs. Mathews : Mr. Farley aiid Uie cat in the boot — ^Let- 
ter from Mr. Mathews to his Sodv-— Letter to Mrs. Mathews : a dis- 
agreeable journey* — ^Tho Mayor of Worcester. — ^Lettera to Mrs. Ma- 
thews. .2^4 

CHAPTER XXII: 

Mr. Mathews's Visit to Scotland. — Letter to Mrs. Mathews: Intro- 
duction to Sir Walter Scott of Mr. C. J. Mathews: Invitation to Ab- 
botsford : Sir Walter and the Novels. — ^Anecdote of an old Laird.--— 
A Scotch Hackney Coachman. — " Jonathan in England." — Effect of 
that Farce on the American Public — Attack on Mr. Mathews by 
an American Writer. — Mr. Mathews's Reply. — Letter from the Rev. 
Charles Burney to Mr. Mathews. — ^Letters to Mrs. Mathews : Visit 
to Abbotsford : Mr. Scrope: Journey to Newcastle, - - 314 

CHAPTER XXHI. 

Mr. Mathews's return to London. — ^Letter from him to the Duke of 
Montrose: embarrassing request— Frequent visits of the Duke and 
Duchess of Montrose to Mr. Mathews's "At Homes.'* — ^Zealous sup- 
port by Mr. Mathews of the Theatrical fund. — ^Letter from Mr. Ma- 
thews to Mr. Richard Lane: illegible names. — Mr. Mathews's seventh 
" At Home," at the English Opera House. — ^Programme of the En- 
tertainment — ^Remarks on the Performance. — Letter from Dr. Kitch- 
ener to Mr. Mathews: thie " Cook's Oracle," the <* Housekeeper's 
Ledger." 337 

CHAPTER XXIV. 

Mrs. Richard Wilson's Parties. — Distinguished Guests. — ^Letter to Mrs. 
Mathew8.-^OfFer to Mr. Mathews from Mr. Price of an engagement 
at Drury Lane Theatre. — Mr. Mathews at the English Opera House, 
and in the provinces. — Invitation from the Duke of Clarence to Mr. 
Mathews. — Conversation between him and his royal Highness. — 
Letters to Mrs. Mathews: a Foreigner's Adventures: Journey to 
Halifax. — Investigation as to the spelling of Shakspeare's name.— - 
Mr. Mathews's ** At Home " at the English Opera House for the 
Eighth Season. — ^The " Home Circuit" — Progiumme.— Account of 
the Performance. — ** Amateurs and Actors." — ^A Journal fix>m 
Brighton. — Singular Visiter.— Letters to Mrs. Mathews: Death of 
herMother. 347 



^5 



CONTINUATION 



OF THE 



MEMOIRS 



OF 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 



CHAPTER I. 



Joainej to Liverpool. — Incidents on the Road.-^Adventure at Dart- 
ford. — Letter to Mra. Mathews. — Reception of Mr. Mathews by his 
friends at Swansea. — ^Visit to Mr. and Mrs. Rolls, at Briton Ferry .^- 
Letters to Mrs. Mathews. — Miseries of an Irish Packet-boat. — Un- 
propitioas Performance at Kilkenny.—- Mr. Mathews*s dog Fop. 

At the close of the first season of his '< At Home," at the 
English Opera House, — the painful disorder in Mr. Mathews's 
tongue, being, in a slight degree, alleviated, — he again set 
fortih for the provinces, eager to remedy the past by continued 
exertions throughout the hot weather, when he ought, in rea- 
son, to have taken rest and recreation from the severe anxiety 
and toil of his late engagement. He had, however, to pay 
the hard penalty of the mistake he had committed, and he un- 
hesitatingly determined to forego personal ease to " atone," 
as he said, ** to his wife and child for having so rashly given 
away their rights." His fault was more than expiated by the 
penance, even had it been of a nature less pardonable,— 4iome, 
and its comfort, exchanged for every possible annoyance, 
and fatigue both of body and mind, were surely punishment 
enough for much more than is expressed by die words iw 
prtsdent prec^aney. 
VOL. 1.—^ 



14 MEMOIRS OF 

One of his first letters, after he quitted London, will give 
some idea of his wearisome pilgrimage, and his persevering' 
and even cheerful endurance of the iUs he encountered in his 
way. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Liverpool, July 13th, 1818. 

Here 1 am safely arrived, afler one of the most uncomfortable jour' 
neys I have ever encountered, at least from the time I parted with 
Simpson. Lots of miseries ! 

The first pleasing intelligence we received was in a small town at 
which we breakfasted on Saturday morning. The ostler, on looking- 
at our horse, observed, that he should almost have thought it was the 
same horse that had been there the day before. On inquiry, he had 
seen George; and on the question being put to him as to what time he 
passed through, &c., he replied, ** Ah, sir, the young man had a shock, 
ing accidpnt! The horse fell down with him; he rolled over his head, 
and he has cut the horse's knees sadly.** At Stratford we found George 
affecting the gay, and flattering himself that we should not examine 
the horse. Our friend had, however, exaggerated the matter; for 
though the horse had been down, the injury was very trifling. 

We drove him on to Coventry that night; got up early to be ready 
by the Liverpool mail : at eight it arrived. Sent up to knov^ if there 
was a place — man returned — yes, sir, one place outside. Sent my 
portmanteau, gobbled breakfast, — presently saw man return with niy 
portmanteau — smelt a misery. Bookkeeper had just discovered that 
the place had been promised to a gentleman the night before. No 
'Other coach to Liverpool that day; set off on a mere scent of a coach 
to Birmingham, per gig; tired horse; eighteen miles — drove very fast 
to get there by twelve : heard there was no coach till four ; obliged to 
make up my mind to go by that. Gobbled up my dinner to be ready, 
-Oi-weAt to the coach-office at four, — told London coach was not come 
in, and the other could not start tiJl half an hour afler its arrival; went 
at fivei'— not arrived; fidgets increased; promised to arrive at nine 
next morning. t>id not believe that; saw two hours fast adding to 
that,^anticipateid alarm of Liverpool managers, — rehearsal dismissed ; 
at last coach arrived, and at half.past six I was turned off. 

I was told the coach was later by two hours than ever known — 
found it was licensed to carry six inside, and travelled all night. Saw 
"two women with a child a-piece," — took outside place — began to rain 
in ten miles — forced to get in — I made the eighth! One of the ladies 
was told, " not on no account to expose the child to night air," — five 
months old — sour milk in a bottle ! "V3ne man did houd in his sleep," 
an eccentricity allied, I suspect, to madness. I awoke once, and found 
the windows close up. Eight inside— horrible, most horrible ! I was 
stewed; but it rained the whole night, and I was obliged to endure it. 
I was compelled to have recourse to violent rage and ridicule, where- 
ever I could address die goai'd, to get any air at all. 
So, afler all the pains and trouble to myself, horses, Simpson, &c. 



CHARLES MATHEW0. ] 5 

to avoid travelling at night in the mall, I exchanged it for the heavy 
Liverpool, (a term I shall never forget,) to travel all night with eight 
people, aad that the night before I perform; however, it ia all over, 
thank Heaven, and I am well. 

I arrived at one o'clock, rehearsal over of course ; but luckily, it is 
the Manchester company who played with me in the same pieces when 
I was last there. 

A theatrical begger waited on me before I had been hero an hour ; 
and my never.failing friend Ryley shortly afterwards; but in high spi- 
rits. He performed here in the Music Hall on Saturday night, and 
had a good receipt. 

I begin to-night-i-OoZil/ineA and Buakin, God bless yon and my 
dear boy. I can spy the house in which he was born from my sitting* 
room window. Write soon, 

C. Mathews. 

I must tell you two little anecdotes. A sort of military .looking ser- 
vant came to me at Gravesend,* just before the performance began, 
and asked me to give him an admission to the theatre. 1 asked him 
why I should, and what claim he had upon me 7 He said Mrs. Ma- 
thews knew him very well, and would do it directly, ifehe wa$ there, I 
then asked whether he knew her — and he said, " Very well when she 
lived with Captain SiUcox, of the Tenth. / lived with the CapUin 
then, — before she ran away along with you I"f 

Mr. Copeland of the Dover Theatre, saw in my list of properties— 
four oranges, and two eggst— and said to Trotter, "What! does he do 
tricks with them? I never heard that before. Why I saw no con* 
juring mentioned in the bills." (!) 

The foregoing relation of the military servant's alleged in- 
timacy with me, and the interesting passage in my life, my 
husband attempted by every assertion to disprove; but the 
man was not to be undeceived by any thing Mr. Mathews 
could say, and went away very irate at the refusal of a favour 
claimed on the ground of old acquaintance with the lady of 
his late master, the wronged Captain Sillcox. This pleasant 
reminiscence of a caprice imputed to me, reminded us of a 
ridiculous adventure which occurred about two years after our 
marriage. It happened, during the summer, that Mr. Ma- 
thews and myself paid a visit to Kent, on which occasion we 
travelled in a low four-wheeled chaise (a present from Mr. Col- 
man, and the first carriage we had ever possessed,) to which 

* Mr. Mathews had performed at Gravesend, Dover, and Brighton, previously 
to his going to Liverpool.— A. M. 

f This will bring to mind the account in a former page, of two persons of the 
name of ** Mathews," who travelled as the ** celebrated Comedian," and his wife. 
-A. M. 

I Oranges and the yelk of eggs were the only refreshment he resorted to during 
his performanoes, or when he found his voioe impaired by exertion.— A. M. 



W MEMOIRS OF 

my husband had suitably attached a little pony. The wea- 
ther, very fine for many previous days, had continued so du- 
ring the first portion of our drive home; but, just at we reach- 
ed Dartford, a sudden change took place, which, to my wea- 
ther-wise husband, appeared of so '' threatening'^ an aspect as 
to suggest a hasty retreat under the inviting gateway of an 
inn that stood in ^e middle of the town. We had scarcely 
done so, when we found additional shelter requisite from the 
increasing rain, which soon fell in so violent and constant a 
manner that we determined to dine, and drive home after- 
wards, believing that this summer storm would subside as 
suddenly as it had commenced. Accordingly, our little pony 
and chaise were confided to tho tender mercies of the ostler, 
and dinner was ordered forthwith. While it was prepa- 
ring, JMr. Mathews occupied himself by looking out for the 
'* bit of blue," which was to give earnest of a general clear- 
ing up, and to encourage us in the prosecution of our jour<- 
ney to town. The clouds, however, were unrelenting, and 
the rain continued without any seeming chance of abatement. 
This was unlucky; for I was required to appear in the first 
piece of that night, at the Haymarket, although Mr. Mathews 
did not act untU a later period of the evening. We were to- 
tally unprepared for such an alteration of weather. The '' Mur- 
phy" of that day had connived with the weather-riass (in which 
my husband always had implicit faith,) to delude us with fair 
promises. Mr. Mathews had carefully consulted these au- 
thorities before he ventured upon an excursion, which was 
one of great moment to us, since it involved the welfare, pos- 
sibly, of the first piece of horse-flesh he had ever purchased, 
not to mention the pretty little carriage, of which we were 
tenderly careful, and exceedingly proud. Notwithstanding 
his belief that the weather would clear, it, however, occurred 
to Mr. Mathews, as a stage-coach drew up to the inn, on its 
way to town, that it would be the surest plan to forward me 
by it, and to follow himself at leisure, for his later duties at 
the theatre, in the evening; for to leave his carriage and cob, 
cherished novelties as they were, behind him, was a risk not 
to be thought of. He, therefore, entreated me to proceed 
without him, in the above manner; to which, though some- 
thing loath, I at length consented. The waiter was sent to 
inquire whether a place was vacant, and, to my relief, re- 
turned with the intelligence, that the coach was fuU. 

The rain still came down violently; and it would have been 
madness in a* person so susceptible of cold as myself, to ven- 
ture on such a drive, in such weather. In this dilemma, Mr. 



CHABLSB MATUW8. 17 

Mathews determined on tlie only alternative, and ordered a 
post-chaise to he got ready. The landloid answered this 
magnificent demand in person: — ^*' Sorry, sir, hut all our 
horses are out at present." — " Unfortunate!" • 

At this moment, the dessert was placed upon the tahle, to* 
gether with a pint of what my hushand always, in such 
houses, chose to call '* Day and Martin;" and we made up 
our minds to proceed, in what we rather ostentatiously termed 
" our own carriage." Just as we were about to order it to be 
got ready, however, we were told, that " if the lady would 
not object to go to town in ' a return chaise,' there was one 
at the gate." To this proposition 1 vehemently objected, de- 
claring, that I preferred the risk of catching cold to such a 
method of travelling. I had varioxis reasons for this: the 
man might stop on the road, or he might take up other tra- 
vellers. In short, I was full of terror at the idea of finding 
myself alone in a hired carriage for the first time; but my 
fears were treated as childish. The driver of the chaise was 
known to the landlord; and, as to my objections, they could 
be provided for. Finally, the post-^y, an elderly but honest- 
looking fellow, was called in, and stipulations were made to 
satisfy all my scruples. He was paid a sum over and above his 
demand, on the condition that he should not admit any per^ 
son on the road to a share of the chaise, which was lo set 
me down at my own door, in London, without stoppages by 
the way. The weather showed no symptoms of clearing up, 
nay, the rain became every moment heavier; and, though I 
longed to ask my husband to set off in the pony-chaise, and 
drive along-side of mine, I could not press his doing so at the 
risk of the wetting he was sure to get, before the afternoon 
could brighten, and I ultimately consented to leave him with 
his fruit and wine, and the chance o£ better weather. 

It must be understood, that the room in which we had 
dined was detached from the house, and placed on the right- 
hand side 6f the carriage-entrance, like a park-lodge, the door 
opening into the gateway, and the window to the street. On 
the opposite side stood a fac-simile, as it seemed for symme- 
try, of this litde parlour. The coach I have mentioned had 
not yet removed from the gateway, and the chaise in ques- 
tion was drawn up beyond it, close to the window of the 
twin-parlour just mentioned. The shower thickened at this 
crisis; and an umbrella being provided, my husband conducted 
me under it to the chaise, into which I was quickly assisted, 
and, in melancholy mood, found myself instantly on my road 
home. • 

2* 



18 MEMOIRS OF 

I now turn back. My husband, after he had deposited me 
in the carriage, and seen it start, being. satisfied that he had 
made a very prudent arrangement, turned sharply round in 
order to regain shelter in his room, and for a time take his 
" ease at his inn." His quick eye discerned, however, at 
this moment, at the window close to him, a silver embroidered 
jacket, the young and handsome wearer ^of which was cran- 
ing his neck very eagerly Tas Mr. Mathews thought) after 
the receding chaise, and, before he could reach his own room 
on the opposite side, a violent ringing of a shrill hand-bell 
starded his ear, and summoned the waiter in great haste to 
the officer's parlour. Before Mr. Mathews could seat him- 
self, the man rushed out, and in hurried accents, as he ran 
up the yard into the " bar," cried out *' Ostler! you must 
bring out that 'ere officer's horse directly !^^ *' What!" so- 
liloquized my husband, " in this pouring rain? — very odd! ^ I 
wonder whether *that 'ere officer' is the one I saw looking 
after the chaise?" This doubt was immediately converted 
inU) certainty; for, leaving the door of his own room^ajar, he 
peeped through the hinge side of it, and in the next minute 
the ostler trotted the horse up to the opposite ^oor, and the 
waiter ran in at the same time with the bill, for which he had 
evidently been despatched when he called for the horse. 
After a brief pause, a quick *' Thank'e, sir;" for something 
over and above, for himself, was audible, and in another mi- 
nute the aforesaid mass of blue and silver was visible, pro- 
perly mounted, and off at a gallop in the direction of the 
chaise, apparently regardless of the pelting rain, and leaving 
a nearly full decanter of wine, &c., upon the table! The 
next instant a violent ringing was heard in the other parlour. 
In ran the waiter, and then out again; and the same accents 
that, three minutes before, had summoned " that 'ere officer's 
horse" now commanded the ostler to bring out ^Uhis 'e?*e 
gentleman's shay directly !^^ The second order was not so 
expeditiously executed as the former had been, owing to the 
" concatenation " of its details; but, in all " deliberate haste," 
it was at last produced, to the impatient owner's relief, who, 
making the only provision in his power against the weather, 
by sheltering his legs under the leathern apron of the chaise, 
followed the officer and his example, by leaving untasted the 
fruit and wine for which he had paid, upon the table, the 
landlord^ ostler, and waiter, all staring after him as he drove 
from the gateway, in amazement at this second mystery, and 
unaccountable agreement in the conduct of the two persons 
evidently unknown, as they believed, to each other. The 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 19 

pursuer, however, proceeded, to the obvious disappointment 
of little cob, who, sulkily resenting his being snatched pre- 
maturely from his feed and 6ty stable, refused to be drhren 
like a gentleman's horse, and therefore, for the first, and, I 
believe, for the last time, iit his new place, received a good 
flogging from his generally considerate and humane master. 
It will be easily believed, that a fat, half-tired pony, with a 
four-wheeler fastened to his back, was no match for a full- 
sized pair of horses, of accustomed speed, and no superfluous 
bulk to impede their progress, with the additional advantage 
of having many minutes die start of their pursuer. The hope 
of overtaking the chaise was therefore forlorn; but, desperate 
with vague fears of my situation, and the probable aflfront I 
might receive, my unprotected state, Ac, the attempt must 
be made; and poor pony rued the day he went to Dartford. 
The *' pitiless storm " soon completely saturated the summer 
clothing of the anxious husband. After some time, he fancied 
he saw in the dim perspective a carriage, stationary at a road- 
side inn; whereupon he urged little cob onward with renewed 
severity, and at length came sufficiently near to believe that 
he recognised the back of the very vehicle he had looked after 
a moment before he caught the detested eyes of ** Blue and 
Silver" similarly directed. On he flogged— every instant 
strengthened his expectation- of reaching his object, which 
still seemed immoveable; and he had reason to believe his 
worst anticipations verified, for on the right hand of the posti- 
lion*s saddle stood '* that 'ere officer's horse," evidently fast- 
ened by his bridle; and, as if more were required to render 
him completely satistjied, he beheld the veritable sleeve of 
'* Blue and Silver," stretched out of die window, conveying 
alms to a wretched woman, who stood near it, with ^ child 
on her back. In three minutes more the four-wheeler must 
have reached the sp(j)t — ^but on the instant, as ill luck would 
have it, the postilion^ remounted, and off again went the chaise 
— officer and all! This was wretched indeed. 

The carriage was soon out of sight. The pursuer was al- 
most frantic with disappointment and conjecture. He asked 
himself whether indeed the chaise he had seen was the 
chaise. It was true that I had expressed a feeling of great 
dread at the thought of a stranger being admitted, and the pos- 
tilion had pledged himself not to obtnide any one — this offi- 
cer might not be that officer — and if he were, the chaise might 
not be the one occupied by me. Speculation, however, was 
vain, and could not lessen his disquiet. His clothes, as I 
liave before said, were ** steeped to saturation;" and the con- 



20 MSMOXIU OF 

tinuous rain, beaten into his eyes by the wind, almost de- 
prived him of sight. A novice in driving, he feared to attempt 
any act that interfered with the reins and whip, and the ma- 
nagement of his not only sulky but otherwise troublesome 
cob; so that, after the first efforts to clear the rain from his 
face, he gave up the task of applying his handkerchief, and 
went on dripping as he was, and with a rational expectation 
of catching a cold that would completely lay him up. How- 
ever, forward he went— a small ray of comfort suddenly cheer- 
ing him, from a recollection of a rise in the road, which might 
induce the post-horses to relax their pace for a time, and thus 
give him the advantage of his own unaltered speed, which he 
was resolved to preserve while whipcord proved a firm ally. 
As he reasoned, so it happened — ^the postilion, incumbered 
with the third horse, which very much objected to this novel 
method of journeying, and showed his discontent by starting 
and curvetting from time to time upon every petty provocation 
for revolt, was induced to take advantage of the rise in ques- 
tion, in order to appease the irritability of the charger at such 
ignoble bondage. This gave to the strenuous efforts of the 
drenched gendeman a decided advantage, and he whipped 
with such desperate energy that he gained ground so rapidly 
as at length to be near enough to the party in advance for his 
loud <* hali.'^^ to arrest the attention of the postilion, and 
somewhat startle the occupants of the chaise, which was im- 
mediately stopped. Another stroke of his whip brought the 
pursuer parallel with it; and, to the surprise of the young 
lady and the confusion of the young gentleman, appeared the 
soaked and angiy husband, the rain dropping from his cheeks 
like tears, and the little cob panting and smoking — ^man and 
horse looking more deplorable than words can describe. 

The first great effect of this apparition was noticeable in the 
conduct of the officer, who, before my husband could take 
breath, put out his ungloved hand at the window, observing 
that " the rain appeared to be over;" (it was still pouring!) at 
the same time, with his other hand, he let himself out at the 
door on the opposite side to where the '* injured husband " 
appeared; and running forward and releasing his horse, he 
put a fee into the hand of the postilion as he remounted, 
touched his cap gracefully to me; and, throwing a furtive 
glance at the new comer, was out of sight before a word could 
be spoken by any other of the party. 

The whole of these manoeuvres were executed with a ra- 
pidity and precision which only a military life could t^ach, for 
these evolutions were performed in much less time than the 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 21 

telling takes. My husband could only look unutterable Ten* 
geaace after him; for, besides being fastened securely by the 
leathern apron of the chaise, as I l^ve mentioned, he was in 
such a miserable plight as to make him any thing but alert in 
his movements; all he could do therefore was to assail the 
postilion with reproaches for his breach of agreement, who 
sullenly muttered something like an excuse on the ficore of 
the lady's non-resistance. 

For my own part I sat in mute amazement — first at my 
husband's unlooked-for appearance, contrary to his intention 
at parting, — ^and next at his evident resentment at my fellow- 
traveller's presence, and the officer's as evident embarrassment 
at the sight of hiuL His exceeding wrath prevented hm 
making me readily comprehend why he came off so soon, in 
the rain. I therefore in silence obeyed his rather peremptory 
desire that I would quit the chaise, and, " rain or no rain," 
return to town with him, declaring that he would not farther 
trost '< such a fellow " as the postilion, who helped me to de* 
scend from his vehicle, and I was pulled up hastily into the 
little chaise, where, in the course of our drive, the mystery 
of my husband's unexpected appearance was explained, and 
the whole of the dark plot elucidated. 

On leaving Dartford, I had gone on quickly for some mi- 
nutes in my solitary drive, when suddenly, through the win- 
dows, dimmed with the thick-falling rain, I observed, at some 
distance before me, an officer evidently endeavouring to shel-. 
ter himself from the weather under a tree (I had not observed 
that he had passed by me first.) The head of his horse was 
turned towards Dartford, indicating that Co have been the point 
to which he was proceeding. A signal to the post-boy made 
him stop; and, after a short parley, which I of course could 
not overhear, the man seemed to refer him to me; for the of-, 
ficer approached the closed window of the chaise, explaining 
that he had left Blackheath on a ride, and had been surprised 
by the sudden rain. Being desirous of returning thither, on 
account of the change of weather, he appealed to my humane 
feelings to give him shelter from so severe a storm, by admit- 
ting him into my carriage. I was very young, very timid, 
and moreover quite unsuspicious of his deceit. I saw a ^cw- 
fleman (I had not seen him at Dartford, as my husband had) 
— I beheld the rain pouring upon him — I hesitated for a mo- 
ment — ^and, in that moment he quitted the window, and giving 
his horse to the postilion, with great dexterity and quickness 
opened the camage-door, and, without letting down the step, 
jumped in — with a profuse thankfulness for my ** condescend- 



22 MSMOIRS OF 

ing kindness " — before I could summon a word with a view 
to exclude him. After my first embarrassment had subsided, 
however, I explained to him my intention of refusing his re- 
quest, and told him (what he knew before) whence I had 
come, and how I had been induced to travel alone — ^talked of 
my husband in capital letters — informed him of the conditions 
that had been made with the postilion, i&c., to all which my 
companion lent an attentive ear; and whatever were his origi- 
nal inducements for his pursuit and the ruse he had practised 
in order to travel with me, they never for a moment, betrayed 
themselves offensively. All was refined politeness; and, as 
attention was not uncommon to one of my age, that which 
he paid me was not calculated to startle or displease. 

The driver, however, presuming probably upon the prin- 
cipal condition being waived, took the liberty of stopping at 
the road-side inn already mentioned, without consulting us. 
The man was in truth very wet, and evidently thought, with 
the Irishman, that a glass of spirits would serve *' to kill the 
water;" and, whilst he was regaling himself with some bran- 
dy, my gallant friend was induced to disburse a cyown to a 
beggar-woman — perhaps in otder that I might approve his 
generosity, or most probably because he had "no small 
change " about him. The driver now remounted, evidently 
prepared for the weather, whatever it might be for the rest of 
the drive; and the officer, remarking this, announced his own 
determination not to allow me to finish my journey alone, sub- 
jected, as I should be, to this man's discretion— declaring 
that he would leave his horse at Blackheath, and see me in 
safety to my own door. To this I made objections, which 
he, with much zeal, endeavoured to overcome; when his ar^ 
guments in favour of such an arrangement were interrupted 
by my husbaaid's " halt!'' 

Thus terminated this double pursuit (" Oh, lame and im-* 
potent conclusion!") which doubtless made the pursuers feel 
^ther absurd, from the needless trouble, expense, and incon- 
venience both had encountered; while I, the unconscious 
cause of all, could not but feel amused in the sequel, and ne- 
ver after beheld a handsome young officer of hussars without 
associating with him the image of a tall angry gentleman, in 
a low carriage, furiously flogging a fat reluctant pony, up hill, 
through a pouring rain. It is possible that this officer mi^ht 
have been the identical Captain of "the Tenth" alluded to 
by the military servant at Gravesend; and if so, I have no 
doubt tha^ the lady whose name I have the. honour to bear 
had some reasonable cause when she " went away along with " 



CHARUIS MATHEW9. 23 

one vrho possibly was less susceptible of sudden attachments 
than him of the bltie and sUvtr. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Manchester, Jaly 27, 1818. 

I am very well in spite of my tongue, which is diseased to a fright- 
ful extent; and if it is not relieved shortly, I most lie by till something 
is discovered to relieve me. I here to-day submitted to a leach in my 

mouth, by advice of my beloved P , who is in higher feather than 

ever. It was a most unpleasant operation ; but prohably may be effi- 
cacious. My complaint ** reminded *' P of a ** whimsical circum- 

stance. Henderson— er er am — sore mouth — ^nekym ar — leeches-^ 
^lyd urn — three instead of one — sy nyt num — according to Cocker— 
if one does good — um er — how much will three do — er um er — put in 
ersycern or vwog — bled for three days " — ha, ha, ha ! I am delighted 
my explanation has opened your eyes. 

You may rely upon it, the interest of yourself and dear Charles is 
nearest to my heart; and that the object of my life will be to make 
him independent, and if I am blessed with health, it can and shall be 
done. 

I had a great house last night at Liverpool, though the heat was 
near spoiling all. I have not time for particulars. To-night I wrote 
to Simpson, to ask him to meet me at Oxford, that we may arrange 
matters there. I hope to be at home on Friday night. 

C. Mathews. 

In the course of the autumn of this year (1818) Mr. Ma- 
thews visited his Welsh friends, and performed at Swansea 
for the first time since his early glories there. He was re- 
ceived in public with almost tumultuous plaudits, and in pri- 
vate with the glow of kindly hearts, whose recollection of 
him, after twenty years^ absence, was as fresh as if he had 
been the favourite of yesterday with them. He was lucky 
enough to find among this single-minded, warm-hearted race, 
several of his first friends alive; and the meeting was mutu- 
ally gratifying. He remembered how glad his youth had 
been made by the fire-sides of the respectable people who 
had courted him then, a friendless stranger; and they were 
gratified that in his raised condition he had retained a recol- 
lection so pleasing to them and honourable to himself. 

We were at this time staying with our friends Mr. and Mrs. 
RoUs, at Briton Ferry; a spacious and beautiful mansion, the 
scene of unbounded pleasure, and which better deserved to 
be called happiness than any mode of living, on so large a 
scale, in which I ever took a part. Mr. MsUhews contrived 



"24 1IIEM0IR8 OF 

to go oyer to chat with his old friends at Swansea very often; 
and on one occasion assembled them round a large table at 
the Mackworth Arms, whete he gave them a dinner, and re- 
hearsed old scenes again and agaii;i, till the eyes of his guests 
overflowed with tears of delight. Even little Saddington, the 
prompter of Masterroan's company (Wynne's "Saddy'*), 
the only theatrical remains of olden times upon the spot, was 
not forgotten by " the great London actor:" and on his return 
to us at night, the goo(£hearted entertainer was as elated with 
the satisfaction he had given to the worthy people as if he 
had been receiving honours instead of conferring kindness. 

In October, Mr. Mathews quitted Briton Ferry, leaving 
me with our friends till his return from his engagements in 
Ireland, his men of business, viz. Mr. Simpson his treasurer, 
and Mr. Edward Knight* his musiciany having joined him at 
Swansea, where the carriage and servants, &c., remained, for 
the purpose of accompanying him on his voyage. 



TO MRS. MATHEW& 

Passage, October, 1818. 

I have the pleasure to tell 70a that we are safely landed in Ireland, 
^fter a passage of nineteen hours. I was sick the whole of the way, 
and driven from my usual place, the deck, by rain, which poured all 
night, over tbe head of the carriage; and my box-coat proved ** inade- 
quate.** However, once in my berth I was warm and sheltered, and 
certainly better for the removal, but Simpson's young rhinocerosf pre- 
Vented my sleeping. Luckily, we had but one passenger besides our- 
selves, and not one woman on board, so that the usual faint cries of 
** Steward !" and all the accompaniments, were avoided. I never be- 
fore knew how to sympathise with the sick. George wfts a great suf- 
ferer; Edward a victim also, and afraid of being lost into the bargain » 
The captain had unconsciously made him nervous; for when Edward 
said, ♦* I hope we shaVt have any squalls?" he replied, »* Never mind 
squalls, sir, if we haven't a fog: that is the only danger;*' — and a deep 
fog was announced about ten o'clock, which lasted during our voyag-e. 
One of the horses suffered severely, but FalstaiFt appears very little 
concerned. Even Fop§ has refused his breakfast, though, like me, he 
did not taste food yesterday. You would have been exceedingly 
amused, even if you had been as sick as I was, to have heard him bark 
in the night when the captain roared out his orders; and when we 
were hailed by a passing packet, he thought he roust do his duty, and 

* One of tbe gifted sons of our friend *« Little Knight.*' 

t " A young Bhiiiocero8**-^liis idea of tbe noiset peculiar to some sleepers, de- 
scribed under the general bead ef "snoring."— A. M. 
t A flivoorite horse. $ A small pet terrier dog. 



CHAStSB MATJiEWS. 26 

'WBS frantic at the impertinenoe of a qaestion being pat to us IhroQgh 
a 'trumpet. 

I am happy to say, that I left all illness behind me; I felt instanta- 
neously recovered when my foot touched the Emerald Isle. I hare 
eaten a hearty breakfast, and am preparing to depart for Kilkenny, 
fkjward desires his love in reply. " How sweet's the love that meets 
return !*' Kind regards to all at Triton Ferry. 

C. Mathbws, 



rro MRS. MATHEWS. 

Dublin, October 9th, 1818. 

T receive your peppering to-day ; but make some allowance for me. 
'I waited from Monday until Friday without hearing from you; and 
^hat I said was more in sorrow than in anger. The rascally neglect 
at the stage-door has caused all the mischief. Contrary winds kept the 
packet, and therefore I did not receive your letter of Monday last until 
to-day, though it should have been here yesterday. But by £Ider*8 
means every thing will be regular now.^ 

Catalini did more wonders than a woman, and drained all their 
pockets ; and as the fashion are all out of Dublin, 1 think I am doing 
capitally. Excuse haste, and assure ■ me in your next that you have 
quite forgiven me for the uneasiness I caused you. 

C. Mathkws. 

P. S. — I have received a letter from a Mr. Rees Jones, who wants 
me to sub8ci;ibe to a colliery speculation at Loghner! Ha, ha, ha ! I 
wish Goldsmidt had not died, for then I should only have been ac- 
counted the second richest man in England. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Kilkenny, October 13th, lbl8. 

I write to you in great haste, merely to tell you how I am, where I 
am, and whither I am going. I arrived here on Saturday night, time 
enough to see ** Macbeth " and ** High Life Below-stairs." I have not 
time to enter into particulars, but have no hesitation in saying, that 
they are not only the best private theatricals I have ever seen, but that 
the whole play of ** Macbetli," in point of decoration, scenery, choruses, 
&.C., was better got up than it would have been at any theatre out of 
London. I was quite astonished, and highly amused with the farce. 
Crampton, and a Mr. Corry, in the Two Servants, inimitable. The lat- 
ter is really a very fine actor. 

I found Power* a highly-finished gentlemah. I supped with them 
all after the play, and was very much pleased at my reception. 

* Richard Power, Esq.— A. M. 
VOL. I — 3 



26 KBMOHtS <KF 

Briefly, howeTer, as to my perfi>nnaBee here. It will be a total 
failure. But I console myself, that it is in the way to Dublin; and Mr. 
If Oullat only is to blame in recommending me to come. 1 am just in 
the situation of a benefit at York on the Monday after the race-week, 
and standing at the hotel on Tuesday, and seeing all the company pour 
out of town. Kilkenny itself does nothing for the private theatricals. 
They are supported by families from the neighbourhood, and cTen as 
far as Dublin. They finished the plays on Saturday night, and on 
Sunday they began to move. To-night there is a ball and masquerade 
given by the Rolls of these parts (Major Bryan,) and every body is 
going ; and to-morrow morning all the horses in the town and neigh- 
bourhood are ordered, and by night the town will be empty. ' I have 
nothing but lamentations about my coming at such a time; but all 
agree that it would be totally useless to play to-morrow night, and 
%erefore to-day is fixed on, at three o^clock ! What do you think of 
that? It can^t tell ; it is impossible; for no bills were out till to-day 
at nine o'clock. However, all these people are of the first consequence 
and connexion in Dublin; and 1 am nt>t at all annoyed. Nor can I 
grumble, for Mr. Power certainly deterred me as much as he couU. 

I am off to-morrow for Dublin. It is sixty Irish miles; and I mean 
to perform there on Saturday. 

C. Matbkws. 

P. S. Fop ran yesterday thirty-two miles, and is perfectly recovered. 
He put several flocks of geese to the rout, as usuaL 

The little animal just mentioned (which was one of the 
smallest of the terrier race,) had journeyed with us two years 
before, and ran with the post-horses between thirty and forty 
miles a-day. The pedantry of Ireland hallooed after it with 
wonder, calling and perhaps believing it a rat; nay, at Li- 
merick a poor fellow, one day on the borders of the town, ex- 
citing the particular commiseration of my husband, (who be- 
ing, as usual, without money in his pocket, desired the man 
to call at his lodging the next day,) cried out, ** Sure, sirr, 
I'll not forget; and don't I know it^s the jintleitian who has a 
rat always runnin^ after his carriage?^' 



CHABLBt HATHBWS. 27 



CHAPTER II. 



The Mayor of Kilkenny and his Deputy. — Letters to Mri. Mathewi 
— Miseries of Absence.^Anecdote. — Irish Pronunciation. — Mendi- 
city Association. — Letter of the Lord Mayor of Dublin to Mr. Ma. 
thews.— Mr. Mathews*s Reply. — Letter to Mrs. Mathews. — Mr. Ma. 
thews grreat snccess in Dublin, — Anticipated Delights of Briton Ferry. 
—Theatre at Waterford. — Death of Queen Charlotte.— Epigram.^ 
The disappointed Doctor. — Mr.. Mathews and the Irish Beggar. — 
Letter to Mrs. Mathews. — Mr. Mathews at Ipswich in **■ The Actor 
of All Work.'*- His personation of S!i;ru6. 

A LITTLE adventare befell my husband at Kilkenny, on his 
play-day there, of which he did not write an account, but re- 
lated to me on his return. It was one of those annoyances 
which, by a strange fatality, as it seemed, he was destined to 
experience in this country in the course of eyery visit. The 
following account from the Kilkenny newspapers explains 
the particulars:— 

The Mayor of Kilkenny and his Deputy, 

Mr. Mathews, the celebrated comedian, a gentleman by education, 
habits, and talents, arrived here on Saturday. He was received by our 
Theatrical Society with that amenity which distinguishes its members. 
By their' advice he issued bills for the performance of his interesting 
medley on Monday, at three o'clock, the fancy ball at Jenkinstown 
that ni^ht preventing an evening meetings The bills were printed 
under tne direction of a member of the society. Unfortunately, the 
urgency of the case, or inadvertency, prevented application for the per- 
mission of the mayor. In the course of the forenoon of Monday, while 
Mr. Mathews was lounging in the library at the Parade, the city con- 
stable, who immortaliz^ himself, sword in hand, at the ** Battle of the 
Brogues,** rushed into the library, with fury sparkling in his eyes, and 
trepidation working in his countenance, and, with a roll of paper in his 
hand — " Is a M — M— M— Mr. Mathews here?*' said he (for the room 
was full of gentlemen.) The maniac appearance of the constable in- 
4ueed several gentlemen \o retjre to th^ extremity of th^ apartment ; 



t9 MBMOUUi OP- 

but Mr. Mathews instantly announced himself. Upon this the constat 
hie unfolded bis roll, which was one of Mr. Mathews^s bills : — ** How 
daredest you, sirr, put forth thetei bills without the mayor's permis- 
sion? Hese worship is mad, and you must come along with me to 
the office directly.** We happened to be conversing with Mr. Mathews 
at the time ; and assuring him that the mayor was a gentleman, and 
that he could never authorize such Conduct, we recommended him to 
wait upon and consult the gentleman under whose advice he acted; 
but Mr. Mathews, perhaps remembering that ** a dog*s obeyed in of- 
fice,** went, accompanied by Mr. Simpson, to the mayor's office. On 
his return he ordered a few more bills to be printed, with the head, 
" By permission of the Worshipful John Kirchela, Esq. Mayor,** ob- 
serving : " The mayor was very polite, and, as you said, behaved like 
a gentleman; but his deputy, that ruffianly- looking fellow — I declare 
I thought I was arrested for high treason.** The report went instant- 
ly abroad that Mr. Mathews was arrested, and that there would be no 
performance. 

Some time afterwards the same constable went to the office at the 
theatre, and stated that the mayor expccted,.as customary, nine tickets 
(fifly.four shillings* worth,) but that he (the constable) would not be so 
mean, throwing down four tenpennies for his own admission. This 
broad deposite of three shillings and fourpence, neither box nor gallery 
price, offended Mr. Mathews more than the public attack, or arrest, 
as it was called, and he ordered the four tenpennies to be sent after 
"the fellow.** 

Mr. Mathews had a very small but select audience; and, considering 
all the circumstances, he went through the performance with amazing 
spirit. His recitation, songs, and " Mail-coach Adventures,** are great 
beyond any thing of the kind ever attempted. No mention of ventri- 
loquism was made in the bills, and yet in the exercise of this singular 
faculty he was eminent beyond the power of expression. We have 
heard the celebrated French ventriloquist, Le Comte, repeatedly, and 
we are not afraid to say, that he was superior in the exercise of this 
faculty. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Dublin, Ootober 23d, 1818. 

I have the pleasure to say, I am now perfectly recovered,. voice and 
all. My tongue is in statu quo; and relief appears hopeless. £very 
medical man I consult totally disapproves of the mode of treatment 
resorted to by his predecessor. This is comfortable^ and so cheering! 

I was miserably ill at Kilkenny; and suspecting the cause, discon. 
tinned the medicine for a day or two. On my journey I commenced 
it again, and it nearly drove me mad. I can conceive nothing more 
horrible; the fever, headach, lassitude, sickness! I was afraid to at- 
tempt to walk by myself; my legs tottered under me» and I had the 
sensation of" Very drunk yesterday ** about me. At last I became so 
miserably ill that a pliysician was sent for, and I was obliged to " up 



CUARLB8 MATHXWS. 29 

and tell bim*' about my tongrue. •• Why, sir, the man who fave yoa 
landinam was mad, and you were mad to take it*' I never wished 
myself a queen but at that moment; she would not have had a sore 
tongue six months, thought I. However, certain it is I got gradually 
belter when I discontinued the laudanum, though it has taken four or 
Swe days to drive away the effects from my constitution. Observe, I 
was told this same Dr. — — was one of the first physicians in Dublin. 
On my repeating this phrase a day or two afterwards, I was answer- 
ed — ** First ! Sure he is an oold woman !*' 

funny people — iiinny fancies. ** A mad world, my masters.'* H— 's 
dear cottage at Monkstown has brought me about again. I did not 
return thence till yesterday, five o*cIock; and the repos6, after the 
noise and turmoil of this city, added to the beautiful air of Dunleary, 
has completely renovated me. I went through my third performance 
last night without being distressed at all. 

I have had the gratification of rejecting with scorn and derision an 
overture to play in Crow Street. On Sunday morning I perceived a 
placard, a foot and half larger than mine : — " Mr. Charles at ifome, 
aUo*** He has taken a room, and is conjuring the people to come 
and see him. 

C, Mathbws. 

Notwithstanding his professional success, and mnch private 
kindness, in Ireland, there always appeared some annoying 
circumstance as an alloy to it all. Mr. Mathews^s apparent 
fretfulness in the course of his letters at this time, will, I feel 
convinced, be excused on account of the mental harass he en- 
dured, superadded to his constant suffering from the disorder 
in his tongue. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 



Dublin, Friday. 



I thank you most sincerely for writing so often; it is a great solace 
tome; for in my blue-devil fits my fiend is ingenious in tormenting, 
and I am sure to brood on all sorts of imaginary ills. I cannot bear 
the distance I am from you and dear Charley, and be happy. A few 
lines of Curran's were very congenial to my own feelings, as I read 
them two or three days back, when wandering all alone on Kilkenny 
HiU: 

Whether we're sundered by the final scene, 
Or envious seas disjoining roll between; 
Absence, the dire effect, is still the same, 
And death and distance differ but in name. 

* This was tbe person before mentioned who ofiered. his services to Mr. Ma- 
thews when his houses overflowed every night, on the cosdition of sharing the 
profits.-— A. M. 

3* 



80 ^ M'fiMOIRS OF 

^ have been for two days at Seapoint, on a visit to an Englishihan. 
It is 8 large hotel and boardingr.house, built on the shore four miles 
from Dublin. On Wednesday about forty promised to dine at the 
hotel ; at half-past five the dinner-bell rang ; at six we sat down (about 
twelve.) At half-past six, a Mrs. Butler and two ladies came runningr 
in, apologizing for not having time to dress, having just arrived in their 
carriage from Dublin. After they had been seated nearly ten minutes, 
—would you believe it? Mrs. Butler threw down her knife and fork, 
and with a screaming brogue, that made me think the colonel, her hus- 
band had struck her, — *« O^h ! I vow to God I forghat Hamilton !" — 
** Ah, blood and 'ouns,i8 it Miss Hamilton, you mane 1**-^^^ Uphonmy 
worrd I left her at ould Beggs's the dentist, and was to call for her ; 
aodl fbrghot it!'* This is actually true; and her two friends screamed 
with laughter ; they had not missed a young lady under their care ia 
four miles! This poor creature came in about seven, having been 
obliged to hire an ack ; and, if you remember those vehicles, yon will 
fancy her pleasant situation ! However, she came in with perfect good 
humour^ and eat her dinner as if nothing had happened. I suppose they 
are used to it.. Now, do you know, I was the only one of the party sHly 
enough, to feel serious about this ; I felt, I believe, exactly what I 
should have done had she belonged to me (though she was " welly 
udlcy,*' as little Jessie Rolls used to say :) I could not feel myself com- 
fortable in their society. 

I cannot resist relating another anecdote. Some of these gentry 
have amused themselves with private theatricals : and Mr. Giles had 
corrected one of the amateurs, who pronounced the word full like ^ull. 
The Irishman complied with this hint on the night of perform- 
ance; but on the day I dined at Seapoint he called out, *^Sure Giles, 
you're wrong about that word, afler all ; I have found it in poetry, my 
boy : Hudibras has it; and I am right, for he has made it rhyme to 
*pull;'" (which he also, of course, pronounced like gull!) Ha! 
ha! ha! 

I have not time nor room to enter into particulars, but an attempt 
has been made to bully me into charity ; and because I behaved with 
a little spirit, the signal for attack was given.. I have come off victo- 
riously, as you shall hear in the sequel, which, as they would say 
here, is not over yet. You may suppose the annoyance I suffered, when- 
"a damned good-natured friend *' brought me the paper. " It is rather 
hard/' said I ; ** on this visit I thought myself more secure than everj for 
I have spent every leisure hour wandering by myself under hedges, and 
picking pebbles on the sea-shore.. I thought I could notoffend any body ; 
but because I have offered more money to a charity than some of the 
first shop-keepers in Dublin (this is my only offence,) I am, at four 
o'clock on the day of my performance, instead cS getting my dinner, 
obliged to sit down to defend myself in the newspapers from a male, 
volent attack.*' N'importe — c^est egal. Oh, my prophetic soul ! be. 
fore I got to Carmarthen I felt my heart sink, and repented coming-.. 
You remember my sudden fright last year. Was I not justified? How 
I long for the ceremony of rolling myself on the sand at Holyhead ! 
Thank God ! for the last week my health has been unusually good,, 
and I have borne my troubles manfully. 

C. Matueweu 



CHARLS8 MATHBW8. 31 

The particulars of ttie annoyance to which Mr. Mathews 
alludes in the above letter will be expMned by the following' 
correspondence. 



TO CHARLES MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Mansion-Home, Oct. 28th, IBIS. 
Sir, 

A deputation of the managers of the Association for Suppressing 
Mendicity in this city, having waited on the Lord Mayor, to represeiU 
the depressed state of the funds of that Association, an<nn consequence, 
to request that his Lordship should communicate the circumstance to 
you, in the hope and expectation that you. would be humanely pleased, 
by the gratuitous exertion of your eminent talents before the public, 
on some evening early in the ensuing week, to create means whereby 
to continue the great object foe which the Association was formed, — 
I am therefore desired by his Lordship, most earnestly to entreat that 
yoQ will take this important sul:^ect into your consideration, and to 
add, that from your general philanthropy and public spiriti his Lord- 
ship confidently anticipates your ready compliance with the suggestioa 
of the committee.. I have the honour to be, Sir. v 

Your obedient humble servant, 

Glco. Archxr. 



To the Proprietor qfthe Freeman^s Journal. 

Sir,. 

'In the report of the meeting of the Society for suppressing Street 
Begging in Dublin, published in the Dublin journal of Monday eve- 
ning last, to my great surprise I read the following paragraph: ** A 
letter from Mr. Mathews having been read by the Secretary, in which 
he declined exerting himself in behalf of the funds of the Association,, 
as had been previously requested, Counsellor Connor rose and said, he 
thought Mr. Mathews might have been induced, as a benevolent man,, 
and one inclined to show his gratitude to the citizens of Dublin, for 
many favours bestowed upon him, to assist the Association in obtain- 
ing contributions by means of his performance, for a charity so import- 
ant, and so dear to the inhabitants of Dublin; but Mr. Mathews had 
declined — possibly on good grounds, — he (Mr. Connor) was not in- 
clined to examine them." 

Now, sir, I will not dwell upon the cruelty of such a remark, or upon 
the injury it is likely to do me with the public ; and' my feelings are 
too much hurt to trust myself to make comments upon an asser- 
tion so totally devoid of foundation. I can only say, that if Mr. 
Connor did really say what is imputed to him by the reporter, 
-^" I am in amazenuent lost ^' haw he could make such an asser^ 



82 XBMOUtfl OF 

tion, in the face of my letter, jast read to the meeting; and I 
am equally astonished, that that letter should not hare gained me 
one friend in the meeting, who woald have informed Mr. Connpr, that 
he had total I J misunderstood its purport I am very much averse to 
obtruding my name unnecessarily before the public, but I aro com. 
peUed.^in justification of ray conduct, to send you the copy of a letter 
I sent to the Lord Mayor, in reply to his Lordship's application to me, 
stating, that it was the wish of the Association I should give up one 
night's performance at the Fishamble-street Theatre, for the benefit of 
the charity. I trust, sir, you will do me the justice to publish this let- 
ter, and 1 feel confident that every person who reads it will be equally 
amazed with myself how such an interpretation could be put upon it, 
and will acknowledge how undeserving I am of the censure so unjust- 
ly passed upon my conduct 

I am, sir, your obedient servant, 

C. Mathews. 
22, Parliament -street, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 1818. 



TO THE LORD MAYOR OF DUBLIN. 

Mt Lord, 

I regretf exceedingly, that the srpplication of the managers of the 
Association, for suppressing Mendicity, has deprived me of the plea- 
sure of offering a contribution to their excellent institution. I had 
reasons (and, I trust, proper reasons,) for deferring my intention to 
subscribe until the conclusion of my performances in Dublin ; and I 
certainly meant my donation to be proportionate to the success of my 
undertaking; and, as I had mentioned this intention to some persons 
in Dublin, interested in the charity, I was, in some degree, pledged to 
the performance of it I must think the application to me, to give up 
my part of the prqftts of my trade^ is rather indelicate, as every other 
individual in society is allowed the gratification of making a voluntary 
contribution. Still, however, I am so sincere a friend to the principle 
upon which this excellent institution is formed, that I will comply, ra- 
ther than not contribute to its permanent establishment; though I 
must repeat, how much more complete my satisfaction would have 
been, to have been left to the dictates of my own feelings. 

Therefore, if it is pressed^ I will give the profits of a night at the 
Fishamble-street Theatre, before I leave Dublin, of which I will give 
yourLordship due notice. 

I have the honour to be. 
My Lord, 
Tour Lordship*s obedient servant, 

C. MATHEWS. 

The editor of the newspaper in which this correspondence 
appeared adds the following remarks upon the subject: 

**This letter, we conceive, evinces good feeling, good sense, and a 
manly spirit, chastened with much delicacy on the part of Mr. Ma- 



eHABLBS Mi^TSEWB. 88 

thews. We consider it anfairt indelicate, and nnjasV^o call apon Mr* 
Mathews, or any performer, and more particular!/, circamstanced as 
be is, to give up a night^s profit of his trade, to fitrther the views of 
any institution, however meritorious and worthy of support Why 
should an actor, more than any other professional man, be called upon 
in this way ? Why should he not be left to the exercise of his own 
free will, like every other member of the community? 

" Some years ago, an appeal similar to the one in question, was mad* 
to Mrs. Siddons. She refused compliance, saying, she could not aflford 
to give the hundred pounds to be derived from a night*s performance, 
but that she would, like any other member of society, give such a sum 
as her general income would justify. What tM>uId be more reasons^ 
ble? However, Mr. Mathews goes farther. He states his original in- 
tention of giving a donation proportionate to the success of his under- 
taking. More ought not to be looked for, — and so much more ought 
not, in reason, to have been expected. He has to guard against the ne- 
cessities of ill.health and age. The exercise of talents, such as his, 
must soon make an impression on the constitution ; and to call upon 
him, or upon any actor, to give up so much of his earnings, is preposte* 
reus. Such appeals are unjust, in principle, and the practice of them 
would injure an Association, for the success of which, wo feel a deef^ 
interest."* 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Dublin, November 13, 1818. 

My table is now strewed with notes, like an attomey^s office, and ( 
have two post letters to write besides this. 

I am sorry to hear that you are low-spirited ; and still more so, that 
I have contributed to them, by my apparent neglect. If I had not 
been horribly depressed, you would not have had so much cause to 
complain; but it is not possible to write to such a merry set as you in 
general are at Briton Ferry, under such feelings. 

My health, thank Godt is most excellent; and I am elated now with, 
the prospect of my return to you all. I have no objection to perform 
at Chepstow, if there is any prospect of success; but after Kilkenny., 
I shall be very cautious of trustiog to any thing but my own experl* 
ence: as Chepstow will lie i% my way, it may answer. I gave a night 
to the Mendicity Society, on Wednesday.. This is my last night here.. 
I have gone on much in the old way, except one night, which was to*' 
tally ruined by my ignorance of their customs, and no one would tell 

* Sir Walter Scott (as related in Mr. Lockbart*s Lift of him,) has well remarked 
upon these inconsiderate and unrcHsonable demands on tbe talents of public peo* 
pie. Sir Walter being applied to by the friend of some needy poetess, for a gratu« 
itous contribution from his pen, to ber work, says, 

** Suppose this patron of the Muses gives five guineas to this distressed lady, he 
will think he does a great deal; yet he takes fifty fVom me with the calmest air in 
tbe world,— for the contribution is worth that, if it be worth any thing,— there is 
ao equalising in the proposal.*' 

In the case of Mr. Mai hews, as rationally might a tradesman have been asked 
for the profits of one day's sale in his shop, as Mr. Mathews be expected to give up. 
bis professional earnings for tbiseharity.—A. M. 



34 MEMoiiw or -^ 

me; H was od Holy Ere, which was exactly like aetinp oii oar Cfirfst« 
mas IHy, I am satisfied, however, and that's enough — for me, I 
mean. AlPs well ; and when I see you again, delight&l hope ! these 
miseries will be like a dream. 

C. Mathews. 

I have been " werry much applauded for what I have done," and I 
haye strutted through the streets like a first-rate fighting- cock, and felt 
inclined to snap my fingers at all I met. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Waterford, November 20, 1818. 

Ten thousand thanks for your cheerful kind letter, and the kindness 
expressed in it at my expected return. Did you think I could be so 
heartless as to proceed to town directly, without spending three or 
four happy days at Briton Ferry ? Why, I have looked forward to it 
with the delight of a slave emancipated, enjoying his liberty by anti- 
cipation : it has been the solace of my miseries. I have fattened on 
the joyful perspective — it has softened my pillow — and sweetened my 
rest I have puzzled my brain very much to know what you mean 
by "your trunk is not arrived yet." If you mean my trunk, I hope 
soon to "new climes to bear" it, for "friendship lives hence, and bani 
ishment is here." This is a wretched place for theatricals; the first 
night very bad; nobody knew I was to act till the morning of the day 
I appeared; and the -second night the rain prevented the possibility of 
the people going out. The theatre is only temporary — no boxes: I 
donH know a human being; but the manager is a rara avis, a gentle- 
man; and I board with him in a most comfortable and clean house. 
The pit-boxes are generally taken for to-night, and the day is beauti- 
fill. 

I -had written thus far, when the Mayor himself rapped at the door, 
to say, that the Queen is dead. This has so sadly deranged me and 
my plans, that I know not what to do, or what to say ; the play is stopped, 
and the poor manager in despair. Oh, had she died a week ago, I might 
have been comfortable and happy with you at Briton Ferry ! I must 
break ofi*. More distresses! I have just received a letter from Dublin, 
informing me that Simpson has had a relaf>se, after being, as they wrote 
yesterday, able to get up and come down stairs. M*Nally says, " he is 
80 seriously ill, that we are all alarmed, and he himself seems to have 
given up all hopes of recovery. I have,^ therefore, called In Surgeon- 
General Crampton, who has applied a great number of leeches, and he 
is now more free from pain; but I fear not out of danger." Oh, that 
horrid typhus! — that frightened me away last year. My poor Simp- 
son ! — I am distressed beyond description— what can I say to his fa- 
mily ? I cannot go to him to-day now, without posting; it is one hun- 
dred miles, and every body dissuades me from going alone. I must 
now await the arrival of another letter, and therefore will delay this 
one day, as all my plans are dependent on him. 

Saturday. — I have got a letter; Simpson is pronounced out of dan« 



CHABLB8 XATKEWB. 80 

ger, which has refieved mj miiNl from a milLitaoe weight'of anxiety. 
Once again, all my schemes are deranged; the good people here, who 
did not care one farthing aboat me while they could see me, are flock*> 
iag round the manager to press me to stay now they cannot. Is there 
not a fatality attending my expeditions to this country? **0 my pro* 
phetic soal!^ O Milford Haven! O Holyhead! how wiU I roll upon 
either of thy sanda, if I am permitted to see thee once again. When 
I began this letter to you, I thought all was in a fair way* and I felt 
quiet and repose. How I ha?e been hampered, and torn, and piuzled 
before it is finished! 

I thank God, most gratefully, that my health is robust and excellent, 
beyond all former precedent! even my tongue, since I left off all medi* 
cine (my bane) is infinitely better. Never mind, I look forward with 
rapture, my dearest Nnney, to our next meetioff. O ^ou dear, happy, 
happy, people! — in Paradise, (if you did but know it,)— how I envy 
you, and how I give thanks that you are there. God bless you all,— > 
RoUs's, and Mathews's, and Johnnys, and Pattys, and Jessys, and 
Alexanders, Delamottes, and Sherratts, and Edwards's — prays poor, 
foolish, happy, miserable, 

C. Mathkwi. 

He believed, and really, with great reason for his belief, 
that medicine had no power over his constitution. The ef- 
fect, certainly, always disappointed his medical men; and 
never gave him relief in any of his complaints. This fact 
natarally rendered him skeptical of the power of the '* heal- 
ing art" generally, and was very amusing upont his subject, 
when once induced to talk upon it, as he would then affect to 
discredit the possibility of human skill to penetrate the un- 
seen causes of human suffering; and he certainly had no faith 
in much medicine being requisite for any thing. I remem- 
ber his allowing a friend to introduce his own ^vourite apo- 
thecary to him one day, for some trivial indisposition, — ^heart- 
bum, I think, to which he was very subject. Mr. Mathews 
received the gentleman with great courtesy, and stated his 
case deliberately, asking him whether he thought he could 
relieve him speedily? He was readily answered in the af- 
firmative; and, consequently, it was agreed that some *Mittle 
thing" should be made up. In about an hour a packet was 
delivered-Hsome pills and a half a dozen draughts, and re- 
ceived with great good humour. The directions on the label 
were strictly adhered to, and before the next morning's visit 
all had been duly swallowed. The apothecary arrived at 
length, and anxiously hoped his patient had found relief from 
his prescriptions. He was told that no alteration whatever 
appeared in the original symptoms or sensations. This na- 
turally surprised the man of medicine, who, however, after 
once more attentively looking at his patient's tongue, which 



86 MBXonu OT 

was freely Submitted to his inspection, and feeling his pulse 
carefully, put on a cheerful and confident air, as if assured of 
ultimate Success, and informed Mr. Mathews that he should 
that day alter the particulars of his drauglits, &c.: but, to his 
amazement, the calm and apparently obedient listener, his pa- 
tient, informed him that he never took a second prescriptioa 
where the first had failed! Remonstrance followed surprise 
at this extraordinary avowal; but no argument" could move 
him who was determined, and the doctor left the house great- 
ly chagrined. We were told soon after, that this person was 
liie most inveterate bill-maker that ever existed, and never let 
any victim off under some pounds' worth of attendance* The 
idea of his disappointment amused my husband so much, that * 
I believe it cured him of his temporary disorder. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Waterford. 

I have very few minutes to write between the arrival of the mail 
and its departure; but I cannot allow you to remain in a moment's 
suspense, after the kind anxiety you express on my account. Calm 
all your fears. Simpson is fast recovering, though not able to quit his 
chamber. He is out of all danger; I have received a letter from him- 
self to-day. He wishes me to return to Dublin, as he cannot travel 
just yet — and still have a night after the Queen's funeral, at the Ro- 
tunda; but I will not return. Your letter would have determined mc, 
had I no opinion of my own. I am delighted to have escaped $ and 
the comparative calm I have enjoyed here would make roe feel that 
going back would be a return to captivity ; and the anxiety about the 
fever (though in some degree groundless) that you would suffer, has re- 
solved me. I have written to him to-day, and wait the arrival of his 
letter to give you certain information of the time of my departure. I 
acted here last night, to the best house in the three kingdoms, I will 
venture to say. I have the blessin?a of the poor — actors ; for to me 
they owe their salaries, which no other actors in Great Britain, I be- 
lieve, will receive this week. I htive been poetical, and cannot resist 
tending you the humble efibrts of my nrase. 

The death of the Queen has caused great perturbation; 

We must mourn by command^ and throughout the whole nation. 

The theatres closed, the poor actors forlorn, 

Must starve. Other subjects ean eat while they mourn. 

What follows is plain: *tis belieVed in all corners, 

The mourners are actors— the actors are mourners. 

I most conclnde, for fear of losing the post God bless yon! and 



CHARLES MATHSWS. ^ 

thank yoa for your dear kind letter. Be assured I will fly to you the 
m&ment I am released, and I have no douht very soon. 

C. M ATHKWI. 

Mr. Mathews's dislike to being encumbered with money, 
exposed him, when from home, to many embarrassments; 
such as stoppages at turnpikes, and want of funds to answer 
claims for charity, when they touched his feelings during his 
rides. One of these inconveniences occurred to him at this 
time, on his return to Briton Ferry, aiid was the occasion 
of rather an interesting result. The whole party staying 
there had passed over in the passage-boat, with carriages 
and horses, early in the morning, on a visit to Swansea. At 
the close of tha day, on our return, Mr. Mathews rode for- 
ward; and arriving first at the ferry, recollected that he must 
wait for the coming up of his party, as he was without the 
means of paying his passage over. He, therefore, walked 
his horse about until the expected arrival of his friends. Just 
at this moment, an Irish beggar, in the most miserable plight, 
came up, and poured forth all that lamentable cant, of alleged 
destitution which it is their vocation to impress upon the ten- 
(Zer-hearted, and which seldom fails to draw forth sparks of 
compassion. My husband, however, assured the applicant 
(who declared lie was ** making his way back to ould Ireland 
without bit or sip for days together," and that " a halfpenny 
itself would be a treasure to him,") that he had not even a 
farthing to offer him. It was in vain; the wretched, almost 
naked creature still importuned him. At last he was told by 
him he supplicated, with some impatience at the tiresome and 
senseless perseverance, after this explanation, that so far from 
being able to bestow alms,^he was himself, at that moment, 
in a situation to require assistance; actually, cold and damp 
as it was, (November,) compelled to remain at the water's 
edge till some friend came up who would frank him across 
the ferry. The man's quick bright eye surveyed the speaker 
with some doubt for a second; but, upon a reiteration of Mr. 
Mathews's assurance, that he was detained against his will 
for want of a shilling, adding, that he was lame and unable 
to walk home from the other side of the ferry, or otherwise 
he might leave his horse behind him as security — the beg- 
gar's fece brightened up, and he exclaimed, " Then, your ho- 
nour, I'll lend you the money!" — " What, you! you who 
have been telling me of your poverty and misery for want of 
money!" — "It's all true," eagerly interrupted the man; "it's 
all true; I'm as poor as I said I was; — divil the lie's in it. I'm 

VOL. 1 



S8 MEH01IU OF 

begging my way back to my country, where IVe friends; and 
there's a vessel ready, I'm tould, that sails from Swansea to- 
night. I've got some money, but I want more to pay my 
passage before I go, and I'm starving myself for that raison; 
but is it for me to see another worse off than mysilf, and deny 
him relafe? Your honour's lame; now, I'vfe got my legs, any 
how, and that's a comfort sure?" Then talking a dirty rag 
out of his pocket, and showing about two shilling's worth of 
*• coppers," he counted out twelve-pence, and proffered them 
to Mr. Mathews, who, willing to put the man's sincerity of 
intention to the proof, held out his hand for the money, at the 
same time inquiring, ** How, if I borrow this, shall I be able 
to return it? My house is some miles on the other side of 
the ferry, and you say you are in haste to proceed. I shall 
not be able to send a messenger back here for several hours, 
and you will then have sailed?"—" Oh, thin, niver mind, your 
honour; niver mind; I shall do without it, sure," and was walk- 
ing on. Mr. Mathews stopped him by saying, ** Well, then, af-' 
ter all, I suppose you have plenty left, and you deceived me 
when you begged?" — •* Oh, divil the farthing more, your ho- 
nour, than what you saw."—*' Well, then, how can I recon- 
cile to myself to lake so much from you?" — ** Your honour's 
welcome to every farthing. Sure, some good-hearted cra- 
thur will give me more."—'* But, indeed, I cannot think of 
borrowing what I cannot return." — " Oh, thin, may be, when 
your honour meets another of my poor distrist countrymen 
you'll pay him the twelve-penny; sure it's the same in the 
end." 

Mr. Mathews was affected at the poor fellow^s evident sin- 
cerity; but desirous to put the matter to the fullest test, he 
thanked his ragged benefactor and wished him a safe journey 
back to his country. The man smiling with the most bene^ 
volent expression of countenance, cheerfully turned away, 
with a " Long life to your honour!" and proceeded at a quick 
pace across the burroughs, and was soon out of sight. Mr. Ma- 
thews, however, suffered him to go no farther towards Swansea 
than it was easy for him, with his horse, to overtake him; 
and when he did, he saw him trudging along upon his poor 
naked feet, whistling with the greatest unconcern. But when 
he was overtaken, and told that the person he had so gene- 
tously assisted could not prevail upon himself to use his gift, 
the poor fellow seemed really hurt, and in the most positive 
manner refused to take the money back again; and had not 
the obliged been on horse-back, he would have been fairly 
distanced by the good-hearted Irishman. However, at this 



CHABLB8 MATHBWS. 39 

moment one of the expected Briton Ferry party rode up to 
them, and, had this not happened, it was the firm resolve of 
Mr. Mathews to go on with the heggar till he met some of 
his friends. The gentleman lent my husband what he re- 
quired, with which he not only overpowered the man's loud 
refusal of the principal, but convinced him that he might with 
a safe conscience receive an interest, which made him inde- 
pendent of farther charity on his journey, and take him back 
to "Ould Ireland" much richer, probably, than when he left 
it. 

On our return home, Mr. Mathews passed a short time at 
bis cottage, and then resumed his provincial labours. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Ipswich, January 19, 1818. 

I arn, as UBual, in a gallop. Off to Eye in ten minutes; and have 
snatched up my pen while waiting for a bill at the printer^s, to say, I 
am marvellously well, in spite of my tongue. Yesterday, as before, 
never sat down till dinner. Not a lamp, not an article left in any 
theatre; all to be provided; and. if Poole could stir for roe, he is now 
better employed. » 

It is wonderful how I get through my work, with my brain addled 
with new matter;* but I am getting on capitally with that, and have 
done one act at Norwich perfect. J^orwich-week gave me 130i.l Bra- 
vo! above the right reading. This week will be, at least, my usual 
lOOZ. I have no doubt. 

Direct my letters and papers this week to Ipswich, as I shall be back 
here on Friday morning; and go about Monday. On Tuesday, Chelms- 
ford; and Wednesday, home. I have only time to say all this, as you 
might have been otherwise in an uncertainty. Let me know if you 
are quite well. Your letters are so kind, that they heal my heart of the 
little pangs this strolling brings with it, God bless you, my dearest 
wife, and preserve you for me, is my prayer ! Love to dear Charles. 

C. Mathvws. 

The following admirable article upon my husband's recent 
performances at the above place, appeared at this time: — 

Mr. Mathews^s ability decidedly lies in modern comedy. His pow er 
of giving direct imitations of living Aianners exceeds those of any actor 
we have ever known, while his versatility in the application of this 
power evinces a flow of animal spirits, and excitability of fancy, a 
strong and vivid apprehension of the ludicrous, and a mobility of mus- 

* T])e study of ms /oriheoming entertainment.^A. M. 



40 MEMOIRS OF 

cle no lesB surprising. In the course of two songs, ^ The Nighting-ale 
Club " and *f The Humours of a Play-house," (both of which were 
given twice, but with such essential differences as scarcely to be recog-* 
nised for anything like'the same,) we estimate the number of charac- 
ters introduced at fifty at the least ; and a single sentence piit into the 
mouth of each was accompanied with gestures sufficiently expressive 
to carry to the least pregnant apprehension a complete whole-leng'th 
of the individual, as well as the birth, parentage, education, transtnu- 
tation, and present profession of the party, from the link-boy at Co- 
vent Garden to the lady whose panels were driven in, and who lost her 
arms in the most' agreeable crowd we ever mingled with. , The nice 
discrimination and the original distinctions are most surprising, and 
the natural endowments and the attainments in art, which constitute 
such nice perfection in mimicry, are no less entertaining than rare. 

The " Actor of All Work," the farce on Monday, like "Killing no 
Murder," employs Mr. Mathews in his own way, and is indeed writ- 
ten to display him, for he sustains seven characters. The absolute no- 
velty of this piece is perhaps only to be found in the introduction of a 
highly finislied personation of the great French tragedian. Talma, both 
in his private manner and his public capacity. Mr. Mathews's French 
personifications are said to be quite as close as those of his English, 
while the novelty, and the information afforded to us untravelled coun- 
try-folk, render the character if possible more interesting. Besides 
this, the most prominent feature, the author has availed himself of de- 
fects in articulation and of dialect, and personal peculiarities, to call 
into action the inexhaustible variety of the modern Proteus. A "con- 
versation between the Scotch uncle below, and the Northumbrian oc 
-phew above-stairs," offe/s occasion for Mr. Mathews^s ventriloquism in 
a very effective manner. Upon the whole, this little piece is contrived to 
exhibit powers which no man does, or perhaps ever did possess, in the 
same diversity and perfection as Mr. Mathews. 



On Wednesday evening we again went to see Mr. Mathews in the 
old-established stock play of the "Beaux Stratagem,'* already impressed 
with a strong assurance of his success in low comedy. Scrub is an ex- 
cellent test of merit in that department of the histrionic art. How did 
Mr. Mathews perform it? We answer, as if it had been written for 
him. His looks alone, on his first entrance, were enough to make us 
quite content with our prospect of entertainment; so true and sparkling 
an index were they on this occasion, of the good>tempercd roguery, 
the simple cunning, and diverting unassuming ignorance, which form 
the commixed ingredients of this finished original. Free from every 
alloy of the unnatural or the overcharged, his performance was exactly 
calculated to keep the audience in high spirits, without occasioning a 
single drawback from their enjoyment of legitimate mirth by the taste- 
less intrusion of vulgarity or buffoonery. Mathews's Scrub is alive to 
every incident that comes before him; he enters into the spirit, and 
participates in the effect, not only of what is expressed, but what the 
author means to have understood; and thus heamplv repays the atten- 
tive audience, who are led to watch his by-play with the same scruti- 



CttAftLllB ttATBEWS. 41 

nizingf re^rd which they hestow on his general acting. An example 
of thu sort occarred before he bad been a minute on the acene, or had 
spokm three words. It was in the second act, when Sullen^ in going 
out, says to Scrub, " Gret the things ready to sha?e my head;" and JIfrs. 
SuUen instantly observes^ ^ Have a care of coming near his temples 
for fear you meet something there that may turn the edge of your 
razor!" Mathews's face at that moment was the very picture of 
abashed uncomprehending dulness. After an apparent cudgelling of 
bis brains for a time, he ejaculates, with irresistible nalvetCi^ 
*"* Ma'am!*' The lady repeats her caution to him. Another awful 
pause ensues, but it is of short duration; the light of shrewd perception 
suddenly bursts into his upper story, and its vivifying influence be« 
trays itself in the ludicrous but eloquent workings of his counte- 
nance. Presently he lifts up his merry eyes; they meet those of 
JUrs, Sullen — and he reverently withdraws ; but not until, by the 
most varied and significant changes, produced in the funniest set of 
features in the world, he had fiiUy convinced his mistress, solely in 
physiognomical language, that he both took and enjoyed the joke. 
The load and general applailse which followed this coup de maitre 
showed how well it told, but the sensation it occasioned can be but 
faintly imaged by description. For this reason we shall merely al- 
lude to the fiivourite scene between Archer and Scrubs by saving 
that the latter, inspired by ale, convulsed the house with laughter. 
It was as rich a treat of the kind as any in whidh we have ever 
shared.* 

* This excellent description of my husbdaii's performance^ of frrttfr, is a fkitllfal 
portrait of him in the charaeter.>^A. ti. 



49 MEiionfl or 



CHAPTER III. 



Mr. Mathews's second "At Home;" Trip to Paris. — Description of 
that Entertainment — His Farewell address. — Literary Pirates. — Ivy 
Cottage and the Picture Gallery .^Letter from Mr. Poole to Mr. Ma- 
thews : death of Madame Blanchard, the Aeronaot. — Letters from 
Mr. to Mrs. Mathews. — ^Letters from Mr. Poole to Mr. and Mrs. 
Mathews. 

The period destined for a second attempt (no less hazard- 
ous than the first) to keep an audience in attentive good hu- 
mour for nearly four hours by his single exertions, — ^if single 
that can be appropriately called which is made up of so mul- 
tifarious a whole, — had now arrived. Accordingly, on the 
8th of March Mr. Mathews was again " At Home," and re- 
lated his " Trip to Paris,"* with increased reputation, and 
performed a dramatic act, called " La Diligence,"! with equal 
success. 

The following was the announcement: 

The Public are respectfolly informed, that having been abroad, they 
will again find Mr. Mathews "At Home,*' in his old quarters, at the 
Theatre Royal English Opera House, Strand, on Monday next, March 
8th, 1819, when he will have the honour to perform his 

TRIP TO PARIS in their company. 

Part First. — Introduction.r-Poetical Proem.:— Recitation Tours; 

why generally undertaken.^PiccadiIly. — Lady Dory, the Fishmon- 
ger.— Sir Dogberry Dory gone to Paris. — Mr. Gossamer, junior, the 
^ Juvenile Glover. — Mr. Gossamer, senior, gone to Paris.— rEvery body 
gone to Paris. 

Song — Do as other folks do. 
Recitation, — Leaders and Followers of Fashion. — ^Low Life or Vul> 
garity ; what is it? and where does it exist? 

Song — Parts is the orUy place. 

• By Mr. Poole* f By Mr. James Smith. 



CHARI.es 1IATHSV8. 49 

Reeitatian. — Why Mr. Mathews determined to ga^ Dover Mail.— 
Digression on Sleep (not long enough to provoke it.)— Pleasant Tra^ 
veJiing Companions. — A voyage to Calais. 

Bong— Delights of iht Packet, 

Part Second. — Recitation, — Safe Landed. — Jabber.— Surprise. — A 
French Commissionaire. — Wonder. — Extraordinary Talent of French 
Children. — Astonishment! a French Diligence.— Bathos : French Post- 
ing. — Orthoepical Persecution; or poor Mr. Rogers and Monsieur 
Denise. — French Capital. — Meurice*s Hotel. — Hiring a Valct-de-Place. 
— ^Anglo-Gallo- Hibernian. — Tuileries Gardens. — English Visiters. — 
Crowds of Cockneys. — Characters. — Craniology. — Mnemonics. — Phy- 
siognomy. — Mnemonics unexplained by Mr. Minikin. — Physiognomy 
ill explained by the Widow Loquax. — Craniology fully explained by 
Song — Lumps and Bumps. 

Recitation, — The Catacombs. — Lecture on Craniology, by the re- 
nowned Doctor Von Dunderdronk Von Hoaxburg Von PuzzledorfT- Von 
Chottsehem. — Return to ihe Hotel. 

Song — A Day at Mturice^s, 

Part Third. — Recitation. — Visit to the Th^Atre Fran9ois. — Hamlet 
in Paris. — The Boulevards. — A Character. — Mundungus Trist. — Mise- 
ries. — More Miseries. 

Song — Heads for a Quarto; or, the Pains of Pleasuring. 

Recitation.-^Tho Scotch Lady. — An old Acquaintance. — Short Story 
about Something. — French Handbill in French English. — Lecture 
on England and the English Language, by Mons, Charles Guillaume- 
Denise. — De Charlatanville. 

Song — The Departure; or. Now Farewell to Paris Revels. 

Part Fourth. — A Mono-poly-loguc Descriptive of LA DILI*- 
GENCE.. Diligencioi Personal 

Jjemmy,an English Boots at the foreign ? n* lur *u i 
offii(averyoldacquaintance.») J Mr. Mathews! 

Monsieur Peremptoire^a travelling Tutor, Mr. Mathews! ! 

Master Tommy Tarragon, his Infant ? n* tdt *i- i • i 
Pupil, a » Fox et prlterea nihil- ] ^'- ^^^^^^« ' ' ' 

Samuel Starch, Esq., " a tailor made him," Mr. Mathews ! ! ! ! 

Hezekiah Hulk, a great Attorney of St«e ) ^^^ Mathews ! ! ! ! ! 

Miss Evelina Evergreen, an old Maid, Mr. Mathews !!!!!! 

'^Fren'Jr&onr"':' *^"":' 'JMnMathe......... 

The Songs will.be accompanied on the Piano Forte by Mr. Knights 

I insert here a few of the contemporary criticisms on this 
performance. 

Mr. Mathews yesterday evening recommenced his career of mirth f 
and, since the "Tea" of Foote, the "Coffee" of Woodward, and the 

• Namely, the "Boots" in "Killinif no Murder/' and one of the cliaracters in^ 
ii^daced in tbe Harlowe Pidiire.— A. M. 



44 MEMOIRS OF 

«* Sans Souci " of Dibdin, nothing h&B ever so forcibly arrested public 
attention. Though tlie partitions which commonly enclose the pit 
were removed, the orchestra >cleared oat, and three rows of spectators 
accommodated in the space usually given to the musicians, before the 
curtain rose, the word "Full" was posted at the avenues of the thea- 
tre, and every part of the house crowded to an overflow. The stag^e 
presented the same simple apparatus of a table and a piano-forte; and 
with these for all his auxiliaries, this able actor was to go through an 
exertion of four hours* dialogue, disguise, and song. He commenced 
with a brief poetical address, and ranged on through the usual reasons, 
wise and absurd, for making tours. At Abbeville he mepts with an 
unfortunate countryman, " poor Mr. Rogers," who is returning to Eng- 
land, under a medical prescription to avoid the slightest irritation of 
his nerves ; and who is accompanied thus far by his friend Monsieur 
Denise, who torments him to death by correcting his pronunciation of 
the French tongue. Taking an affectionate leave of his orthoepical 
persecutor, who is to retrace his way to Paris by the coach at three 
o^clock in the morning, the exhausted and forgiving Englishman re- 
tires to bed^n the same room with Mathews. Between two and three 
in the morning the latter is aroused by a loud knocking, and i|;iquiring^ 
what is wanted, is answered, »* Not you — do not take the trouble to 
awake — I want my friend Monsieur Rogers — and have woke seven 
gentlemen already, one of which is not him?** It is the accurate 
Denise, who cannot depart till he has disturbed the slumbers of the poor 
invalid, to set him right in his last words on the preceding evening — 
" Adieu Denise" which he unfortunately pronounced ** Adjew Den- 
nis:' 

St. Denis is so called from its patron, who walked thither from Paris 
after decapitation, with his head under his arm — a feat not so mar. 
vellous, as "the distance is only five miles, and the road excellent!** 

At the capital, at the entrance into which a description is given, 
combining much force and truth, with whimsical remark, our tourist 
resides at Meurice*s hotel, which is quite an English colony. Here 
he hires an Irish valetide-place, and becomes intimate, pro tempore, 
with his fellow-lodgers, Mr. Daniel Dowgate, Mrs. Loquaz, Mr. Mar« 
maduke Minikin, &c* These are his companions to see the lions f 
and their various characters, remarks, and adventures fill up the se« 
cond and third parts. In Mr. Dowgate we recognised an admirable 
imitation of a well-known character in the festive circles in London, 
with whom we were acquainted ; and his many friends will, without ■ 
displeasure, see the amusing eccentricities of the respectable Mr. James 
Whittle, of Fleet-street, His John Bull-ism, his " classical ** phrase* 
ology, his " catch the idea,'* and other by-words — his look, voice, and 
action, and even way of thinking — are all executed with surprising 
felicity. From this specimen we should presume that all the other 
characters are drawn from individual life, were we not convinced of it 
by the truth of the inditiduality of the portraiture. 

Among the Parisian scenes, we can only designate a few of the most 
striking: — A visit to the catacombs, and a lecture on craniology by a 
professor with a long German name — pro Spurzheim ; a day at Mau- 
rice's; a humorous song, with comic recitations, in Mr. Mathews'if 
best style ; a visit to the theatre, and burlesque imitations of Talma*s 
Hamlet ; the Boulevards, and a rencounter with a sad traveller, Mfr 
Mundungus Trist, whom every thing afflicts (*^ very annoying^ 6ul to if 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 49^ 

»,") whq cannot even be sick at sea as he wishes, like other people ; 
who is full of tribulation, and, among^ the rest, has " to go home to his 
wife, — very annoying, but so it is." Sir John and Lady Munchaasen. 
The old Scotch woman in Paris, with a good story of her husband tell- 
ing" •* his worthy coadjutor M aister Henry," who wished he was dry, 
when "dreeping wi' wet" from the rain, on his way to preach, to 
"" S^^S ^^ ^^^ pupit, for he would be dry enough there.** And, finally, 
a lecture on England and the English language, by Mons. Denise. 
This lecture is a droll satire upon the herd of French tourists in Eng- 
land, Hke whom, Mons. Denise, who had been a prisoner of war, at 
Portsmouth, is fond of drawing general conclusions from particular 
facts; in which his want of knowledge of our language, causes him to 
make confounded mistakes. For example, one branch of hii* discourse 
is, that "all the people of England are boxeur$.** " When I look from 
my littel vindo in de prison at Portsmout, I see de ladies box, and de 
gentlemans box, and sometimes de ladies and gentlemens box the one 

wis de oder. Den I read in de paper dat the Duchess of B -, the 

Earl of C , Lady G , and Lord F , all go to box at de Ope- 
ra. Wen de man is tried for any crime, de witness box — and if he be 
found guilty, the jury box. One day every body box — it is Crissmas 
day — the washnien, de beadles,' de shursh wardens — ^the constables and 
all de parish box, one house after anoder. So you see the English are 
a nation of Boxeurs." Our countrywoman, Mrs. Loquax, blunders in 
the same way; for she visits a lady who has a sore-eye (soiree) every 
Monday evening — which Dowgate advises to be well washed with rose-* 
water every Tuesday morning. 

In the fourth part we have the Paris Diligence, in which eight cha- 
racters are well supported by this single actor. It is an amazing ef^ 
fort, and, we imagine, unexampled, as a piece of mimicry. 



Mr. Mathews, as usual, contrived to keep the audience in continual 
laughter throughout the evening — a period of almost four hours. He 
is, indeed, " a fellow of infinite jest.'* His present performance, "A • 
Trip to Paris," is a humorous, but rather severe, satire on the rage of 
the English for visiting the French capital ; and he caricatures them 
very whimsically, carrying his audience wHh him through a se- 
ries of the most ludicrous scenes, and introducing them to an almost 
endless variety of characters. Afler his introductory address, a very 
piquant poetical piV)em, be commences a dissertation on tours and 
tourists generally, and describes his own reasons for becoming a tour- 
ist, that he found all the world going to Paris, and so he resolves to ** Do 
as other folks do." He then digresses rather into a disquisition of 
fashion and its followers ; and accounts for the decline of Margate^ 
Ramsgate, Brighton, Cheltenham, and Harrowgate,as places of fashion- 
able resort, by their becoming too fashionable; and prophesies the 
downfal of Paris from the same cause. A philosophical disquisition 
on low life or vulgarity follows, in which he proves and illustrates that 
no class of persons are so low but they will still look down upon some, 
body as beneath them. At length he sets out for Paris in the Dovei 
mail, and describes his travelling companions, his arrival at Dover, 
custom-house adventures, &c., till he embarks. Then follows ^' The 



46 MSMOIRS OF 

Delights of the Packet^*^ in a eonfr intermixed with recitation, abso- 
lutely overflowing^ with humour. His personification of an elderly re- 
spectable sort of gentleman, very sea^sick — and very much ashamed 
of being so — was. ludicrous in the extreme, and set the house "on a 
roar " at almost every word. 

The Second Part commences with their safe arrival at Calais, and a 
description of the various and minute grades of the French commis- 
lionairest even to as low as a little errand-boy. The journey to Paris 
furnishes matter for much ludicrous description, and the capitaf itself 
especiallj^ the English visiters there, supplies him with an almost inex- 
haustible fund of humour. 

After a variety of adventures at the Tuileries, the Boulevards, the 
Palais Royal, a visit to La Belle Limonadi^re at the Caf^ des Milles 
Colonnes; after listening to a learned lecture on craniology, in the Ca- 
*(acombs, by Dr. Von Donderdronk Von Hnaxburg; visiting the thea. 
tres, and seeing the French Hamlet; being introduced to his favourite 
Old Scotch Lady, d&c, he prepares for his departure from Paris, and 
' his return to England. 

The last scene is the " Bureau des Diligences.** And here he per- 
formed the whole propria persona of such a place, almost at one and 
the same time, with inimitable drollery — Jemmy, an English ** boots;*' 
a Travelling Tutor; his Infant Pupil; a Dandy; an Invisible Ostler; 
a Great Attorney of Size Lane; an Old Maid; and a French Postilion, 
In all these discordant characters he was completely at home, and con. 
trived by the rapidity of his motions, and his distinct variations of 
speech, to make it appear as if they were all present at once. Eventu- 
ally, he seated them all in the Diligence; and it drove oft* the stage, the 
travellers singing a " Grand Finale,** and making their adieus to the 
audience as they pass. 

A more highly .finished and amusing picture of life has never been 
exhibited. We cannot part from it without again particularizing that 
richest of all humorous personations, the Old Scotch Lady — it is per- 
fectly unequalled in point of originality and whim; our sides still ache 
with the remembrance of the exclamation, *^ Vary wet, indeed !** in her 
description of the "dripping day.** Amongst the " After -thoughts, or 
Additions to early Performances," is the accidental fall of Miss Ever- 
green's basket, containing her puppy-wuzzy. Here Mathews's imita- 
tion of a yelping cur i^ so ludicrously natural as to heighten, if possi- 
ble, our astonishment at the faculty with which he is endowed. 



Mr. Mathews closed his " At Home*' on Saturday, the 5th of June, 
after a most splendid and successful season, on which occasion, he 
spoke the following Farewell Address : 

Ladies and Gentlemen, — The longest journey must have an end, and 
the pleasanter our progress on the road, the more painful is the part- 
ing with our fellow-travellers. Such is my feeling at this moment, 
when, after travelling forty nights to and from Paris, in your com- 
pany, the hour has at length arrived, when I must reluctantly bid you 
farewell. 

If I may be allowed to judge of the cordial smiles with which my 
labours have been cheered throughout, I may venture to hope that you 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 47 

participate in thia feeling; and, I ahall therefore aolaoe myself, daring 
the interval of separation from my indulgent friends, with the pleasing 
task of preparing to receive them ** At Home" again next season, with 
new matter for their entertainment. 

To this end, I shall study new characters, and aim at new persona- 
tions; not with an unworthy view to outrage private feelings, by hold- 
ing up personal defects to ridicule, but with the more useihl, and at the 
same time, less offensive object, of showing how easily peculiarities 
become disagreeable if suffered to grow into habits; and how frequently 
habits, if so indulged in, may become ridiculous. 

Such, with all humility, I consider to be the. fair game of what is 
attempted to be degraded by the name of mimicry. It is that in the 
^^ysical world which satire is in the moral; and if the work of a ag- 
tirist of manners be not degraded by the appellation of a lampoon, I 
know not why the exhibition of an imitator of manner should be classed 
with the mere grimaces of a buffoon. 

I have thought it necessary to say thus much in defence of that 
which I consider as the very soul of the profession of an actor— tirtt- 
tation ; for no one, I presume, will deny, that Shakspeare would have 
written in vain (so far as applies to stage representation) had actors at- 
tempted to play Othello with a fair face, or Richard the Third without 
a hump. 

Thus, it appears, there are cases in which even personal deformities 
and defects may become proper subjects of satire. Such as the de« 
crepitude of tige affecting the follies and gay frivolities of youth; the 
rich and antiqdated one-eyed lover, ogling the young and beautiful 
victim of an odious passion ; or a youthful coxcomb, with bandy legs, 
obtruding his pitiable deformity on your notice, by exhibiting his other, 
wise pretty person in a quadrille. Such, in endless variety, are the 
fair and allowed objects uf imitative satire. Still, I may perhaps be 
acquitted from any charge of vanity, when I assert, that even in such 
cases, a more than ordinary accuracy of observation is necessary to hit 
off successfully those nice distinctions of character, and manner, which 
form the wide difference between a correct portrait and a vulgar cari- 
cature; and if I have succeeded, or can succeed (by holding the mir- 
ror up to Nature, and showing Folly her own image, and Vico its own 
deformity) (in correcting any one of a foolish habit, or an ofiensive . 
peculiarity ; and, above all, in affording the public a few hours of harm- 
less mirth, I think my labours amply rewarded, and that my life has 
not been altogether passed, or my humble talents exerted, without some 
degree of usefulness. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, — It now remains for mc to offer my grateful 
acknowledgments for the liberal, indeed splendid patronage I have re- 
ceived. So greatly has that patronage exceeded my hopes, that I have 
to boast this season of having been honoured by the presence of some 
thousands of visiters more than attended me last year; and it is this 
unlooked-for increase of public favour that not only encourages a hope 
for the future, but stimulates every exertion of which I am capable, to 
merit, if possible, a continuance of yoor vahiable, and believe me, ever 
and highly valued kindness. 

From the first year's << At Home " it was discovered that 
spurious editions of ^ perfoimaiices were sold at the doors 



48 MEMOIRS OF 

of the theatre; and Mr. Mathews was annoyed by seeing 
them in various parts of the theatre occasionally referred to 
by the persons thus imposed upon. As the whole of the pre- 
tended Entertainment was made up of the most contemptible 
trash that could be conceived, he had the mortification of 
hearing of it where the real performance was never heard ; 
and frequently when on the stage he would find himself inter- 
iTipted in a song by persons turning over the leaves of these 
books in order to trace in the words before them, something 
resembling what they listened to. It was in vain that a no- 
tice appeared nightly in the bills, warning the visiters of the 
theatre, that no printed edition of the Entertainments was 
genuine; people did not read this warning, and the nuisance 
continued. At last, grown bold by impunity, on the occasion 
of the " Trip to Paris," these pirates ventured to take down, 
in short-hand, some of the real matter. This afibrded a tan- 
gible opportunity for stopping their proceedings; and Mr. 
Mathews, in order to give publicity to the fact he had so often 
wished to impress, namely, that he never had, nor ever would, 
print his ** At Homes," applied for 'an injunction to stop the 
sale of the pirated edition, which he obtained, and which was 
thus announced in the newspapers. 

On Saturday an injunction was obtained by Mr. Mathews, in the 
Vice-Chancellor's Court, to restrain John Duncombe, and Dean and 
Munday, fronj selling any more copies of two works, purporting to be 
parts of »* The Trip to Paris'* (written expressly for him by Mr. James 
Smith and Mr. John Poole,) as delivered by him at the English Opera 
House. 

In May we took possession of Ivy Cottage, which Mr. 
Mathews had purchased on a lease of ninety-nine years; a 
term which gave him time to look forward to much enjoy- 
ment of it. We found it scarcely finished, and the grounds 
Unformed. A space near it was found for the addition of the 
Picture Gallery, which was immediately planned and begun, 
and the shrubberies, lawn, and flower-garden laid out. 

About this period, Charles declared his predilection for ar- 
chitecture. So earnest was he in his desire to make it his 
profession, that, after a great struggle, his father gave up his 
favourite wish of placing him in the church; and as it was 
necessary, under this change of plan, that the boy should im- 
mediately begin his preparatory studies, the idea of college, 
where Mr. Richardson had declared that he would acquire 
distinction, was relinquished, and an agreement entered into 
with Mr. Pugin, the architectural draughtsman (and the once 



CHARLBd M ATHBWS. 49 

9eej^ ptnnter in Wales, when Mr, Nash and Mr. Mathews 
acted together,) to take the young artist for four years. 

From this gentleman's design the Theatrical Picture Gal- 
lery was now completed; and no sooner had its owner formed 
ibis new tie to the spot, where, to him, happiness alone ex- 
isted, than the very expense of maintaining it required his re- 
signation of its pleasures, and his duty compelled his absence 
from it. Therefore, after he had satisfactorily placed his son 
in the only profession for which he had ever manifested an 
inclination, Mr. Mathews once more left home, in pursuit 
of that bane of human life, and antidote to some of its cares, 
—money. The large sums recentiy expended in raising the 
building I have mentioned, and in a premium to Mr. Pugin, 
on Charles's account, rendered present exertions imperiously 
necessary to make up, in some measure, so considerable an 
outlay, in addition to the original purchase and furniture of 
the cottage, no mean amount in itself. Charles now began 
bis architectural studies, in fartherance of which he accompa* 
nied Mr. Pugin to Paris. 



TO CHARLES MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Paris, July 6, 1819. 
Mt osar Mathews, 

I wish I could find some better way of accountingr to myself for your 
long and extraordinary silence than that of attributing it to an old re* 
fage in similar distresses — " want of time.** 

I will admit that planting your own cabbages and cutting your own 
sallads is, after your long residence in a smoky city, an enticing oc- 
cupation for you, and allow it all the charms and all the power of no* 
velty. Yet rainy days are uncongenial with rural pleasures ; and our 
climate must have undergone a considerable change fur the better, if in 
the course of tvvo long months there has not been a wet half hour, 
when you might have amused yourself with a pen and paper. 

A dreadful accident has occurred here, which I saw and heard from 
my window. Madame Blanchard ascended from Tivoli in a balloon 
the night before last; it was illuminated, and she carried fireworks 
with her. Soon after rising, she entered a cloud, and was lost to the 
sight during several seconds. On reappearing she let off some of the 
fire-works, and shortly aflcr I perceived a stream of fire issuing from 
the lower part of the balloon. In an instant it was in flames, and she 
fell, with a terrible rapidity, from a great height-— still in her car,— > 
struck with a frightful crush on the roof of a house just opposite my 
window, and thence rebounded into the street. I need scarcely add 
that the poor creature was taken up dead. It is said that she held 
VOL. 1.— 6 



90 MBMOZRS OF 

with such force to the frame*work of her car that several of her arteries 
hadZsnapt through the effort. She was buried yesterday. I cannot get rid 
of the recollection of what I saw and what 1 felt at the moment, know- 
ing as I did it was beyond all human power to save her. 

How is Mrs< Mathews? Is she amusing herself? Tell her I wish 
that the place may afford her all the happiness she deserves. This i& 
wishing her a great deal, and perhaps something more than may rea. 
sonably be expected of any place in the world. As for you, ail 1 wish 
about you is that yoa would come to Paris. 

Remember me to young Sir Christopher Wren, and believe me 
ever 

Sincerely yours^ 

J. POOLB, 



TO MRS. MATHEWS, 

York, Aug, 1, 1819, 
I arrived here last night safe and sound. Doncaster produced me 
sixty pounds and an excellent audience — all joyous, good, and right. 
Here, you are aware, I am to act " wi' t* company " and stay till to- 
morrow week. With the Belcombes to-day, who desire all sorts of 
love. Tommy Myers is alive and well also.* 

Robins*s letter I think is very satisfactory, and as that poor devil 
Thompson very apparently had no money, 1 am glad he is not incar- 
cerated on my accountf 

• I wish I could give you a better account of my tongue ; but the fact 
is, I believe, that it is my work, and that only, that can account for 
its state ; and, as my health is excellent in the midst of my fag, it is 
the most reasonable conclusion.t 

Dr. B- ^n has found out that he could have cured me, if I had re- 
mained in town. He expressly said he had no practice in similar cases 
but leeches ; he would try them three times, and if they failed he can- 
didly confessed he had nothing else to try ; that it could not be con- 
nected with the constitution with so healthy a man ; that all inward 
medicines and lotions were useless. Now he has discovered, by his let- 
ter to Adolphus, that it is connected with the constitution, and has pre- 
scribed a pill, and a lotion for the tongue, and sends another message 
by Betty§ about powders, which he never mentioned— which will pro- 
duce no effect upon me at all. 

C. Mathews. 

• One of the idiotg before described. 
*j^ Mr. Thompson, the " gentleman " who in 1814 robbed him of his cottaire. &c* 
He had been placed " in durance vile " by some other creditor. Mr. Mathews's 
men of business, in his absence, had discovered this, and purposed to Jteeo him 
there, by enforcing his claim; but it was through Ufe a principle with my husband 
never to imprison any debtor. But for this he might have manned a l\We Meet 
Ik- K .k^" ^*'** persons who now walk free and forgetful of the friendship of 
which they were unworthy.— A. M. ' *^ 

i In my account of the effects of this complaint, I have omitted to say that oc- 
casionally, after a great deal of talking, his tongue would swell in a most extraor- 
dinary and alarming manner.— A. M. 

§ Henry West Betty, the ones celebrated <* young Koscius.*'— A, M. 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 51 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 



York, August 14th, 1819. 

Hy tongue has been so bad since I came here — I fancy with the 
lieat, and with the exertion of acting sit nights in the week (which I 
w^ill not do again,) that I have applied to Dr. Belcombe. He is de- 
cidedly of opinion that it is not connected with the constitution, but lo- 
•caL I am now under his treatment, and am using a sort of liquid caus- 
tic, which plates the tongue in a case. It is very painful, and similar 
in its effects to Astley Cooper's applications ; but he is so very' confi- 
4lent of success that I heed not the pain. 

This is the race-week, and the town what the people call empty— no 
families — no lodgings taken. All the people we know are alive and 
-well. On Thursday last John Wilkinson came and asked me to dine 
-with Mrs. Townend. There I met a party all turned seventy (some 
eighty,) excepting myself and Mrs. Townend. Old Mrs. Wilkinson 
was there, looking very hearty; turned eighty. Your health was 
•drunk with great applause. 

C. Matrkws. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Leeds, August 19th, 1819, 

On Sunday I stopped half way on my road to dine with Mr. Fox, to 
whom I was introduced on Saturday on the grand stand at York, by 
Mr. Lambton, M. P. for Durham.* You will recollect how nobly he 
behaved to me at Newcastle. He was consistent here, for I was re- 
ceived (thanks, no doubt, to a friendly hint from him) in the same de- 
lightful manner; delightful from its rarity, for there was not even a 
coqueting hint given all day for ^ tumbling *'t — a small family party 
of six; and yesterday I was sent off in a tilbury to " bouny Leeds;" 
for I stopped at Bramham Park, and sent ** Daw*' on with the carriage. 
As far as we have gone he has proved himself by far the most efficient 
man of business I have had. I got here yesterday at two, and found 
everything quite ready for performance ; and this is no small matter, 
considering the labour of erecting the " Diligence,*' and setting appro- 
priate scenery, which George cannot possibly do without at least one 
labourer ; but Daw doff's coat and goes to work like a carpenter ; he 
has no pride. He is as active and clever at the doors as if he had been 
bred to the trade ; in short, from the time I came into Leeds yesterday 

• Now Lord Durham.— A. M. 

t Captain Ashe (a celebrated amateur actor, and companionable man) used, 
when be found himself pressed to amuse in society in any extraordinary way. to 
call it ** tumbling " (t. «. being made a mountebank ) Dining, for the firat time, 
with my husband, soon after his engagement in London, at a party where a strong 
desire was hinted that Mr. Mathews would sing a song. Captain Ashe whispered 
him, in his awful, deep-toned voice: "My good sir, donH you see what they 
mean ? the brutes want yoa to tumble for their amusement.^A. M. 



52 MEMomi o> 

up to the present hour I have literally not spoken to a creature about 
the theatre, nor had occasion. 

A whimsical Bquivoque scene took place on Sunday night. I told 
Daw that the keys of the theatre were in possession of Smith, an im- 
pudent sort of Cracky* opposite the stage-door, whom you may recol- 
lect. An 0^ friend of mine, and a very gentlemanly man, a Leeds 
merchant, called on, me, and saw Daw;—" My name is Smitli." — **Oh» 
• you are the very man I wanted to see. Now, the first thing you do. 
Smith, be sure you go to the music-hall, and get mc some branches for 
candles," &c. You may imagine the rest, particularly, as I had told 
him, Smith was an impudent S)rward fellow, but very useful if kept at 
a proper distance. 

**I dined" (Jack Johnstone — hem!) on Thursday at the barracks at 
York, on the invitation of Captain Chatterton, to whom Jones intro- 
duced me, and was not asked to sing! The officers had dressed up a 
monkey in the full dress of the regiment; and he was brought in after 
dinner, and placed upon the table, and drank a glass of wine, bowiogf 
all around. I laughed myself nearly into fits. You may easily ima- 
gine the odd effect, with the complete dress (which cost three gumeas.) 
When the tail was hid, it was a miniature officer. An Irishman pre- 
sent said, "Colonel Ross brings him upota the table every da^, and if 
you don't immediately give him something to eat, he will throw it at 
you.** The colonePs servant, a real Dermot, seeing the sun shining' 
powerfully in my face, said, " Sirr^ if you plaise, does the sun diBoblige 
you? If he does, I'll be after putting him out of the room." 

I am just going to pastoralizo with Daw to Kirksdale; to crawl along* 
by the canal, and take a quiet chop there, which will oblige my tongue, 
and suit my disposition, for I hate "dining out" this hot weather, and 
to be imprisoned with people who won't walk in the evenings. Oh, 
how I sigh after my cottage, and you! But I am cheered in my fag 
with the prospect of the time when I shall have no occasion to quit it 
again. That I may live to realize that hope, and that you may be pre- 
served to me to share the comfort,, is the sincere wish, and nightly 
prayer of, my dearest wife, your affectionate 

C. Mathews. 

In September, Charles relieved his father's mind by his re- ' 
turn from Paris, bearing with him two letters, one for Mr. 
Mathews and another to myself, from Mr. Poole. I insert 
both, as the latter is an amusing specimen of that writer's fa- 
cetious style. 



* ** Crack," the name of an eccentric character in the Farce of ** The Turnpike 
Gate.— A. M. 



<)aAlLB8 HaYHSWS. 68 



TO CHARLES MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Paris, Sep. 3rd, 1819, 
Galignani's Library, 18, Rue Vivlennei 
Mr DEAR Mathews, 

Did you ever receive a letter from me, dated May 13th, and sent, un- 
der cover, to Miller? If you did not, we are both' right, and there is 
as much justice in your long-winded reply as in my " long-winded re- 
proach.*' If you did, I have the blessing of having the larger share of 
right on my side; but as the adjustment of the proportions of it is a 
thing of no very material importance, we may as well throw up the 
question. 

I was greatly surprised at finding the card of " Mr. C. J. Mathews" 
lying for me at Galigndni^s. and, with all my respect and regard for 
" my sincere friend," I must confess I was disappointed.* The ♦• C. J.'* 
did not strike me at first; and instead of '*Mathews^/s,*' I expected to 
find ** Mathews, pere** or botli ; and so near coming, as I find you were, 
and so pleasant as you might have made your trip, having all your own 
way, doing as you pleased, staying up as late as ever you could : order* 
ing your own dinner ; in short, being your own master,, and mine too, 
in a lawful way. It is exceedingly tiggravoking, as a Frenchman here 
said, who was puzzled between aggravating and provoking. Yet, af- 
ter all, I was pleased to see Charles, who, by the way, is grown ama- 
zingly, and will be a prodigiously tall man. He is already nearly as 
tall as I am ; and I must mend my pace^ It happened rather unluckily, 
that shortly after Charles's arrival, I was engaged to spend eight or 
ten days with a family in the country, which prevented my having so 
much of his company as 1 otherwise should have had. Besides that, 
he has taken up his residence in the Fauxbourg St. Germaine, at an 
immeasurable distance from me. As for Mr« Pugin, I like the speci- 
men I have had of him ; but, unfortunately, we called two or three 
times on each other, and just at the times when we happened to be out 
I have nothing new to write you about Paris, every thing remaining 
as you led it. The only remarkable change that has occurred, is, that 
the gay people have taken it into their heads to jump out of garret 
windows, and that, where the houses are several stories high, is no 
joke. Two instances of this kind lately occurred on the same day, 
and within a few paces of each other. They were both women; and 
one of them went with her infant tied round her waist. Another wo- 
man has, within the last week, performed the snme experiment, which^ 
though death to the others, has merely cost her both her legs, which 
were immediately cut off. Charles will tell you all about the Fdte St. 
Louis, and something about the present exhibition at the Louvre, 
which is a very imposing one. Upon the whole, ** my impression " is, 
that at portrait, landscape, and some xlepartments of sculpture, we beat 
them out of the field; in the Wilkie style too, of domestic life. In 
miniature, we are about equal; but on objects of general history wc 
have no chance at competition with them. Our Royal Academy might, 
perhaps, produce a picture equal to their best, but historical painting 
is here the fashion, as portrait-painting is with us; and where such is 

* Charles, when a child, used to write letters to Mr. Poele, and sign himself 
his ** siscere friend/'— A. M. 

6* 



54 MBMOIRS OF 

the case, where many artists* ambition is to produce «, greeit picture ; 
where praise rather than gain is his object; where success will give 
him a rank in society, as it certainly will here, though his picture may 
not produce him four groats, it is clear, a general superiority over us 
in that department must be maintained. 

Anotlier interesting* part of the exhibition, is the result of French 
industry, a collection of every article imaginable, /whether of utility or 
ornament. Here, I think, we could equal, or even excel them, in a 
general exhibition (excepting the Gobelins* tapestry, the Ane carpets, 
and the Tours porcelain, painted papier, and bronze and gilt orna- 
ments;) but, as we once remarked here, we are too commercial, and 
have no public spirit, where the arts are concerned. Government does 
not care about them; — and, speaking of government, what think you 
of the disturbances in the country? At this distance they have a very 
frightful aspect; nearer, perhaps, they are less terrific. Will Sir F. 
Burdett be beheaded ? or is that letter falsely attributed to him ? There 
is a pretty specimen of vanity to-day in a Paris paper. Sir U. Wilson's 
letter to his constituents, dated 27th August, is printed to-day, in 
French, here. It is impossible this could have been copied in tlie 
way of news from an English paper, so that he has translated it, and 
printed it here himself, where it can be of no earthly use, but to grati- 
fy his own vanity. Adieu! Ever sincerely yours. 



To Charles Mathews, Esq. 



J. Pools. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 
{WiU be presented by Master C, J, Mathews.) 

Mt dbar Fkibkr, Paris, Sept. Srd, 1819. 

This letter will be delivered to you by a young gentleman for whom 
I have a considerable regard; and, as it is likely he will reside some 
time in England, you will much oblige me by showing him any little 
attention in your power. 1 do not wish that you should put yourself 
to the slightest inconvenience on his account; but merely allow him to 
make your house his home, and supply him with every necessary of 
life. That you will allow him bed and board in your house is a thing 
of course, and the only little extra civility I request of you is, that you 
will furnish him with clothes and linen, and just be at the trouble of 
seeing from time to time that they are in good order, and of providing 
him with the necessary changes and repairs when they are not. I 
need not request you to pay for his teaching — ^your good nature and 
politeness will naturSLlIy prompt you to do this; and as to the allowance 
of a certain sum weekly or monthly, as pocket money, I must remain 
entirely silent, convinced as I am that your consideration for me will 
be your best guide as to what is proper in this latter respect, f must, 
however, observe that he is a young gentleman of sober and discreet 
habits; and that a hundred or so a year will be nearly as much as he 
can have occasion for during the first two or three years of his visit to 



CHARLES ITATHEWS. 55 

yoa. If, however, you are of a different opinion, and think this insuf* 
ficient, [ trust to the friendship that exists between us that you will 
not use the least ceremony, and increase it according to your own no- 
tions of what is best. He is intended to pursue the profession of an 
architect, and is for that purpose placed under the guidance of a g^n* 
tleman eniinent in the art. My friend Mathews, who has now and then 
a leistire half-hour at his disposal, will do me the favour to devote it ta 
the examination of my young friend's prog^ess^ and I am sure he will 
be but too happy to defray any little expense that may be' incurred in 
the course of his studies. Need I hint how much [ shall feel obliged 
if he will also just pay the premium requisite for his introduction into 
the profession? I trust he will not be offended with my mentioning a 
point so sure of being suggested by his own sense of what is due to a 
person thus introduced to him. I would not for the world be trouble- 
some to you; and, though I am anxious this young gentleman should 
meet with a favourable reception at yoilr hands, [ do not require mote 
than that you should treat him in all respects as if he were your own 
son. 

Believe me ever, very sincerely yours. 

T. Pools. 

P. S. By the by he is very" fond of riding; and I know he would be 
delighted if you were to make him a present of a horse. At the same 
time you would be obliging me by keeping it for him in your stable;, 
you know we are sans fagon, therefore I should be much offsmdeb if 
you were even to think of keepi^ig a groom to wait entirely on him. 
He is a young man of the world, and will be perfectly satisfied with the 
attendance of Mathews's, wlienever he may have occasion for him.' 



And now, having sufficiently introduced my "dear friend" to you» 
let me ask you a word about yourself. But it is scarcely necessary r 
Mathews tells me you are perfeclly happy in your new residence; as 
you deserve to be so wherever you are. Mr. Pugin tells me the pic- 
ture gallery is nearly finished. If Hook be still in town, pray remem- 
ber me particularly to him. Do you know that Charles is growing sa- 
tirical? He called on me one day to ask if 1 could tell him where he 
might hire a g^od horse; but he was so serious about it that I can hardly 
think he meant any offence.* He has talked about our going toge- 
ther to choose something for you to wear — here we are, however, at 
the last day before his departure, and we have been no farther than 
outside the shops. I hope you will admire the hat he has bought for 
himself; it is in all respects superior to the utensil with which I hoped 
to astonish all London. 1 was ashamed of the immense hat I was obliged 
to buy in London; but when I came here I found it ridiculously small. 
On the subject of fashion it is interesting to you to know that long 
waists are getting in; and that tliis is ptetty nearly the appearance of 
a French lady's walking dress, a view taken behind; and perhaps you'll 

* Mr. Poole's waat of skill on thi» subject has been described. 



56 MSMOUU OF 

allow that a 'similar one was never taken before. I have omitted eight 
or ten flounces; **the limits of this advertisement'* not allowing for 
mpre than I have given, and you may imagine for certain desperate 
cases about five times more extension of bonnet. It would be iropro* 
per to represent one of those, as they may be considered incurable. 
I never go to the play on account of them — one's only chance is in 
the front row of the upper gallery, because one may see over them. 
No doubt you have observed at Farrance^s a gauze sieve, which serves 
to protect two or three thousand penny tarts against an incursion of 
flies. 1 hate exaggeration, and therefore * my final sketch. 

This, in addition to its nearer approach to truth, is much more highly 
finished — it is mere a work of art, and Charles will think better of it. 
And now, having scribbled long enough to tire you, I will say grood 
b*ye. 
'God bless you, my dear friend. 

Believe me, ever sincerely, 

John Pools. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Leeds, Sept. 6th, 1819. 

I received your letter, enclosing Charles's, to-day. 1 was in Paris« 
or rather in France nearly three weeks. 1 spent about thirty pounds 
fi-om the time I left home, till I returned. We posted (only two of us) 
all the way from London ; and, instead of living cheaper, by being a 
family, they appear to me to have been ridiculously extravagant. How- 
ever, it is too late to complain. I hope Mr, Pugin will not make up 
his mind, when he takes Charles about with him in England, that I 
must pay every bill he chooses to make out. Tbere must be some 
check upon it, or I never can be aware what my expenses are. 

I am quite alarmed about your account of John — and of course must 
conclude, amongst other vices, that he was dishonest, by the word 
»* plunderers.*' I am determined for the future to leave all these things 
to you, who are a better judge of human nature than I am, John 
completely deceived me — he did not you. I confess I soon repented 
having the family, and am glad they are gone; tell me the worst. I 
am sorry to lose his dog more than him, because it was a good guard. 

Don't let the picture room be coloured till a consultation is iield. It 
is a very important point. 

Don't talk of home — you seem to have forgotten Edinburgh, where 
I am engaged for the llth of October. Oh ! how I long to see home I 

I quite delight in your having that faithful creature, Cass, about you 
again. 

My tongue is certainly better. This week that I feared (notwith^^ 
standing two wet nights at Leeds, which did me considerable damage, 
particularly last night, when it poured exactly at ptay-timc,) I have 

* The spaces where the sketches alluded to stood I leave open— these efforts of 
Mr. Poors pen being intended only, as Doctor Prolix would say, ** to make a great 
laugh •( the ttmc.**— A. M. 



CUARLBS MATHSWS. 57 

deared my 1002. BraYo !— Little Halifax, all the pit turned ftto boxet^ 
60/. I have not room to tell jou how well " Daw*' behaved this week« 
— ^he is your recommendation. I will always take your advice. 

C. Mathews. 



CHAPTER IV. 



Mrs. Mathews at Leeds. — The Hoaxer hoaxed: A Yorkshire Manager 
and his Daughter. — Retaliation. — Letter from Mr. Mathews to his 
Wife.— Reception of the " Scotch Lady " in her native City.— Dis- 
tressing Dilemma. — Mr. Mathews^s Performances at Whitehaven.— 
An Escape. — Ryley, the Itinerant. 

Mt husband's propensities for hoaxing, not yet extinct, re- 
ceived a considerable check about this time. He had written 
to me from Leeds, informing me that he should be detained 
there some time, and hinting that it would give him great 
satisfaction if I could prevail upon myeolf to tak« so long a 
journey alone, for the purpose of visiting him, in order to re- 
concile him to a farther absence from home, after the tedious 
one already spent; adding, that he should, in any case, be 
fixed for the next few days at a certain inn, at Leeds. In re- 
ply, I gave him no hope; bnt as soon as the letter was de- 
spatched, I somehow relented. - The notice was brief; but I 
resolved, without writing again, to give him a surprise; in 
pursuance of which, I drove off to town the next morning, 
and secured a place in the mail. 

I had been assured that I should arrive at Leeds about ten 
o'clock, at night; but to my great chagrin, when the coach 
changed horses for the last time, at Wakefield, my remaining 
fellow-traveller* informed me that it was then twelve! Dis- 
pirited with all sorts of vague fears famongst the rest, that 
Mr. Mathews, not being apprized ot my intention, might 
have altered his, plans and left Leeds,) I became very uneasy. 

* Mr. Arbuthnot, of the Treasury, had journeyed part of the way 
with ut. 



58 HBM0III8 OF 

It was past one o'clock when I was deposited, with my 
snuff-box of a trunk and my dressing-case, at the door of the 
inn to which I had directed ray last letter, and at which my 
husband's recent despatch had mentioned his intended stay. 
The doors, as might be expected, wer^ fastened for the night; 
and, after vainly attempting to knock up somebody to a^nit 
me, my conductor bethought him that there was another en- 
trance at the back of the house, and tapping at the door, a 
sleepy porter opened it. Now, for the first moment, I felt 
, all the embarrassment of my situation; and when I was asked 
what I wanted, I hardly knew how to express myself. How- 
ever, I inquired for Mr. Mathews; and, to my very great re- 
lief, found that he was still there — that is, still at Leeds, but 
not at that moment in the house.—** Mr. Mathews was 
gone out to supper." A load was taken from my spirits by 
this removal of my doubts, and this certainty aroused my 
energies anew. The porter offered to call his ** missus," who 
in a few minutes appeared. The moment she looked at me 
her manner became repellingly distant — her eyes severe, as 
they surveyed my disordered and harassed appearance. 

** Who, pray," (without even the courtesy of ** Ma'am,") 
** who, pray do you want?" said the landlady, in a suspicious 
tone. — ** I wish to see Mr. Mathews,*' said I faintly. — ** Oh 
— indeed! — well—- you come at a strange time of night to see 
a gentleman:," resisonably miough observed the landlady. 1 
acknowledged the truth of this; but said I had come from 
London. "Did he know you were coming?" — ** He did 
not," I replied; ** but still I expected to find him here, as it 
was by his wish that I had taken the journey — and in fact — 
I was Mrs. Mathews." This avowal, which I thought would 
settle every thing and end the reserve and disrespect of the 
lady, served only to increase her repulsive manner. '* Oh!" 
cried she ** you are, are you?" I was now overpowered at 
this implied insult, and could not restrain my tears; fatigue 
and agitation wholly unfitted me for farther exertion. This 
emotion found its way partly to the womanly heart of mine 
hostess. ** Well, well, young woman, I can say nothing to all 
this, farther than that Mr. Mathews is gone out to supper 
with some friends — the porter is sitting up for him — and as 
it is near two o'clock, he can't be long; and therefore, if you 
like to sit in his parlour till he comes in, you may— and I 
will call a chambermaid up to remain with you till he re- 
turns." 

I gladly accepted this offer; and ** Betty chambermaid," 
being roused from her rosy slambers, came down in a huffy 



CHARLES MATHSWS. 59 

s<Hrt of humour, and moved about the ** parlour," as if putting 
things to rigiuSf but clearly with the view of seeing what 
sort of lady it was who had appeared at such an unusual hour, 
aad upon such an errand. I really was so worn in body and 
mind, so exhausted in strength and spirits, that I had lost all 
power of self-sustainment. At last, finding it impossible to 
keep my eyes any longer open, I asked to be shown to Mr, 
Mathews's sleeping-room. A^^ter a moment's hesitation, the 
maid ushered me up to, I believe, the highest room in the 
house. There, after unpacking my trank, and undergoing 
the refreshment of soap and water, I somewhat recovered my 
faculties, and, while giving instruction^ to the woman to ap- 
prize Mr. Mathews on his return of my arrival, it suddenly 
occurred to me to ask whether George was gone to bed, re- 
gretting that I hqid not at first inquired for him. The woman 
stared. I repeated my question, adding the word ** servant,*^ 
She said Mr. Mathews had no servant. ** What then," said 
I, with some surprise, " is the carriage gone on?" She did 
not know — she " supposed" (i. e. was sure) "Mr. Matliews 
had no carriage."—'* Oh, then, probably he has left it to 
follow him,/' I reflected audibly. — She ** didn't know." At 
last she placed the night lamp on the chimney-piece, and left 
me. 

In a few minutes afterwards, just as I was stepping into 
bed, she and her mistress (the latter in an undress) dashed 
hastily into the room, both exclaiming — " Stop, stop! you 
can't sleep here! you can't sleep here!" ♦* More affronts!" 
thought I, — ** more mortification!" The matter, however, 
was soon explained. It was true I was in Mr. Mathews's 
room — but not the Mr. Mathews I came to see — but a Mr. 
Mathews! a young traveller for a mercantile house, who "fre- 
quented " this inn, and of whom alone they thought when I 
appeared, — and naturally so, as no other was then domesti- 
cated there! Here was the climax to my " misery" — ^not 
merely the mistake in which I might have been left^ — dread- 
ful to think of — but the positive wretchedness of finding that 
my husband was gone! 

One solace, however, under my distress was afforded me. 
The landlady, now seeing the whole affair in its true light, 
instantly altered her manner, became respectful and kind, and 
explained the whole mystery of her reserve and distrust. The 
young man whom she supposed I inquired after was a knotvn 
b€tchelor*9 and therefore my claim upon him was of course not 
very charitably construed. She proceeded to account too for 
my husband's absence. He had, it seems, waited for a retam 



90 ' nxoiBsov 

of letters from home; and receiving one from me (the one in 
which I had given no hope of a compliance with Ins half- 
request that I would co^e to see him,) had accepted an invi- 
tation to Wakefield for a day or two; and— <as it afterwards 
proved — there saw the last change of horses to the coach 
wherein I was seated half dead with fatigue and anxiety, as 
he stood at the door of the inn where he was to sleep! 

Here was a situation! I was, however, soon removed to 
another room. Upon farther inquiry, the landlady assured 
me that she knew Mr. Mathews was to play at Sheffield 
shortly, and probably had already gone there. She, however, 
recommended me to stop first at Wakefield, which was the 
shorter distance and on the road: undertaking to secure me a 
place in the next day's earliest coach; under which assurance, 
melancholy as I was, I went to sleep, and with some difficulty 
was roused the next morning; but found myself, after I had 
breakfasted, with half an hour upon my hands before the 
coach was expected. 

In the mean time I observed that I was an object of gene- 
ral interest in the house. The escape I had had of surprising 
the young '♦ 7rflt?c//er," had caused great tittering amongst 
the female part of the establishment, and all wanted to see 
what sort of a wife he had missed. 

I was altogether so vexed with these occurrences, and so 
angry in fact at what, in my ill-humour, I caUed the trick I 
had been served by my husband, that I meditated on some 
plan to punish him for it. 

It had been a jest for years between us to quote the name 
of ** Cecilia,^* when any litde compliment or particular atten- 
tion had been paid by a female to my husband; in remem- 
brance of rather an awkward position in which he once found 
himself just before we were married. He had beeii prevailed 
upon, by a brother performer in York, to play at Bradford 
one night, for the benefit of a poor manager with a large fa- 
mily. After the performance, the two York actors invited 
the Benefidaire to sup with them; and he having expressed 
himself anxious to hear the widower's opinion of his youngest 
daughter (clearly the flower of the flock,) who had acted with 
him, Mr. Mathews was induced, from kindness to a father's 
partiality, to say perhaps even more of his daughter's person 
and talents than he felt due to them. This evidently gratified 
the poor manager; who, as he sipped his glass, grew more 
and more elated with the general results of the night, and was 
full of gratitude and exultation. At last, as the liquor gained 
the ascendant, it began to tattle^ and the sepret hopes of the 



CHARLK8 XAtHEWS. 61 

lather could no longer be pent within his bosom; for suddenly be 
slapped the great York actor affectionately and heartily upon 
the back, exclaiming, in tones of the greatest triumph-— << And 
«o, my dear sir, you wish to become my aon-in-law! — ^my lit^ 
tic Cecilia is yours." (!) Mr. Mathews at this was so fright- 
tened, that he actually ran out of the room. Sending for Mr. 
Denman (the person who had induced him to act,) he told 
him that if he did not aid his escape from his determined /a- 
ther4n-laWf and see that he did not seize upon him, and force 
him to marry his daughter before he left the town the next 
day— he'd run away &at night, all the way on foot, to York. 
From that time he neither saw nor heard of his would-be fa- 
ther-in-law; nor his little »* Cecilia,'* 

This story occurred to me, at the moment, as suitable to 
my present purpose; and, though, despairing of disguising my 
hsmd-writing sufficiently to deceive my husband, I made the 
attempt. Addressing him as a newly-made widow, and af- 
fecting to understand that he was also free to make a second 
choice — "the writer, remembering his early attachment 
(communicated to her by her revered father,) had, after sixteen 
years, sought him out, with a view of offering him her heart 
and hand;" — adding the particulars of her arrival at Wake- 
field in search of him; where she was waiting for his decision, 
&c. Signed Cecilia B, (formerly G .) 

This absurd and really clumsy contrivance I had no expec* 
tation could be successful in the least degree; yet I resolved 
to use it as my introduction to my husband, before I appeared 
in his presence, believing he would know from whom it came. 

When I arrived at Wakefield (too early for Mr. Mathews 
to be visible, for his habits were like those of his Leeds name- 
sake,^ I found his man of business already up and writing, in 
the sitting-room of the inn. His surprise at my arriyal^over, 
and the story of my misfortunes related, I told him my in- 
tended jest, and showed him the letter, begging him to take 
it up to Mr. Mathews's room. When he returned, he gave 
me the following account of his progress. 

After knocking at Mr. Mathews's door, and waking him — 
" I have brought you a letter, Mr. Mathews; delivered to me 
by a young lady, who says she has just come all the way 
from London to see you." 

" Good God!" exclaimed Mr. Mathews (starting up in af- 
frightO "something's the matter with my wife!" 

"No, no!" asserted Mr. Adolphus, "No. I ascertained 
that. The young lady says the letter is from herself, and that 
she has not seen you for many years." 

VOL. I — 6 



$Z XEVonts OF 

Here the window curtain was nndrawn for the admissioil 
' of light, and the letter steadily perused. When the fatal 

name of " Cecilui, late G h," met his eye, he exclaimed, 

in a transport of horror, ♦• I won't see her— so go away and 
tell her so. I never heard of any thing so shamefully impu- 
dent in my life! — ^I won't see her." 

"Well; but I can't tell her so," said Mr. Adolphus, "in 
those words: it will seem so ooarse. I assure you she is a 
very pleasing youiig lady." 

" I don't care whati she is. Her coming after me is the 
most impudent thing I ever knew. She is in fact a stranger; 
and has taken a very great liberty with me. In short, 
no power on earth shall induce me to see such a woman; and 
I don't care what she thinks of my refusal. — ^It's the grossest 
conduct I overheard of," &c.; and, in a terrible passion, he 
ordered Mr. Adolphus out of the room, who came down to 
me, laughing. 

" It was surprising! was he indeed deceived? and ray hand 
so ill disguised! Delightful! Well, I think now I'll go up 
and knock at his door myself." 

, This I did; and a sullen silence ensued. At length I at^ 
tempted to enter — the door was locked! In short, he resolved 
to keep it so, till satisfied by Mr. Adolphus that the " obtru^ 
sive woman" was gone. I had much ado to make him be- 
lieve the evidence of his ears, when, in my own voice, I as- 
sured him that I was the actual writer and bearer of the letter; 
and when at length admitted, and I had explained the trick to 
him, his delight was proportioned to his previous alarm. He 
then left me up stairs to change my dress, as he said he ex- 
pected a lady and gentleman to breakfast, to whom he had 
promised seats in his carriage that morning as far as Sheffield; 
and he hurried down to the breakfast room. 

It turned out that he had a motive for his haste. His na- 
tural love of si hoax, and his high spirits at my arrival, in- 
clined him to turn my trick from himself upon others; and 
when Mr. and Mrs. Mansel appeared, he put on a grave face, 
showed them the letter which had so imposed upon himself, 
and, affecting great embarrassment, added that the person was 
at that moment up stairs, preparing to join them at breakfast, 
and that her effroiitei*y Was such that no rebuff Vould have 
any effect. Nay, he should not be surprised, he said, if the 
creature persisted to force herself upon Mns. Mansel, for she 
had declared she would go in his carriage to Sheffield! 

Mrs. Mansel was shocked.—** Was it possible? could there 
be a female so lost to decency as to force herself in such a 



CHARLES MATHBWS. <(| 

manner upon a married man? Good heaven! if Mrs, MaihtWM 
were to hear of it, what a shocking thing it would be/* &c. 

At this moment, unconscious of what was going on, I descend- 
ed, and reached the door of the room, when to my surprise, 
my husband opposed my entrance, holding the door a*jar and 
saying, — *•*• Indeed, ma'am, I cannot allow you to come in; it 
is impossible! Don't you see that I have company? Don't 
you see that a lady is heie?" At all which, taking it for a 
moment^s jest— applied to myself, and not " Cecilia," I 
smiled; and finding him relax in his hold of the door (pur- 
posely for me to seem to have forced an entrance,) I advanced, 
with a courtesy, to Mrs. Mansel, whom I had never before 
seen. To my amazement, this lady sat erect in conscious 
superiority, trying to awe me with her virtuous frowns. I 
knew not how to behave at this; and as her looks still pur- 
sued me in all the relendess severity of her displeasure, I sank 
down upon a chair in tears. This roused Mr. Mansel, who 
had seen me in London, and who had silently humoured Mr. 
Mathews's plot He declared it was time to give up the de- 
ception, turning to Mrs. Mansel, and assuring her that I was 
no other than Mrs. Mathews, and that the whole affair was 
only a jest. This assurance, however, still ferther excited 
Mrs. Mansel, who now suspected that her husband was in 
league with mine, to impose upon her a person whom they 
found it impossible to shake off, and therefore made the best 
of for the occasion. The letter was a sad obstacle in the way 
of their wish to establish my identity; and it was in vain they 
explained. The lady refused to enter the carriage with me; 
and both the gentlemen were in despair how to set me free from 
the dilemma in which this nonsense had involved me. There 
I sat, sobbing at the breakfast-table, Mrs. Mansel refusing to 
approach it, looking daggers at me, and from time to time 
making efforts to leave the room. Her husband had business 
of moment at ShefHeld; and feeling the inconvenience of losing 
the only means of proceeding thither in time, at last grew 
angry. But nothing moved his rigid wife: she would not 
submit to take a seat by the side of " the creature.'* The 
time for the journey had arrived; the carriage at the door, Mr. 
Adolphus and George had been hurried off before the scene 
began^ by the only coach going, in order to make room for 
me and Mrs. Mansel, so that fiieir evidence, unluckily, was 
not available; but both gentlemen pledged themselves to Mrs. 
Mansel that on our arrival at Sheffield she should receive in- 
disputable proof of who I really was. Well, at last she was 
induced, by dint of the anger apd entreaties of her husband, 



64 MEMOIRS or 

to enter the carriage; which would hold only three personff, 
my husband getting upon the box to accommodate Mr. Man- 
(sel, who sat between his wife and myself, looking like Gar- 
rick between tragedy and comedy, not knowing to which to 
lie most civil. It would have been diverting to an indifferent 
witness to observe the suspicious side-long glances of Mrs. 
Mansel, and tossings of the head at me during this journey. 
She had remarkably large eyes, which were on the stretch the 
whole time, and darting haughty disdain upon the person with 
whom she was thus, in a manner, forced to breathe the same 
air; while I sat humiliated and embarrassed; my poor husband 
looking back from his seat very often, with a half-smile, at 
Mrs. Mansel's dignity, and in anxious observance of my mor- 
tification, every now and then stretching his hand out to me, 
and pressing mine encouragingly, an act that never failed to 
raise Mrs. Mansel's ire anew. When we stopped on the 
road for the horses to be refreshed, Mrs. Mansel got out, and 
Mr. Mathews took her place for a few minutes. On her re- 
turn, finding him sitting with his arm round my waist there 
was another struggle on her part to be left behind, and to be 
allowed to wait for a coach; but again she was persuaded to 
endure the contamination of my presence; and the same re- 
pelling looks and obdurate silence were resumed, while my 
tears and sobs continued to distress the gentlemen. Here was 
a good lesson for the hoaxer; and I believe my husband felt 
it such, for he was truly mortified. At last we reached Shef- 
field, and found Mr. Adolphus waiting at the inn door, who 
accosted me as " Mrs. Mathews," and hoped that I had brought 
Cecilia with me; while George took off his hat with a smile 
at seeing his mistress. All this was evidence;' and the hither- 
to relentless lady seized m6 by the hand, led me rapidly into 
the inn, and closing the door, burst into a flood of generous 
and repentant tears, and begged me to forgive her incredulity 
and i^isults. Of course, all this made us very merry when it 
was over; and Mrs. Mansel thought it due to me to be doubly 
fond, in order to pay to Mrs, Mathews the kindness she had 
refused to Cecilia. 

The whole of this visit to my husband was, in fact, very 
dramatic, if I had the power in the relation to do it justice. 
But though it caused much after>merriment, it also sickened 
ray husband for a long while of all kinds of hoaxing; but 
** the snake was scotched, not killed." 

After a sojourn of some days in my favourite county, I took 
leave of my husband, and returned home. 



CHARLES BATHE WS. 65 



TO MRS, MATHEWS 

Newcastle, October 4th, 1819. 

I had 532. at Durham. Part of the Pit laid into the Boxes. Mrs. 
Siddons was there ; and I dined in her company at Dr. Haggit's, Pre- 
bendary of the Cathedral. Count Boruwlaski, dear fellow, was on the 
look-out for me with open arms. He begged I would imitate him; and 
I did; he was in the theatre. I never heard louder shouts. I walked 
about the streets with him yesterday morning, with his hand in minoy 
like a child. We called on Colonel Light, whom we met at Chis- 
holmc's. He was ill. The Count said, it was a pity, for he was ** a 
fine body," and his wife " a sweet body." It is an undoubted fact, that 
the count has lately grown an inch, though eighty-one years of age! 
I measured him years ago: he was certainly only three feet three 
inches. I measured him yesterday, and he was as certainly three ieet 
four. He said ** Oh, I grow ; in five hundred year I am so big as you, 
I will be a grenadier." He told me I was a •♦ wonderful devil." I 
wish you could have seen us walking together, and that*s the long and 
short of it.* 

Durham is a most hospitable place. I returned there on Tuesday, 
and dined, en famille, quite in my own way, with Colonel and Mrs. 
Light. The little Count came in the evening, and a Major " Whati- 
cum.*' They are very agreeable people, after my own heart. I dined 
also with Stephen Kemble, and had a very pleasant day there. I took 
Daw with me, 0n Wednesday, the day of my second performance, I 
dined again with Dr. Haggit. Mrs. Siddons was staying there ; — evi- 
dent symptoms of pleasing at the first visit. I had another instance 
here of the remarkable coincidence we have all of us witnessed, of the 
resemblance which the voice and manner of one person bears to ano*- 
ther. The Doctor's likeness to Mr. Laforest struck me at the first 
sight, but never in my life did I hear one voice so like another. I am 
confident he might pass for him at any city party. Delicious people, 
and no desire for exhibition. Not a ** Jacky Showbeast " among them. 
My two nights here have produced me 157/.! making, since last Satur- 
day, 237L! Beyond the " right reading " again. I hope to hear of 
yon on Sunday morning at Edinburgh, and that you and our dear boy 
are well, for I have been^ cruelly depressed these two or three days, and 
have tortured myself with the usual ingenuity of hypochondria, that 
all has not been well with you. God bless you, and my dear good boy, 
prays 

C. Mathews. 

The next letter give» a very gratifying account of the re- 
ception of the " Scotch Lady " in her native city. 

* Thig charming little creature had long been resident at Durham, where he bad 
a beautiful romantic cottage and grounds, which he called ** Little Poland."— A. ML 



6* 



66 MEMOIRS OF 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 



Edinburgh, Oct. 20tb, 1819. 

I am going on famously here. I gave my Trip on Wednesday- 
It would have done your heart good to hear the roars at the 
»* Scotchwoman ;'* the success of which I rather doubted here, it is 
the greatest hit I ever made any where in that part. Bless their good- 
natured hearts ! It was repeated on Thursday and last night (Fri- 
day.) I netted the last night about 1802. At the words ^* he was a 
vary good-natured body," which I hit happily, they gave me a thun- 
dering round of applause, which swelled into a hurrah, and the cheer- 
ing at the close was delicious. To-morrow my benefit: all the boxes 
taken — the Trip again. My week will give me 300/. 

All the world are here. 'Tis the Musical Festival. I heard a very 
charming concert last night in the theatre — Braham, Miss Stephens, 
Ambrogetti, Begrez, &c., and the instrumental department very perfect 
indeed. 

A curious circumstance: — I received a letter (which I will preserve) 
from a Methodist preacher here, last week» to say he was a pastor of 
a congregation who could not afford to purchase a Bible, and request- 
ing me to make a present of one; and I have done ^o! I made a con- 
dition that the following inscription should be upon it: ** The Gifl of 
Charles Mathews, Comedian," It is finished, and will be announced 
to the Elect next Sunday 1 

Charles Mathews. 



In a subsequent letter he says; 

I enclose you the letter of my Methodist correspondent To-morrow 
my Bible is to be sported in the pulpit, and the congregation informed 
who gave it. 



Dear Sir, 



TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Oct. 12, 1819. 



I hope you will pardon the liberty which I take in writing to you.. 
But the fact is this, I knew your father well, and yourself some years 
ago heard me preach at the Adelphi Chapel, London. I am an En-. 
glishman, and at present supplying a congregation at Leith, most of 
them very poor people. We are in want of a Bible for our pulpit ; and 
if you will have the goodness to present us with one, I should esteem 
it a. singular favour, and as long as I live will bear you in my remem*- 



CHARLES JUATHSWS. 6t 

brance as a gentleman and a humane character : and I am sure my. 
poor friends would esteem it a mark of the greatest kindness. 
I remain, dear Sir, 
Your very humble and obedient Servant, 

Thomas Weston. 
At Mr. Rose's, Syms* Dry Dock, Leith. 

I shall here introduce a brief and unimportant communica- 
tion, only to sl\ow how highly the writer estimated disinte- 
rested social kindness, and how bitterly he felt the discovery 
of any motive for attentions which afterwards resolved them- 
selves into a sinister requisition of the talents that he set apart 
for the public. Whenever he found himself treated with pro- 
per consideration his gratitude exceeded all bounds, his thank- 
fulness became attachment for the person who so sought him, 
and the consequence was sure to be to the advantage of those 
present; for his entertaining qualities were elicited by the very 
certainty he felt that he was not called upon for any particu- 
lar exhibition of them, and would arise naturally, and almost 
without his being conscious of. their, exercise. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Dupplin Castle, Oct. 28th, 1819. 

I have been here at Lord KinnouPs since Saturday aflernoon. He 
is one of the kindest men lever saw, and has no desire for exhibition. 
The first day I was here, on my. former visit, we dined only four alto- 
gether,, and nothing "amusing" was ever hinted at. It is a magnifi- 
cent old house, situated in a most romantic country;— most richly 
wooded, notwithstanding Dr.Johnson^s assertions. The scenery by 
which the house is surrounded has much the character of South Wales. 
I never was at any house where I have been made more at home. 

C. Mathews. 

The following description of a distressing dilemma, which 
occurred to him on the road to Dumfries, is at once a speci- 
men of the great inconvenience Mr. Mathews sometimes en- 
countered, and of the fortitude, which, on every important oc- 
casion, he exhibited. The fretfulness, which, as he observes, 
** the loss of an old slipper" would produce, never appeared 
under misfortunes of a graver cast, — there he was really a 
philosopher. The only occasion that I can remember, under 
which his mental and physica:l faculties forsook him, was in 
the overwhelming remorse he felt at having so rashly destroy- 
ed, by his obligation to Mr. Arnold, all future power to ren- 
der those he loved, independent of the world,. in the event o£ 



MEMOIRS or 



his quitting it before them; an event, which, in the course of 
nature, might be supposed certain — alas! too certain. Let the 
painful drawback to personal exertion by his lameness be re- 
membered, and his determined activity, will add grace to his 
behaviour, under such circumstances as the following: 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Dumfries, Nov. 19th, 1819. 

Did you happen to think of me on Tuesday night, about seven 
oVlock! And did it happen to blow a hurricane at Highgate, as it did 
in Dumfries-shire? If you could by possibility have taken a peep at 
me about that moment, or any one similarly situated who was even in- 
different to you, you must have screamed at the sight. We had pro- 
ceeded from Glasgow to within seven miles of Moffat, where we pro- 
posed to. stay for the night, on our way to this town. There had been 
a deep snow of three hours' continuance, which was succeeded by a 
most tremendous storm of wind and rain. Daw was lulled to sleep, 
and I was thinking of you know who, and enjoying my home in per^ 
Bpective, when I was roused from my reverie by frequent warnings 
from our postillion, as I imagined, to some drivers of carts to keep on 
their own side. Suddenly a tremendous concussion shook me directly 
off my seat, and threw me upon Daw, and in an instant the carriage 
broke down. George literally shrieked ; and, on lifting his head from 
nnder an umbrella, where he had crouched, to protect himself from the 
storm, felt it instantly ascend (not his head ! — the umbrella) with the 
force of the wind, and found himself lying in the road before he could 
account for the cause of his sudden removal. As the body of the car- 
riage lay upon the axle-tree, and the head was up, it was some time 
before we could scramble out. My first thought was to discover the 
cause of our misery; and I sent George after the carts — there were 
about seven or eight without drivers! You may imagine our horrors. 
The concussion was so forcible that the front spring was forced quite 
out of its situation, two yards from the carriage, without being broken. 
Every bolt that attached jt to the axle-tree was completely broken off, 
* and there was, apparently, no possibility of its being moved from the 
spot. We were holding a council, when two men came up to inquire 
the nature of the damage.^ Luckily for myself, perhaps, I was not 
aware that they were two of the scoundrels belonging to tlie carts, who 
had been drinking whisky at a toll-bar about three hundred yards far- 
ther on. They pronounced that the carriage could not be moved till 
repaired. Seven miles from any house but the toll-bar! — pouring, 
blowing — standing up to our ankles in wet — a frightfully bleak and 
mountainous country \ Imagine our despair. We were for a few mi- 
nutes unmanned and deprived of energy, and totally at a loss what 
course to pursue. It was too dark to ascertain the extent of our da- 
mage : and, for the first time since we had been out, George had forgot 
the cauidles for our lamps. I proposed (poor limp!) to run to the tolU 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 6^ 

bar. The driver, finding his horses very fidgetty, proposed taking 
them off, to prevent farther mischief. In two minutes after, off they 
set, full gallop, towards Moffat, he of course, after them. Here we 
were, deprived of his assistance. I reached the toll-bar, a mud hovel; 
inquired for ropes — not one, not even a bit of string. I gave a strong 
hint to Toll-trap to afford some assistance to drag the carriage to the 
gate. He had a friend with him ; hut neither offered to move. I bor- 
rowed a lantern — three times, in my way to the carriage, the wind 
blew out the light, and almost my breath too. Since our Irish voyage, 
I have seen no such night. At last I reached the carriage; and found, 
with four of us, all that could be hoped would be to get it to the toll- 
bar. Daw propped up the body with his shoulder, 1 trundled the wheel 
that had been deprived of its proper action by the removal of the axle- 
tree, and George and the two rascals dragged the pole; for, as the 
horses were having a bit of fun by themselves, we had not their assis- 
tance. After a good deal of labour, we got it to the toll-house ; by this 
time we were soaked. The horses were at length caught and brought 
back, looking very foolish. At last it was settled that I was to ride 
one of the post-horses into Moffat, send a chaise with a smith, and 
ropes and' bolts, and bring back Daw, who was left in the wretched ho- 
vel to wait its return, and guard the property. You may fancy my 
ride: up mountains and down again — alternate sleet, snow, and pour- 
ing rain — a stumbling old cart-horse, for he was no better. Oh, that I 
could bear the removal or loss of an old slipper with the temper I 
bore this misfortune! Here I rose superior to Daw, who is one of 
the cool tribe, and to George, one of the indifferent. At the top of a 
hill one mile long, t^nd equal to the steepest part of Highgate, a sudden 
gust blew my horse out of his course. I was in spirits at having es- 
caped so well, and caught myself at my old resource — a child — and 
cried, "O cry! what fun!" and immediately burst out laughing at the 
absurdity of my own ridiculous behaviour. I reached Moffat in safety, 
drenched to the skin, and did not discover till I had arrived that I had 
forgotten my hat, and had rode all the way in my cap, which I put on 
when the head of the carriage is up. I put on some clothes of the 
landlord's (who is nearly the size of Wiggins,) and, in an hour after 
my arrival, was seated by a large fire, with a good beef-steak and some 
whisky punch. Daw arrived at twelve, and the carriage, with George, 
the smith, &c. at one o'clock. The coughs of the two poor victims with 
me, make me most thankful for my extraordinary constitution. Not 
the slightest inconvenience have I suffered. I am perfectly well, the 
carriage is repaired, and all right but a pair of old boots that were 
obliged to be cut off my legs with a knife — and Daw's umbrella, which 
we suspect to be the one seen on the coast of Aberdeen, going towards 
the coast of Holland. , s 

Charles Mathews. 

Burns died here. A very handsome mausoleum has been erected 
over his remains, and a statue by Tumerelli. I called on his widow to- 
day, and introduced myself to her. She received me with very good 
manners. She is a comfortable body, in a very neat little house. All 
the family are provided for. I saw the only portrait of him. 



70 MEiioiRS or 



TO MRS. MATHKWS. 

Whitehaven, Not. 24th, 1819. 

My miseries ape nearly over, I believe, — they were only " miseries,"* 
■excepting the break down. I have not had one failure of attraction, 
excepting Glasgow; but the loss of time, the horrible distances I have 
had to go, through misinformation, bad information, and want of infor- 
mation, have been almost too much to bear. Then, I have been had twice 
by managers (imposed upon,) &c., I played one night for nothing at 
Montrose for the use of ail the managers' theatres. He had Mree, and 
I was told he had six. In one he was acting himself, which i under- 
stood 1 was to pjay in. Instead of that (^ood fellow!) he marches me 
off to a place where he had no company, leaving these at one of the 
three; by which he left me one theatre, Aberdeen. " I thought I was 
to havjB Arbroath?" — "Yes, sir, but my company is there. Happy to 
give you half the house."— "Perth?"— "Why, sir, that is repairing*." 
Then Mr. Mason would not let me have Glasgow under 30/. per night! 
A friend "could have told me, had he known how to send to rae, th^t 
I must be mortified if I came to Glasgow: failures to the greatest 
amount ever known in one year; twenty thousand poor out of employ- 
ment; radical meetings." When Kean was there for a fortnight before, 
not a name in the box-book all the time; a few took places, but with 
initials. He played to 30/., and AOL, and left at the end of his sixth 
night, though engaged for twelve. 

C. Matbew^. 



The following letter contains an account of another escape 
which Mr. MaUiews was destined to experience, " by flood 
and field/' 

TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Liverpool, Nov. SQth, 1819. 

I wish Daw and George may live out the journey. I am fated to 
live with coughing subjects— two such victims! What a fortunate fel- 
low iam*. another escape'/ two indeed! 

There were great advantages held out to me in coming from White- 
haven by water: — 140 miles by land — mountains of Cumberland almost 
impassable in frosty weather — bad road — post-horsesscarce— only eight 
hours' daylight — ^two long days on the road. By sea: — about half-way 
t — safe passage — constant traders — do it in twelve hours — save ten 
pounds. It was agreed! Daw always looking blank — Saturday mom- 
mg, fair wind— rFishing-smack hired on purpose— carriage "pood 

« In allusion to the "Miseries of Human Life."— A. M« 



CHARLES MATHBW0. 71 

aw to bits"^-put on board— •wretched-looking vessel—iio csbin or 
beds— deep fog- came on— felt a horror— longed to aay I won*t go— » 
recollected Captain Skinners saying, ** Never afraid of any thing at 
sea btit a fog. However, desperate courage-^nnade up my mind. 
Da\iF was already seated, wrapped up, looking like a melancholy 
watchman; I had just got the hand of a friend in mine, saying, ** fiire- 
well!'- and was descending nineteen stone steps, from the pier into the 
vessel, with a heavy heart, when crack went the foremast, and she 
broke off close to the deck. The act of hauling up the foresail had 
finished this' ricketty mast. But for this providentially happening in 
the harbour, the vessel must have gone at sea, and the consequence, if 
not fatal, would at all events have been misery. 

The carriage was unshipped. Started at twelve o'clock instead of 
seven : we commenced our land journey, which, but for the escape, 
would indeed have been miserable. Deep fog^ — roads like gbsa— 
horses slipping, one foot forwaixl, the other back — ^and a hundred and 
forty miles before us. Still we were as merry as grigs: I did not know 
how to contain my joy. •* Please to renumber the boat," was our 
watchword when any little misery occurred. We made, spite of all im- 
pediments, fifty-six miles that night, but almost starved to death. Yes- 
terday morning started at seven; and going out of Burton, about ten 
o'clock, down a hill, both horses fell, and the driver lay under them. 
The first effect was terrific. IVe were all unhurt — carriage and all. 
Other horses were procured, and another driver^ and, after a long, cold, 
dreary journey, arrived here at ten last night, and were expede^^-good 
fires, good beds, my old lodging. AH troubles and miseries appear to 
be over. 

Write in as good spirits as your last — it does me good. 

C. Mathxws. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Manchester, Dec. 7th, 1819. 

I have just arrived here from Liverpool, where I staid to do a good 
action last nig^t, and avoided a ** misery ** which poor Daw had all to 
himself. I had sent him forward with the carriage; and, when within 
a mile of Manchester, the tire of the hind wheel came off, and he was 
about an hour doing the mile-r-ou usimI, in the dark and raining. 

Poor old Ryley, penniless and melancholy an usual, was ready for 
me on my arrival, and solicited me to do something for him after I had 
finished at the Theatre. Incledon also arrived, and sang three songs* 
So last night I did two acts of the " Mail Coach," and old " IVist"* 
and Charley both exhibited, to the tune of 1002. in the Music Hall; so 
•* the Itinerant "t was in luck ! " God bless the good people of Liver- 
pool." I sent ofi* 2502. to Stephenson, instead of the two hundred I 
promised to you. 

* One of the names he gave to Mr. Ryley; from whose peculiar temperament lie 
took the character so called.— A. M. 
t The title of Mr. B/ler*8 atttobiograpby.-^A. M. 



n MZMOlRSOf 

And now, as I have got to dine and act to-nigbt (for I coald not afl 
ford to lose a night by my charity, therefore, stole it out of my langrs,) 
you must excuse my brevity. 

C. Mathkws. 



CHAPTER V. 



Mr. Mathews again *• At Home."— Country Cousins. — Address to the 
Audience.---Analysi8 of the Performance, and Genius of Mr. Ma- 
thews. — Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd. — Letters of Mr. Mathews. — 
Mr. Wilton, the East Indian Chesterfield. — Popularity of Mr. Ma- 
thews's Entertainments, and Presents to propitiate Puffs.-— Whimsi- 
cal Alarmsi-^Anecdote. 

The time now approached for his reappearance in London; 
and on the 28th of February, 1820, Mr. Mathews was again 
" At Home," and again was equally successful. His ** Coun- 
try Cousins," whom he now introduced, were welcomed to 
town with a warmth which detained them there until ihe 
close of the season, in unabated favour, when they retired 
with the rest of the London fashionables. The following 
was the announcement: 

The Public are respectfully informed that they will again find 

MR. MATHEWS AT HOME 

At the Theatre Royal, English Opera House, Strand, on Monday next, 
February 28th, 1830; when, he will have the honour to commence his 
Annual Course of Lectures on Character, Manners, and Peculiarities, 
by introducing his Friends to his 

COUNTRY COUSINS,* 

And the Sights of London. 

Part First. — ^London Cousins. — Country Cousins. — Yorkshire Cou- 
sins (Mr. Mathews*8.) — Their Names and Descriptions. — ^Aunt Aga- 
tha. — Her last Despatches from Whitby. 

Song — Country CommisswMt 

Sudden Incursion of the Goths from the North, viz.: Aunt Agatha, 
Cousin Dolly, Cousin Jerry, Uncle Baffin, with Zachary Flail their Ap- 
pendiz. — Characters introduced: Sir Hubble Bubble and Doctor Pro- 

• By James Snitb, Esq.— A M. 



CHABLES MATHEWS. 78 

kiz.— Tale t^ a TaU,--JGtLa ver$u8 Oik--^t. Duii8tan*s Chareh.— A 
finck Attorney. — Wager of Battle.— Chapter Coffee-house. — Loqua- 
cioua Waiter. 

Soog-j^White Horae Cellar, 

Monaieur de Tourville.— Garrick and Wilkes.— Dr. Prolix's Tale of a 
Head. — St, Paul's. — Queen Anne. — Bird Statuary.— Wren Architect. 
— ^Verger and Reverberation. — ^Tremendous Notice from the Whisper- 
ing Gallery. — ^Bird'a^ye View of London. 

Song-^ what a Toton, what a wonderful Metropolis. 

Panoramic Prospect. — St. James's Park. — Chelsea. — Greenwich.— Pa* 
lacesk — Hospitals. — Bow Church. — Newgate. — Fleet Poison. — Lon^ 
coin's Inn.-^AIderman's Walk, — College of Physicians. — Bedlam.-— 
Winter Theatres. — Jerry's Digression. 

Song— £p«om Races. 

Part Second. — Moulscy Hurst. — Pugilism. — Sonsr: The Milt (An- 
glicd, A Fight.) — Country Cousins. — Carried to the Monument. — Cast 
Iron Southwark Bridge. — Catastrophes of Velocipedes. — Dr. Rumfoozle 
and Mrs. Incumpip. — Incipient Prosecutions. — Exhibition at Somerset 
House. — Sir Hubble Bubble and the Hanging Committee; — Zachary 
Flail's Disasters. — Mock Auctions. 

Song — Zachary FlaiVs Description of London. 

Panorama of the North Pole. — My Uncle's Bay, id est Baffin's Bay. — 
Dr. Prolix on Nose Pulling. — Westminster Abbey. — Indictment at . . . 
Sessions: Rex versus Patrick O'Row. — Justice Metaphor. — ^Counsel- 
lors Prim and Moonshine. — ^A Countess's Letter to a Comedian, and 
his proposed Answer. — Invitation of the Country Cousins to a Fashion- 
able Rout 

Song— T^e Rout, or Lady Figet at Home. 

Failure of Gossamer and Groosetrap, Country Bankers. — Northern In- 
vasion subsides. — Goths driven back to Whitby. — ^Adieu to London. 

Finale-^iVbw Farewell to Bagatelle. 

Part THiRD.-^Exhibition of the Multiplication Table during a 
Christmas at Brighton.-*Solution of the Mysteries of Four Times 
Five, by the juxta-position of the following Figures, viz. : 

Alderman Huckaback, in the Chair (surfeited.) 
^abitha, his Maiden Sister at the Table (studious.) 
Qnap, one of the Livery. 
Signer Canzonetti, Singing Master. 
Miss Matilda Huckaback, his Pupil. 
Molly Magog, a Patagonian Nurse< 
^ Methusalem, a Youthful Watchman* 
Dicky Gossip, a Posthumous Barber. 
VOL. I. — 7 



94 HBXOIRS OP 

The whole beiog imbodied and animated by Mr. Mathews. 
The Piano Forte by Mr. E. Itnight 

Mr. Mathews prefaced his new Entertainment by the fol- 
lowing Address: 

** Ladies and Gentleipeny 
"This being the third Season in which I am gratified by appearing- 
rAt Home' before yoiJ» I am naturally reminded of the rcnow^ned 
Whittington, who, as you all know, enjoyed the delight of being thrice 
Lord Mayor of London. His fame was founded on a lucky cat — mine 
on a lucky hit It was his department to banish mice^ 'tis mine to- 
banish melancholy* Why he was satisfied with being merely thrice 
Lord Mayor of London we are not told ; perhaps the accumulation of 
custard upon his stomach rendered him unfit for the farther fatig^uee 
of office. That ecce signiimi—iB not my case. Neither will this, my 
thhrd Election, satisfy an ambition that pants for 

* Thrice again, to make up i^ine.' 

It is, therefore, my intention, should I by your sufifVages be re-electied 
to this comic chair, so to conduct myself, as to drive all Blue Devil» 
out of the Strand from eight till eleven o'clock^— to bind Heigh-ho over 
to good behaviour — and to place Ha! Ha! Ha! those three graces of 
speech, on that proud and palmy pinnacle to which their virtuei^ and 
talents authorize them to aspire. It is my intention during the pre- 
sent evening to communicate the adventures which befell me in exhi- 
biting some of the Sights of London to my Country Cousins. 

^ Before I enter upon my task, permit me, however, to utter a few 
words in explanation of the epithet imitationt or, as it is sometimes in 
carelessness, and sometimes in hostility, called, mimicry, I look upon 
this talent when applied to the body, to be what satire is when applied 
to the mind. 

^* If the satirist drags forth private and innocuous frailties to public 
view, he sinks into a lampooner. If the imitator outrages private feel- 
ings by holding up Incurable and unpresuming personal defects to pub- 
lic ridicule, he degenerates into a bufifoon. It is my purpose to evince, 
by geaetal delineations, how easily peculiarities may be acquired by 
negligence, and how difficult they are to eradicate when strengthened 
by habit ; to show how often vanity and affisctation steal upon the de. 
portment of youth, and how sure they are to make their possessor ridi- 
culous in after life; in short, to exemplify the old adage, that *No man 
is contemptible for being what he is, but for pretending to be what he 
is not.* 

•* Now, then, for my Cousins^'* 

I will here introduce some of the evidences of the general 
esteem with which these Relations of my hushand were re- 
ceived hy the puhlic. 



CHARLSS HATHaWS. 7^ 

We iwve been to see Mr. Mathdws, and been introdaoed ta bit 
•Country Cousins,*' Aunt Agatha, Uncle Baffin, See The party 
<who8e object it was to see the Sights of London) was joined by some 
other friends of his, to wit. Sir Hubble Babble, Dr. Prolix, another gen- 
tleman fwe do not remember his name,) whose talent lies in being fa- 
tigued, and the apposite patronymic of Monsieur de Tourville. Our . 
new acquaintances hastened to justify the character given of them. 
Monsieur de Tourvilie is a French gentleman on has travels, who pott 
down nien>6randa of every thing he hears, with a knowledge of the lan« 
^uage edifyingly incompetent. He is at the same time very particular 
in begging people to repeat their information, in order that he may be 
correct. Thus the mention of the word ♦♦ canons " at St, Paul's star- 
tles him ; but on finding the word repeated, he puts implicit faith in 
the ** orthodor artillery," and sets it down in his tablets, that St Paurs 
church is well provided with cannon. His French-English is also very 
entertaining. He is charmed ef you to s^e. He takes up his legs and 
arms (quarters) at the Sabloniere; and of a picture or landscape he 
says, that it is a striking blow of the eye (coup WaiL) The fatigued 
genUeman*s faculty consists in being perpetually tired of Dr. Prolix't 
stories, and in having one idea upon them; whichjs, that they will 
** wear him to a thread-paper." Whenever the doctor commences one of 
his new old anecdotes, be makes his pathetic but vain appeal,-*" There 
hz g2f s again — consider, for God's sake, sir — you'll wear me to a 
thread-pitp«r." The Doctor's narrative powers — r^j \^ ^iusmsea ac- 
cordingly. He is an effete M gentleman, with a small attenuated 
voice; and commences every anecdote with saying, " When I was a 
young man," and declaring it excellent. He then goes elaborately 
through some old joke, and on finding it does not take, declares that 
** it made a great laugh at the time." Sir Hubble Bubble was the 
more amusing to us, because we think we have seen his likeness 
somewhere. He is, a sort of good-natured bully, or rather fop, who af- 
iects decision and straightforwardness ; and, uniting a hurried manner 
with pomposity, rolls his shoulders anid his voice about, with a deep 
guttural indistinctness. He swallows his words half done. There is 
a brisk young lawyer of the party, who perplexes the inexperience of 
his father, Baffin, with facetious translations of Latin inscriptions, and 
by calling out at every turn, " Go it, if it kills you." Baffin is ex- 
tremely meek and lack-a-daisical; all his remaining strength in life 
seems concentrated in shaking hands with his cousins, and hoping to 
sec his accomplished son Jerry in the Bench, — meaning upon it. Aunt 
Agatha is a bustling old housewife, who agitates her town kinsman 
with long letters from the country, full of impossible commissions. She 
requests him, for instance, to buy her something in Long-acre; and 
fjohen he is there, to attend to a job in Cornhill ; and when he is there, 
to get some long soap for her in Clerkenwell ; and when he is there, not 
to forget the skein of white worsted from Flint's, near Cranbourn-alley. 
The commission for the worsted is repeated twice in the course of the 
letter; and the following postscript is added:->"I will thank you to 
get me a skein of white worsted from Flint's." In the Third Part, Mr. 
Mathews presents us with a scene in a. Court of Justice; at which be 
is eminently happy. 
Fuote, th^ great ancestor in th^ lin^ of this worthy descendant. 



76 MEMOIRS OP 

having run through two fortunes and come into a thifd, moniited a 
carriage, and took for his rautto, ** iterttm, iterunif ilerumque.^* Suoh 
may be the motto of Mr. Mathews, whose third season seems to pro-^ 
misc a fortune equal at least to cither of those which have preceded it. 

In the course of the rambles of the Country Cousins they are joined 
by Monsieur de TourvUle^ a Frenoh traveller, come to ** take the tower 
(tour) of London,*^ who makes a multitude of whimsical blunders,. 
They encounter (and these characters are represented before the audi- 
ence). a waiter at the Chapter Cofiee-house, a verger of St. Paurs, and 
several other oddities. They visit St. Paul*s, whence a panoramic view 
and description of the Monument, the Cast-iron Bridge,, the Exhibition 
at Somerset-bouse, the Panorama of the North Pole, and a fashionable 
rout given by the Countess of Fidget. Accounts of a pugilistic Mill^ 
of £p8om Races, of the White Horse Cellar, of a Mock Auction, of an 
Indictment at the Sessions, Slc^ are introduJoed, and given with admi- 
rable spirit. Of the fun and pun it is impossible to recollect a han« 
dredth part. The jests which have the quality of antiquity are raad«: 
so new and diverting by the mode of telling them,, that they are as 
good as if we had never heard them before: the new jokes are many 
of them so excessively ridiculous, that we cannot resist them on that 
score, while others please by being epigrammatic, quaint, and wittj* 
For example, we have rhyme to Dioastrodoxon; Quin's advice to. a 
person who had suffered an indignity, to wear his fio8« soaped^ told by 
Frolw and ascribed to Lord Chesterfield ; and,, in short, a crowd of 
modern follies brought under a review of the most spleen -killing de- 
scription, mixed up with recollections of many older drolleries, in fasci-. 
nating medley. 

l^hQ concluding Part, however, displays the abilities of Mr. Mathews 
in a way still more astonishing than the two preceding. In this, by 
means of pasteboard figures, which are moved by springs, and which 
he in turn animates by inserting himself into them without being per-, 
ceived, he actually manages to have two, three, or four characters upon 
the stage at the same moment — in fiict, he acts, alone, a complete 
farce; and sustains to admiration the parts of Alderman Huckaback, 
Tabithoj an old maid; Snap, a servant; Canxortettix a singing master; 
Miss M, Huckahacky his pupil; Mdly Magog, ai^ old nurse, (shorter, 
than himself by the legs, for he plays this part on his knees;) Meihu-, 
salem^ an old watchman,; and Dickey Gossip, a barber. This arduous 
task he performs with a degree of rapidity and skill truly astonishing, and 
he often takes the audience completely by surprise,^ bursting upon them 
in a new shape, and from a new quarter^ when they feel quite certain 
he has remained all thje. time befor9 them, ii^ some chpxa^ci&r previously 
assumed. 



The following notice of Mr. Mathews's Entertainment this, 
year,* is so^well written, and agrees so perfectly, in one re-». 
^pect, with my husband's feelings, that I think it well to add 

% Blackwood's Magazine, 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 77 

it to Other remarks upon his powers and pretensions as an 
actor. 

It is the fashion for those who pretend to admire the art of acting, 
at the same time to depreciate the art of imitation ; as if it did not re- 
quire the very same powers, both intellectual and bodily, and the rery 
same discipline of thoM powers, to succeed in the one as in the other; 
and as if, therefore, the very best imitator in the world were not ne- 
cessarily the very best actor in the world — in short, as if they were 
not one and the same thing. We have little scruple in following this 
general prgposition — for we put it as such — wherever it may lead; and 
in asserting that Mr. Mathews is the very best actor on the English 
stage at this day, we shall of course not he suspected of meaning to 
say that he ever can reach, or that he ever could have reached, the lofty 
tragedy of Kean, the pure nature of Dowton, or the ineffable farce of 
Listen. But we do say that he can imbody an infinitely greater va- 
riety of characters than either of those actors; and consequently, that 
his physical powers must be more plastic than theirs, more under the 
command of his will, and his intellectual resources more various, and 
more immediately available to ium. Besides, in these actors it is al- 
ways the tragedy of Kean, the nature of Dowton, the farce of Listoq; 
but in some of Mr. Mathews's performances it would be actually im- 
possible to detect him, unless one knew beforehand it toa# him — for it 
is the thing itself. This is trne, without any exaggeration, of the Old 
Scotchwoman in particular, and aJso of many other parts of his perform- 
ance. It is idle and invidious to attempt to distinguish this kind of 
actin|f from any other, by calling it mimitry. Who thinks of calling ' 
Wilkie's pictures mimicry ? And what are they but just representa- 
tions of individual character and habit, under peculiar circumstances? 
And what does it require to produce them but plastic bodily powers 
working under the direction of a mind possessed of a fine talent for 
general observation, and an exquisite tact for discrimination between 
that which is common and essential to a class, and that which is pe- 
culiar to a particular individual of that class. And these are precisely 
the qualities which Mr. Mathews possesses in common with all other 
successful actors — only, as it appears to us, in a still more striking and 
extraordinary degree. 

We are confirmed in this opinion by what we have beard related of 
Mr. Mathews by those who are acquainted with him in private life. 
There, when he chooses to exhibit his peculiar powers at all, the effect 
of them is still more striking. In public he is necessarily compelled 
to confine himself to that which is " set down for him.** But in pri- 
vate, when he throws himself into the manner and habit of another 
person, he at the same time absolutely throws himself into his mind 
and character. He feels, and thinks, and says, as well as acts, as they 
would inevitably do njnder the same circumstances : not as he recol- 
lects they have done, but as he knows, as it were intuitively, that thev 
tDould do. If we had not been told this, we should have guessed it 
from what we have seen of his performances in public; for they have 
always struck us as a very extraordinary instance of the plasticity of 
the human mind and frame, and we have paid particuhir attention to 
them accordingly. In fact, to those who nave looked so closely into 
Mr. MfOhewa's performances as we have done, we need not foruple to 
7* 



Vd MEMOIRS OP 

say that his powers in this respect amount to nothinff teas than gtfdtMS^ 
In short it cannot be denied with any semblance of truth that liis 
performances combine, in a most extraordinary degree, the mental azMl 
physical qualities of almost all actors and acting. 

It will appear by the next letter, that the Ettrick Shepherd 
had at one time some iflea of contributing to Mr. Mathews's 
♦* Entertainments," 



TO FRANCIS ANDERSON, ESQ, JUN. 

% Altrive Lake, March 1st, 1820-. 

My DEAa Frank, 

I have always looked upon Mrs. McKnight*8 Original Stories as truly 
inimitable ;* and as soon as I got your letter I gave up the idea of 
being able to comply with your request, and very stupidly forgot to 
answer you« You know how happy 1 am always to oblige you, and 
there is nothing I would not try for such an ingenious ori^nal as Mr. 
Mathews ; but truly and honestly I have little chance of success. If I 
can produce aught that pleases me, 1 will send it ; but do not baraefi 
me should it not arrive, for then be sure I have failed. 
I am yours ever, most affectionately, 

James Hooo. 

The following letters were addressed to me by my husband 
during a stay at Brighton, where the ill health of Charles re- 
quired me to take him during his father's season in town: 



TO AIRS. MATHEWS. 

Highgate, April 7th, 1820. 

I never receive<} a letter from you that was more weleome than that 
of to-day. Yesterday I arose with a fit of blues ; and when the post- 
man arrived with a most uninteresting note from another, instead of a 
letter from you^ I was finished for the day.. 

Your cheerful letter,, however^ has put roe in spirits again ; and I 
rejoice most fervently at the happy account you give of Charles. By 
no means come away till you can pronounce him perfectly recovered 
in health — so desirable to us all; and so necessary to ipy happiness. I 
am very melancholique, but I can make up my mind to at least ano- 
^er week. 

9ir Waltert is coming to breakfast with me on Stinday. 

^ In alloaion to ttas «' Scoteb Lady.'' f Sir Walter SeoK. 



0HABLX8 KATHBWS. 79 

If I bad bad a bomper «a Monday^! ahoaid bave written to tell 
yoa of it. Eaater Monday is the wont night of the year, if fine. I 
iiad aboat 1402. and the greater proportion dress and private boxes. 
Nei4her Covent Garden nor Drnry Lane paid their expenses; nor can 
we expect such honses as last year« I am confident, however, that 
when the town fills, which it will in a fortnight, we shaU mach im- 
prove. 

Bify oracle^ Peake, thinks, under all circumstances (and looking at 
the- prospect) that we are doing very well. 

Our neighbour dined with me yesterday, and I drove him 

to the Lyceum* and back. I said my catechism to him, like a good 
boy« I told him Listen was fimny off the stage— and psint does fiot 
destroy actors' complexions-^and that Munden is an old man — and 
agtreed with hira that Dowton is " a very fiiir actor*'— «nd told him 
where the actors went to when they *^ retired from the scene." By the 
by, he has no doubt in his own mind that Warden emploffs people to 
write his name on the walls ! ! ! 

The rain has been worth 311, 10s. to the garden. It is looking de- 
li^htfiilly; and the lawp has been roUed and mowed; and al( that sort 
of thing. 

I;t was very pretty in the King to ask ^ou to tea; and I hope you 
will tell him 1 think so. Such little attentions must destroy all Radi- 
cal feeling, if it existed. 

CaAmusB Mathxws. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Highgate, April 10th, 1820.. 

On Thursday evening, as I walked down Bridge-street to the thea- 
tre, i spied Le Sugg waiting for me. I eluded his vigilance by turn- 
ingi nto the Strand, and going in at the public en^rance^ Shortly af- 
terwards a note was presented to me, which I saw was in Le Sugg's 
hand-wriling. I therefdre exchimed, " Take it. away I How often 
must I tell yoa never to give me any notes here, for I will not open 
them?" I was a victim to my own order; for little did I think that a 
letter from Charles was lying in the ball. I always take my letters as 
I am going home at night. Huckel informed me that Le Sugg was 
still waiting in the street, as I was about to leave the theatre. Iq my 
anxiety to avoid him, I forgot to ask for my letters and went through 
another door. Thus I missed Charles's letter; but I did not avoid my 
evil genius. He spied me, and folbwed me in a pair of slippers, having 
pawned his boots. He wants me to lend him money, to set him up in 

chandler-s shop !;! 

perry gave us a splendid dinner; and, but that I was obliged to ** tumble^" 
we had a very pleasant day. Soane was there, who is a very good-na- 
tuced architectural, old man ; but any being so full of the shop 1' never 
m^ wi(b. He is very anxious to be of service to Charles, and hii» re- 

* The Bnfllfii Qpera. 



80 MBMOIRS OF 

quested that he will oall on him the moment he returos. This I do 
not mean to forget. 

Sir Walter, Terry, Tom Hill, and Heber, breakfaflted with me yes- 
terday: the latter brought by the former, which flattered me much. 
They stayed in the gallery till one o'clock. The weather here is very 
blue-devilish; and 1 am quite grieved on your account. 

I went to WiIton*8 yesterday. It was very pleasant, but too many 
strangers for me. I took great pains to sH between Mrs. Rolls and 
Dubois, and succeeded. The house absolutely princely. I think I am 
correct in saying that in point of taste and elegance I have never seen 
it excelled. 

If I had 's talent of describing a feast, I could convince 

him that no Lord Mayor could ever vie with Jack Wilton. Dubois 'la- 
mented the absence of Tom Hill, as he was convinced neither he nor 
I was capable of giving any notion of the feast. ** To be without 
Hill," Duby said, "was dreadful; a great battle fought, and.no bisto* 
rian." 

Mr. Wilton, whose dinner is mentioned in the foregoing 
letter, was distinguished by the appellation of the ** East In- 
dian Chesterfield," from the elegance of his manners, and re- 
finement and wit of his conversation. He was supposed at 
this period to be nearly seventy years old, yet he managed 
so well to preserve his originally fine figure, that, without ob- 
serving his face, he might have been mistaken, on his enter- 
ing a room, for a man of five-and-twenty. He dressed most 
rigidly, and always according to the mode, and was evidently 
desirous of being thought much younger than he really was. 
He, however, wore his hair (which was quite white) always 
powdered, and diessed out on either side, with wings, d la 
pigeon, after the approved fashion of his youth, (and never 
allowed his hat to press them out of shape,) so that, with the 
transposition of two words, he answered the description given 
by Sheridan in " The School for Scandal," of the lady who 
is said to resemble a mended statue — 

" The trunk was modern, but the head antique.** 

Mr. Mathews considered him the beau ideal of Lord Ogleby, 
and a perfect model for any performer of that character. 

Amongst the extraordinary effects of the popularity of my 
husband's ** At Home," were the applications made, under 
every kind of pretext, letters being sent to him from all sorts 
of professions and trades about town. One man offered him 
snuff for himself and friends, if he would only mention the 
name and shop of the manufacturer. Another promised him 
a perpetual polish for his boots upon the same terms. He was 
solicited to mention every sort of exhibition, and to puff all 



CHABLB8 MATHEWS. 81 

the new quack medicines; and patents, from surgeon's instru- 
ments to mangles, called for his public approval. There 
was no limit to these requisitions. Lozenges were to be 
tasted, razors to be used, razor-strops to be tried. The wines 
sent for him to taste, though said to be '* of the finest qua- 
lity," nevertheless, required a " bush^' which was expected 
to be hung out nightly, at his " house of entertainment," for 
** value received." Patent filters, the price of which was to 
be liquidated by his praise; wigs and waistcoats, boots and 
boot-hooks, " ventilating hats," and bosom friends! — all gra- 
tia.' And an advertising dentist one day presented himself, 
offering to teethe our whole family, if Mr. Mathews would 
draw his metallic teeth into notice. In fact, he was inundated 
^vith presents and petitions, so that our cottage sometimes 
looked like a bazaar; and I had frequently occasion to exer- 
cise my ingenuity in contriving how and to whom I might 
convey the generally useless articles forced upon our accept- 
ance. In fact, we eventually paid for them by purchases or 
presents, of, and to the parties from whom they came, in or- 
der to smooth down their disappointments at my husband's 
declining to comply with the requests with which they were 
accompanied. 

Amongst the most amusing of these varieties, was a peti- 
tion from Mrs. Johnson, who yearned to hear her " American 
Soothing Syrup" commended, and re-commended by my hus- 
band; and she one night held forth the tempting bribe, that 
she and a party of friends vtrould appear in the boi^es, in the 
fond hope of hearing this ^'real blessing to mothers" pointed 
out by Mr. Mathews, to the maternal part of the audience. 
At length, my husband's gallantry (and for the joke's sake) 
devised the mention of it in the ** Dilbery Family," where he 
made Mr. D ► boa^t, that he had, in the course of his do- 
mestic duties, found it right to supply his family with this in- 
estimable balm. 

But these were minor evils of his popularity compared to 
others, arising from his use of names. The commonest upon 
which he could fi% for his characters (Smith excepted) laid 
him open to the ** hope " of its possessor " that Mr. Ma- 
thews would adopt one teas known for his purpose;" and if 
in escaping from this difficulty he made his.peace with one 
person, by adopting a different name, he fell under the cen- 
sure of another, who requested that he would choose one 
more common than the writer's. Some were '* informed that 
their names and titles were held up to ridicule," when 
suc}i uames and tities had nevser before been heard of by the 



82 MEMOIRS OF 

accused. In fact, there was no doubt but that this was often 
the trick of the mischievous to annoy the ridiculously vain, 
to fret them with a feigned account of the manner in which 
their name, person, or peculiarities, were " shown up " by- 
Mr. Mathews in his " At Home." Some such hoax was 
played oft' upon the respectable writer of the following letter: 



TO MR. MATHEWS. 

Lombard Street, 3rd June, 1820. 
Sir, 

Mj friends inform me that you have committed the indiscretion in 
your public exhibitions of imitations or mimicries, of introducing* me 
by name. This is a trespass, or an outrage, upon private peace and 
right, which cannot be submitted to, and must not be tolerated. Every 
ridicule, or singularity, every oddity, bad habit, or abuse, is, in its ge- 
nus, or species, its character of excess or extravagance, open and free 
to you and all others, to expose to contempt, or to correct by exaggera- 
tion; but the name wad person of each individual must have pEctection 
from such exposure, and assault upon his peace, reputation, or general 
intereat, 

I am inclined to suppose this to be an inconsideration, which, on re* 
flection and advice, you will discontinue in my case, and not repeat in 
that of any other person. Your exhibition has scope enough without 
trespassing upon individual character, which you have no more right 
to assault in this manner, to turn to your own profit, than you have to 
pick a well-furnished pocket, or to break down the fences of a fieM. 
As I am not very sensitive to such an attack, I shall be satisfied by the 
entire discontinuance of the offence. On any repetition of it in any 
manner, proper measures shall be taken, legal or personal, to correct 
such an abuse of all warrantable license. 

I do not yet know the manner of the notice of me, but in guch a 
case, whether you expose mc for example or caution, there is equal 
cause for my protest. In the one case, a petty and absurd vanity, too 
common among us at thi^ time, may be supposed to be gratified ; in the 
other, a submission to the indignity may be thought to be an admission 
of the truth of the caricature, which, whether a likeness or gross dis- 
tortion, is alike an offence, an indefensible attack, when pointing out 
and marking an individual by name, and exposing him to general con- 
tempt, or misconception of his conduct or character. 
I am, sir. 

Your humble servant, 

Thos. R , 

Mr. Mathews, always considerate in regard to the feelings 
of others, took the trouble to write at long answer to this let- 
ter, assuring the gentlepian that he not only did not mention 
him, but was totdly ignorant that such a name as his (a pe^^ 



CflARLBS lUTHEWS. 83 

collar one) existed. He invited him to a private box, in or- 
der to judge for himself whether his informant had any right 
to suppose that a personal attack was intended. This pro- 
duced another letter from the complaining party. 



TO MR. MATHEWS. 

Lombard Street, 5th Jane, 1820. 
Sir, 

The assurances g-iven me were positive, and three tiroes repeated; 
and they were not meant to be malicioas, miscbieTous, false, or wicked. 
I thought the thing very improbable. If true, I had no doubt of its 
great impropriety in the case of any person. My son attended your 
performance last week, but did not select the proper exhibition. He 
was again with you on Saturday, and reported to me yesterday, that he 
heard no mention of me, nor saw the opportunity of any allusion of any 
sort. This was the probability of the matter; but I wrote to you on 
the faith of the testimony of those who thought they heard my name, 
and in allusion to what has been a little my habit. 

Although the misconception is very extraordinary, and still unac- 
countable, your abnegation of the matter is quite satisfactory, and 
agrees as much with probability as the propriety of the fact. As yoa 
do not make any other personal allusions by name, it was the more 
cnriotts that mine, so little obvious to yoa, should be an exception of 
your general and proper reserve. I shall be curious to set you right 
in this, and shall endeavour to pay you a visit on Thursday, before 
which I may, armed with your fVank and full disavowal, be able to try 
again the memory and the " ears '* of my informant, who is quite in- 
nocent of the smallest disposition to injure you, or to ** hoax me.*' 

There being no offence, it is now only a riddle, which I will endeir 
your to soIve» rather for its oddity than its importance. What must 
history be, if this be all the certainty of fact, and accuracy of report at 
which we can arrive, of what is said at the Lyceum, done at Manches- 
ter, or passing at Calais, Paris, and in Spain 7 

I am truly, isir. 
Your obedient servant, 

TB0S.R h. 

It followed that Mr. R came on the ni^t {Hroposed, 
and returned home not only satisfied but highly gratified. 
This specimen will serve for the many cases of misconception 
and false estimate of »elfy which so often lead ufl to think that 
** the eyes of all Europe are upon ua." 



84 MEMOIRS OF 



CHAPTER VI. 



Visit to a Military Amateur Actor.— Ludicrous Contrettmp8,--^'S^j^o* 
tiation between Mr. Mathews and Mr. Harris.— Close of the Per- 
formance at the English Opera House, and Mr. Mathews's Address 
on the Occasion. 



Mr. Mathews had occasion frequentiy to remark, thAt peo^ 
pie did more preposterous thinffs to him than he ever heard 
of being done to others; and really, the liberties many persons 
took with him seems almost incredible, though one would not 
have thought him the sort of man, whose general behaviour 
would invite or encourage freedoms. When, moreover, it is 
considered that he bore the reputation of possessing an irrita- 
ble temper, it was no small evidence of his known good-na- 
ture that people ventured upon them who were anxious for 
his favour, and most wary when they had dealings with others 
who were less placable in their nature. I have sometimes, 
while I marvelled at such proceiedings, thought such cases 
happened especially to my husband, as if to acquaint him 
with the varieties of human nature. He had some time in his 
travels picked up an acquaintance with an Artillery officer, 
whom he afterwards introduced to me. This gentleman was 
without any very distinguishing talent to recommend him to 
society, but always evinced excessive deference for the opi- 
nions of others. He had, however, one talent, that of imi- 
tating extremely well a certain Irish brogue, which in telling 
a story aided the effect of the anecdote. I believe this power 
originally recommended him to Mr. Mathews, who was air- 
ways too well pleased with those who would try to entertain 
hinij ever to repel or neglect the possessor of such good na- 
ture. 

Captain was always an inoffensive, and sometimes an 

agreeable person. He often shared our hospitality, and had 



I^HAttLSB lUMkWS. aft 

good taste enougii to delight in the society he met at oar ta* 
bie. He admired, nay, professedly idolized nky husband, not 
only professionally but personally, and bestowed upon me 
that portion of consideration which it is the habit of a man <tf 
the ivorid to keep ready made up in packets of various sizes, 
to distribute a<^cording to the pretensions of every lady in 
whose welcome he luxuriates. 

This gendeman was a bachelor; but it appeared that he had 
a sister residing with him, whom he frequently mentioned, 
with a longing desire to introduce her to me; and often, very 
oft^i pressed Mr. Mathews and myself to *' pay a visit to 
Woolwich " (where he then resided,) for this purpose, on one 
of those occasions when Mr. Mathews's professional pursuits 
coald leave a night as well as a day open. At first we merely 
bow^ed in acknowledgment of such a desire, and in five mi- 
mites after forgot the matter. Still the captain came to see 
as, indeed never omitted an occasion; and though he confess 
sedly rejoiced in a numerous stock of friends, it fortunately 
happened that, however short the invitation to a (/inner-party 
might be, he happened, by good luck, I say, to be on thai 
day " at our service." 

Captain was a devotee to theatrical matters; and it ap- 
peared to me that, although in the Artillery, the going ofif of 
a cannon was a matter of less interest to him than the ^' going 
off" of a new play, for the report of which he anxiously lis- 
tened. He was, in fact, an amateur actor, and had so far in- 
fected his brother officers with his ardour as to have filled off 
a private play or so, to assist which he drilled these *' drama's 
raw recruits." Often did he borrow our *' most attentive 
ears, and pour into them volleys of praise of these perform- 
ances, and as often pressed us to ^' pay a visit to Woolwich" 
for the purpose of gladdening our hearts with a view of the 
amateur's proficiency: — " He should be so happy to see us 
there;" and " his sister would be so charmed!" In fact, my 
dear kind-hearted husband, at length melted before the warmth 

of Captain 's enthusiasm. He recollected his own early 

vanities in this way, and promised that the next exhibition of 
his and his brother officers should find us admiring witnesses 
of their glory. Accordingly, (something loath, it must be 
owned,) we left our comfortable home, green lawn, and flow- 
ers, for at best a hot ride and fussy dinner in a smaU cottage, 
of which the commendable pride of our friend, as it appeared, 
required us to partake. So, one lovely morning we left Kent* 
lih Town, in order to " pay a visit to Woplwich," carrying 
with us our most indulgent feelings for the occasion* 

VOL. I — 8 



M KBUOiBB or 

On referring to Captain — 's letter, in which he ex* 
pressed his entire satisfaction at our at length yielding to Yn0 
and his sister's wishes, &c., my husband discovered that no 
particular address was to be found in it. NHmporte. " Cap- 
tain , Woolwich)" was of course sufficient, as his re- 
ceipt of our letter proved, and the plan would be to stop at 
the principal inn, and there, if Captain was not wait- 
ing to receive us, we thought that we should assuredly learn 
his address. Accordingly, to that inn-door we repaired, on 

our arrival. " Is Captain here? asked my husband, 

of a man, whose abrupt rush to the horse's head had nearly 
caused the animal to jerk us out of the tilbury (tJie conveyan<5e 
we had chosen for so blithe an occasion, partly because we 
would not burden our bachelor friend with our servants.) 
" Pray," inquired Mr. Mathews, " can you tell me where 

Captain lives?" A dapper waiter advanced, exclaim-^ 

ing, *^ If your name's Mathus^ sir, it's all light: the captain 
has been and settled every thing, and you're to get out." 
(meaning by this that we were to go in.) Into the house we 
accordingly went After the waiter, who preceded us, had 
briskly dusted the table with his napkin (his only resource, 
as there was no fire for him to stir,) Mr. Mathews asked, 
^ Pray, how long will it be before Captain — — returns?" 

** Can't say, sir." 

** Didn't he leave word where I was to drive to him?" 

**Ohno! sir. He 'ticklerly desired you'd stay here." 

*< Well, but I can't leave my horse, tired and heated as he 
is, standing at the door." 

" Oh no! sir; he's safe and comfortable in the stable. The 
captain ordered all that." 

" Oh," (said my husband, aside to me,) "of course he has 
no stabling of his own; but pray " — ^to the waiter — *' shall we 
have far to walk, for I am lame?" 

" Oh no! sir; our stable-yard is close by; only round the 
comer— not far, sir." 

" I mean to Captain — 's house?" 

" Oh! I really don't know, I'm sure, sir." 

" What! do you not know where he lives?" 

" No, sir, can't say I do." And out bustled the waiter. 

" I see how it is," said my husband, rather vexed; " that 
thoughtless fellow has forgotten my lameness, and expects me 
to walk, perhaps a mile, which he thinks nothing, to his 
house." Then, after a pause, and a look round, he added: 
" What a melancholy wretched room this is! Well, we have 
not to remain here long, or it would drive me mad to sit here«'^ 



CHARLES MATHBW8. 87 

It certainly was one of the worst specimens of the '* inn** 
'vroTst room." The carpet was thin and partial; the chain 
had wooden backs, and horse-hair seats sunk into the frame, as 
hard as possible, and slanting to the front; a large naked ta* 
ble, with flaps hanging down most disconsolately to the 
gronnd; a fire-screen in tent-stitch, very ricketty, and top- 
heavy, on which were depicted two sheep, much larger than 
ihe shepherdess, under whose care they were placed! Over 
the sofa (another instrument of torture) hung a red and blue 
print, framed and glazed, representing Fortune, leaning proudly 
upon a red cartwheel, the pendant to which was an elaborate 
description of the final leave-taking of Louis XVI. with his 
family, enough to break the heart of a stone to look a^^as a 
i¥ork of art; while ov€r the chimney-piece hung an oil por- 
trait of a middle-aged female, with two chubby arms, crossed 
demurely over her stomacher, and whose eyes, which evi- 
dently had given the painter some trouble to dispose of, leered 
over her most prominent shoulder at every body in ike room. 
There was nothing else to attract the notice of the visiter, for 
the windows of this dreary apartment looked " no where!** 
and my husband, doubtless, contrasting this melancholy posi- 
tion (which he expressively termed " waiting for bail,") with 
our cneerful house and its lovely outlook, sighed deeply, and 
taking out his watch, exclaimed, << Why, it's time he came, 
if the performance is to commence early, or we sha'n't have 
time to dress and dine." 

At this moment a bustle at the door attracted our attention, 
and the landlord appeared, preceding the waiter, who carried 
a well-filled dinner-tray; the fiaps of the table alluded to were 
lifted up (nrach against their will,) and a thin, wretched, white 
dinneiH^loth spread upon its bare ooards. We sat and watch- 
ed the process of ^* laying " it with that sort of endurance 
with which we look upon a ceremony in which we have no 
concern, and are obliged to witness. 

♦*Pray do you know at what hour Captain ' dines?" 
at length asked my husband. 

<< Can't say I do, sir," replied the landlord, as he bustled 
out of the room. 

<<It*s strange that he don't come! When was he here, 
waiter?" 

** Last night, sir. He came to tell us that he expected yon 
and your lady here to-day, and desired us to have dinner per- 
vided to the asact time, as he said you were very pertickler/' 

** What! here? Then we are to dine Aerf, are we?" 

^ Yis, sir. Said you was fond o* ducks and green peas» 



<t$ MEMOIRS or 

8ir; and ordered a bottle of our beat port to -be cooled; and de-^ 
(ired w to be sure to be careful not to let you have any trou- 
Ue about any thing, nor your spouse neither, sir/' 

" Well, come, that's very considerate. Oh, I see,"^*— tann 
ing again to me, in a half-whisper, as the waiter bustled about, 
jingl^ the glasses, and clattered the knives, to the annoy* 
ance of my husband, who detested such sounds, and who put 
his fingers to his ears whije it lasted;—-'' his means, I sup- 
pose, are npt quitie competent to produce so good a dinner as 
he. wishes to give us, and the foolish fellow has, therefore, ai^ 
ranged it here. It's a great bore; but we must make the best 
of it. Well,'* — to the waiter, who was leaving tlie room,— 
** but you have laid the cloth only for two!" 

" Do 'ee expect any body to dine wi' ye, sir?" 

" Why, of course. Captain and Miss ," 

*• Oh, very well, sir." Down clattered two more veteraa 
knives and wide-pronged forks, which made me think of the 
peas with a pensive and speculative feeloig. 

My husband then proposed that we should at once make 
the alteration requisite in our dress; and I adjourned to aiMK 
ther room, promising to hasten my toilet in order to vacate in 
favour of my husbaUvd* after he had looked after " Falstaff," 
his horse. We were at last both dressed; m&d so was tibbe 
dimiier said to be; but in vain we waited for our kind inviter* 
My husband figetted, and twitched his watch from his fob 
from time to time, with signs of exhausting patience :— It'a 
very odd," he remarked; '' something must have happened ta 
these people. What can it mean?" 

At last, the Mraiter suggested that the dinner '' would be 
quil^ spiled;" and my husband consentecl to its coming to ta« 
ble, ordering the covers not to be taken out of the room. In 
came then, in regular rotation, soup, fish, flesh, and fowl, 
wines, white and red, in bottles resembling vinegar-ontet«^ 
placed at every corner of the table., In short, our bvish pro^ 
Tider Qiade us blush, though unseen, at the unnecessary cost 
to which he had put himself on our account; but, as he di4 
not appear, we were at last obliged to let all be taken away 
but said vinegar-cruets, out of which we drank the health of 
our entertainer, in a glass of most execrable port-wme (which 
my husband stigmati:|ed as '* Day and Martin's blacking, iokf, 

&c.) Just at this critical moment in burst Captain , 

breathless, and full of apology for his tardy appearance; wel- 
comed us heartily to Woolwich; but couldn't stay a minute! 

" But, i^ron't yoij diAC?" ask^d my husbaQd, trying to d^- 



0HAKLB8 MATmwS. M 

**Dine! my dear sir! I have dined. I hope you hive 
found every thing here to your satiafkction!" 

" Well, but Miss r 

** Oh, she's getting ready to go to the theatre, where I'm 
now running to dress, so pray excuse me. I shall scarcely 
be in time; and I need not tell you, that, in theatrical matters, 
there's no apology necessary for haste. So adieu for the pre- 
sent, my dear madam, and sir! We meet again in hm an 
hour face to face!" 

And away ran the amateur actor, leaving us still to take our 
ease at our inn. Just then entered mine host with tea and 
coffee, tea-cakes, bread and butter, dry-toast, plates, knives, 
accompanied by the usual inn-clatter while placing them. 
Another meal, in fact, was spread before us! My husband 
looked impatient, put his fingers again to his ears, and asked 
ine aloud, if I *< wanted all this?" I, of course, shook my 
head; but the landlord respectfully informed us, that it was 
part of the captain's order/ Again my husband muttered 
*^ Foolish fellow!" However, not to seem ungrateful, we 
took a cup of tea, and prepared to go to the theatre, whither, 
after proper directions obtained from the landlord, we pro* 
ceeded by slow stages, my poor husband halting for rest every 
two minutes. The distance was longer than we were told 
(as is always the case,) and my husband, aching with the e-x- 
ertion, longed once more to be seated. In our friend's hur- 
ried look in upon us, no arrangement had been mentioned by 
him, or thought of by us, about our accommodation; nor did 
he give us time to ask about it. So Mr. Mathews took the 
first opportunity that a pressing crowd allowed, to whisper to ^ 
the box-keeper: '' My name is Mathews." 
^' Yes, sir," answered the man (with an unconscious stare.); 

" I'm Captain 's friend." 

'* Indeed, sir!" with a courteous smile and bow. 
** He has told you that I was coming,. 1 suppose?" 
. « N— o, sir, I think no/." 
<^ Hasn't he reserved a box, or places< for me?"' 
** I'll seey sir. Your name?" 

This was a delicate question; however, again my husband 
pronounced ift in a low tone, and tlie man nepeatedi it aloud. 
After a reasonable time he returned^ 

^^ I beg your pardon, sir," said he, y your name u down 
in the box-plan for two seats in a back row;; all> the re«t are; 
taken, sir." 
" Oh, very well! any where, so that I sit down,"' 
And we were proceeding, but were stopped.. 
8* 



0Qf KSMomrnfr 

4< Beg pardon, sir: you have no^ paid.'^ 

Here a momentary pause of surprize ensued. 

« Oh! I'm expected to pay, am I?" 

<* Please, sir." 

« Umph'.'' (with a droll look at me;) •* how moeh, pray?*' 

<* Why, sir, what you like, as it's for a charity, but the 
reggler price is three shillings each." 

" Oh, very well; therer' paying the " reggler" price (for 
at that moment my husband's charitable feelings were proba* 
bly a little damped.) With eyes a little opened, we took our 
seats in the '^ back row^' and miserable accommodation it 
was; but there we were! 

••Poor ," said ray husband, <• will be annoyed, Fm 

sure, when he recollects that he forgot to give us admissions. 
I Mispect the box-keeper is a rogue. I'm sure never in- 
tended me to pay. However, it's lucky I'd money with me,'* 
— i^ very rare occurrence indeed this was. 

The curtain rose full three quarters of an hour after tlire pro- 
mised time, and we saw the play of '^ She would and She 
would not," barbarously sacrificed upon the altar of personsd 
vanity, under the sacred guise of chanty. We W€re very 
uneasy iat all we saw. " What shall we say?" said IMr. Ma- 
thews, " to and Miss at supper? I wish I had not 

come. It's very awkward not to be able to say something 
complimentary to our friend; but really he was vety bad! He 
should never attempt any thing but the brogue. I know be will 
be eager for praise, and really I cannot give it him with sin- 
cerity." 

Well, at length the performance was over. Sevefri of the 
oflSicer performers, in their own dresses, joined their respec- 
tive friends to receive compliments. We soon perceived Cap- 
tain speaking to a party in the stage-box; and he after- 
wards took a lady upon his arm, who Mr. Mathews told me 
was his sister. *• Oh," said my husband, *' they will find us 
out. We will sit quietly till they come round." And we 
sat '• quietly," till at last, all having left the theatre apparent* 
ly but ourselves, we slowly rose and went away too, Mr. Ma- 
thews blaming Captain and his sister for not looking 

first for us, before they proceeded to the inn. However, we 
departed as fast as my poor lame husband could hobble. 
When we arrived at ^e inn our first quettion was, whether 
out friends were up stairs? 

" No, sir; but your supper is quite ready." 
We silently proceeded to the rooms, where we found 
enough, indeed^ laid out to feed a hungry ^tmily* bk mnte 



CHARUBS MATmWB. . W 

dinntuifaction, wd «at looking at each oilier. Pretentif, my 
husband getting hastily off his chair, approached the place ait 
the head of xIm tahle; and, in something like nervous agita- 
tion, proceeded to cut up a cold chicken near him, helping 
me to about half of it, whether I would or not; then flinging 
down his knife and fork, and taking some snuff hastily, he 
rested his head upon his hand, shaking his knee with an irri- 
table motion, and making in^hat is called the deviPs tatloo with 
his heel An unbroken silence ensued. At last, I retired to 
the mdancholy bed-room assigned me, and left my husband 
to finish the evening with a dirty newspaper, which I saw 
delivered to him at his request, as the only one in the house. 

The next morning broke in douds, that foretold a wet day. 
It had been Mr. Mathews's intention, with Captain *s in- 
terest, to show me what was to be seen in Woolwich before 
we returned home, and the threatening sky was a disappoinlr 
ment. << — — • and his sister will certainly come to us before 
we go away— '-o/' course he will!'' And my husband said ** of 
coarse '^ as if I had said I doubted it. However, no captain 
appeared, or sent an apology for not appearing; and, as we 
had out-stayed the last possible limit of our time before we 
bought of going (it being one of Mr. Mathews *s performance 
nights,) the horse and gig were ordered to be forthcoming; 
and while we were expecting it, the bill was brought in. My 
husband started at the sum-total, but soon recovered, and 
asked me what money I had with me? I gave him my purse, 
which he quietly, though with a serio-comic expression in his 
face, emptied into his hand, and returned to me. Then count- 
ing up the amount, and laying all but a shilling or two upon 
the bill, pointed to it expressively to the landlord, who waited, 
and gave it into his hand. I stared at all this, but followed 
my husband's silent example. 

The rain threatened, but we hoped to elude it, and mounted 
our little vehicle. The clouds looked blacker still? and by 
the time we reached Blackheath we were literally wet to the 
skin, my summer garments clinging to me, and a gauze hat 
hanging over my face, being borne down by the weight of 
the rain, with which it was saturated. A more deplorable 
condition cannot be imagined! We were perfectly ashamed 
of our drive through town, where every body stared, amk 
some, who evidently knew us, smiled. When we arrived at 
the home we had left the day before with such good humour, 
we soon rejoiced In dry skins. A bed being warned^ I waft 
enjoined by my alavmed husband to get into H, in order, aS' 
he said, ** to save my life;" while he eaoercised himedf on 



92 . MSMOIIUI 09 

horseback, the clouds having cleared off, and the rain ceased 
as if it had been all shower^ upon us. 

When we met over our quiet comfortable dinner, my hus- 
band asked me calmly, what I thouffht of the triek which had 
been played us, and whether I could lecoUect what injury we 
had ever done to Captain — -— that could suggest such barba- 
rotts revenge? A^c. He then placed '* the bill" before me, 
which was not only for the horse, but for the lavish entertain- 
ment we had been *< pervided" with. *' Oh!" I exclaimed, 

** you ought not to have discharged the whole; Captain 

will be <|uite vexed at your doing so, and perhaps offended." 
Mr. Madiews asked dryly, «' Do you think so?" I replied,. 
^< Fm sure he will. Don't you remember how often he re- 
quested that I would let him introduce me to his sister, and 
begged of me to allow him the pleasure of making us ac^ 
quainted?"— ''' Yes," answered Mr. Mathews, '* but perhaps 
he meant here?" — ** Well," I rejoined, '^ but I cannot mistake 
his reiterated expression, when he last left us, which was^ 
< Pray, pray do not forget that you have promised me to pay 
a visit to Woolwich ihis summer.' Those were his very 
words." My husband smiled good*humouredly, and replied, 
*^ Well, and we luive paid a visit to Woolwich, and it^s cheap 
at the money!" 

Notwithstan<£iig this flagrant act of rudeness and neglect,, 
•ur complaisant captain, in the course of time, made his re- 
appearance (without any expression of offence at the liberty 
we had taken in paying the bill) at our table^ where he wa» 
received with good temper; for my cold had long since been 
cured, and ray husband's annoyance forgotten. Again Cap- 
tain was our most devoted slave, again addressed us as- 

** My very dear madam and sir," and enjoyed our parties as 
often as he was ask^d to join them. Indeed, I roust give 

Captain his measuse of praise, by allowing that no man 

ever was more attentive, kind, and oBliging, than himslf to- 
ns — in our own house. After all, we were most to- blame, in 
acting upon an implied rather than an actual invitation to the 
captam's house and table, which we interpreted according to 
our own habits and feelings, rather than the intentions of him 
who uttered a mere " matter-of-course " in« return for our hos- 
pitalities. This circumstance had no effeet upon our future 
treatmeni of the capitain, who continued to come and. go; al- 
though, as his sister had not paid her brother's acquaintances 
the usual courteay ef a resident to visiters, by even leaving 
her name at the inn where her brother had,'* bestowed us," 
I of course did not feel it necessary tim solicit, her acquaintance:^ 



CBiXLEB MATHBWi. 98 

in amy way, especially as we merer onoe thought of Spaying' 
ano^er visit to Woolwich. 

The foUowing letter is from Mr. Frederick Reynolds, ^e 
dramatist, on the occasion of a treaty between my husband 
and Mr. Henry Harris, Mr. Reynolds acting as the medium 
of an engagement, for a limited period, in the Dublin Theft* 
tre, of which Mr. Harris had become lessee. 



TO CHARLES MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Mr DVAR S^x, 

I aiiioerclj hope, for your own sake, ai well aa Mr. Harris's, thatyoa 
will perform sixteen nij^hU in Dublin darinj^ the month of September, 
to commeooe on Monday Ist ; foor nights a week. If^ however, it 
woold suit ybu to commence about the 20th August, Mr. Harru, I havs 
no doubt, would meet your wishes. When you last porfbrmed there, 
you will recollect, it was at the Rotunda, an out-of-the-way place; you 
will now give your entertainments in a new spacious theatre, situated 
in the most central part of Dublin, and for beauty and capability equal* 
hag Drury Lane or Covent Garden. Of course you must be aware that 
there roust be additional expense for lighting, door-deepers, &c, ; how 
ever, Mr. Harris will not haggle with you for a few pounds, but, feel* 
ing confident of your success, will engage you on your former terns, 
which are as follow. Please to observe, I copy them from your own 
letter to Mr Harris : 

'* I will accept your second proposal, namely, to pay you IQl, per 
night; to divide with you after 60Z. But in this case, I shall not bring 
any confidential person with me (only a servant;) and, as I am totally 
incapable of superintending servants, door-keepers, printers, newspa- 
pers, &c., I must stipulate for the whole being done by persons in your 
employ; and, as you will have sn interest in it, I wish all expenses •£ 
every description to be defrayed by your treasurer, and let me settle 
with him weekly. In short, it is to be considered, that I am engaged 
by you, and that I can in truth say, * I have nothing to do witii the bills or 
the candles, &c.; Mr. Harris's treasurer will settle with you.' Of course, 
you will find all the door-keepers usually employed by you. I wish 
such freedom as yuu may have granted to the public press to remain 
untouched, and to reply to such applications • I must refer you to Mr. 
Harris.* You will gratify me by agreeing to my wishes." 

Mr. Harris did agree to the above proposal, and will again : ergo, if 
you will send me a letter to the above efiTect, the matter is at once con- 
cluded. 

Sincerely wishing you success, 

I am very truly yours, 

F. RSTHOLIW. 

June 17th, Wurren Street, Htzroy Square. 



94 MEMOIRS OF 

On the 27ih of June the season at the English Opera 
closed, and Mr. Mathews made his farewell bow at the end 
of his third campaign. The house was extremely well filled, 
and he contrived to keep it in a roar of laughter, as hearty 
and unrestrained as on the first night of his attempt. At the 
close of his performance he came forward, and thus addressed 
the audience; 

^ Ladies and Gentlemen, — Thus I conclade the third seaaon of my 
Entertainments, which, throo|^h your unexampled kindness and patron* 
age, I may boast of as having been pre-eminently successful. To say 
that I am proud and grateful for the distinction you have conferred on 
me, would be but faintly to. express the warmth of those feelings which 
animate me towards my benefactors. To have already drawn together 
one hundred and twenty audiences, crowded by rank and fashion, is no 
mean boast for an humble individual like myself; but when I reflect 
that I may exclaim with the Roman hero, ** Aijonb I did it," I confess 
1 feel a glow of self*gratulation that my good fortune prompted me to 
quit the long-beaten path of the regular drama, to adventure on so no- 
vel and hazardous an undertaking. 

*« It now only remains for me to assure you, that no ezertioiis of in*, 
genuity, or labour of observation, shall be wanting to render my next 
year's entertainment still more deserving of your favour, than those 
which have preceded it; and I do trust to be enabled so far to vary its 
nature as to present y/)U with something new, not only in substance 
and character, but in method and arrangement also. At all eventSy I 
trust I shall not have exhausted in myself the happy faculty of exciting 

C' mirth, and I hope you will not have lost the inclination to oome 
and be merry. 
** Ladies and gentlemen, with reiterated thanks, and the most cor- 
dial good wishes, I now respectfully bid you farewell.'* 

As he retired, the pit rose and greeted him with the waving 
of hats, whiJlsUQud. cheers resounded frppi eyery part of the 



CHARUfl MATBIWS. 95 



CHAPTER VII. 



Mr. Mathews*B Visit to the Provinces. — His Letters to Mrs. Mathews. 
— Interesting Associations connected with Litchfield. — Lady Butler 
and Miss Ponsonby. — Personification of the late J. P. Curran.-— 
Opinion of Mathews by Lord Byron and Sir Walter Scott. — Letters 
of Mr. Mathews to Mrs. Mathews. — Sensitiveness of Mr. Mathews. 
-—Anecdote. — Letters continued.-- Two Impostors. — Mr. Mathews*^ 
Proposal to erect a Monument to Shakspeare at Stratford ; Public 
Meeting on the Occasion. — Intended Ascent in a Balloon. 

The rigid determination of Mr. Mathews to lose no time 
in the prosecution of his plan of atoning for past mistakes by per- 
sonal sacrifice and labour, induced him again to form provincial 
engagements, without allowing himself an interval of rest af- 
ter his fatiguing season. In pursuance of this . resolution, 
therefore, on the evening of his last night at the English Ope- 
ra House, he took leave of home, sleeping in town in order 
to begin his journey thence the next morning at daybreak. 
His first letter, merely a few lines scribbled at his first halt 
on the road, gave me the following hurried notice of his con- 
cluding night's performance: 



TO MRS. MATHEWS* 

Maidenhead, June 36th, 1 820. 

Arrived here not quite broiled. Just off again. Good house last night ; 
every thing went well. Quite smooth in my address. The Duke of 
Wellington was in a private box, and sent me a message at the end of 
the first part, begging that I would be quick between the acts, and that 
I Would not mention his name.* 

C. Mathews. 

* Not wishing a pointed recognition fh>m the aadlence.~A. M. 



M xsxonui Of 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Ludlow, July 6tb, 1820# 

This is the most beautiful town, I think, in England, in the most 
luxuriant country. Here are two days* races. They have eveimiff 
races ; and the play does not begin till these are over. Last nig'fat I 
began my work at ten o*clodk! At half past nine not one person in 
the house; by ten it was full; ay, 402.! and wonderful too— such a 
barn I To-nij^ht I expect the same sort of thing. 

I never heard of any thing so hard or ro unjust in my life, as joor 

suffering from thai fiend, Mrs» ; my blood boiled while I read your 

account. For once my discernment has been superior to yours; I never 
could endure that woman. Pray write often, if only four tines, for 1 
have been long enough away to be very low, at times, and I have been 
fidgety and uncomfortable ail this day in consequence of the non-arri- 
val of the paper. 

C. Mathews. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Evesham, July 25th, 1830. 

I was travelling all day yesterday, and arrived here just as the mail 
made its appearance for London. 

I did wonders at Birmingham. What think you of 90Z. in a room ? 
This was Thursday. The common outcry was against Saturday for a 
second performance, as it is pay-night, and the worst night in the 
week: — ^'♦Wbat a pity you can't play to-morrow?" — ^••No; impoasi. 
bje!"—*' Monday? "—"Advertised at Cheltenham!"— " Well, it's a 
pity, for I really would not advise you to play on Saturday : we are all 
in our counting-houses till eleven.*' — ^»* Never mind," said I, " I will try." 
I did : 75/. Ha ! I have no doubt, no hesitation in pronouncing that 
this was the greatest thing I ever accomplished, and shows that my new 
name is greater than my old one, for my attraction had evidently 
ceased when I was in Birmingham last. This completes my right 
reading, 400/. in a month; not clear, mind. 

I have seen within these three or four days an extraordinary exhibi- 
tion; four children all born in one day of one mother, all exactly alike ; 
sixteen months old, and all hearty. 

C. Mathews. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Stourbridge, Thursday, August 22nd» 1820. 

I write on my road to the ^ delicious farm-house," near Kiddermin- 
ster, where I dine and sleep. I am well, beautifully well. Oh ! how 
1 longed for Charley at Litchfield, Such architectural gems I such a* 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 97 

cathedral ! Chantrcy's glorious monument to the two children of one 
of the prebendaries — not the smallest of the lions; indeed, it is alto- 
gather a very interesting city. The house in which Dr. Johnson was 
born is still extant, and precisely as it appeared at his birth ; the house 
also of David Garrick's father, inhabited till within twenty-four years 
by Peter, his brother; the school where Garrick was educated; the 
house of Miss Seward ; the monuments of all these persons that en- 
rich the cathedral. Last night I had some remarkably fine Litchfield 
ale, which "reminded me " of the " Beaux Stratagem." 1 exclaimed 
to Crisp, " I eat my ale, and drink my ale." — " Oh," said the waiter, 
much to my surprise, being familiar with the quotation, *' Oh, sir, there 
are two rooms in this house exactly in the state tliey were when that 
there play was written. Mr. Boniface lived here, sir."—" This is a 
carious town," said I, " altogether. Mr. Garrick ought to have been 
born here." — "To be sure he ought, sir. I am glad to hear you say 
that. It was too bad of his father to go to Hereford whfen his wife 
was so near her lime ; but we claims him for all that, sir." 

C. Mathews. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Oswestry, August 31st, 1820. 

I am quite as anxious as yourself to have our new planting job com- 
menced, but I cannot even guess at the expense, nor can you, I am 
afraid. I ha-ve been at the Marquis of Stafford's lately, and took no- 
tice of the shrubs. If you have not got any in the grounds, a saddle- 
leaf tulip is beautiful. Have we any copper- coloured beech/ Com- 
mon stagshorn is another beauty, I am also recommended one or two 
medlar-trees. We have a weepipg-ash, I think; if not, pray get one: 
when large they are beautiful. A willow also I would recommend,' a 
weeping Morello cherry, and a red-blossomed hawthorn. I think I 
could screw myself up to 100/. cheerfully, but fear hugely that to fill 
up the Ha Ha, would take half that sum, and we should not bo incliue4 
to ha ha, at that. I have no idea of your "sine qua non;" a walk all 
round appears to be impossible. 

I am really very glad at the successful result of your interference with 
the s. If the cause were really what Mrs. suspected, (the so- 
ciety of abandoned women,) she had, and has nothing to apprehend, for 
those are the very women from whom a wife has the least to fear; it is 
they who can best show a man of well-regulated mind the value of 
a really virtuous companion, confidant, and friend. Whatever may 
have been the cause, I rejoice at the result. I am just delighted with 
an unexpected letter from you, the cheerful tone of which has made 
me fancy that even the inn-wine has exhilarated me. I am truljf 
pleased that your friends are doing so much to cheer you in my ab- 
sence. The assurance that you and dear Charley are happy in your 
home makes my wark light and my " labour pleasure." 

C. Mathjiiis. 

VOL* 1.— 4> 



98 MEMOIRB OF 



TO MRS. MATHEWS 

Oswestry, Sept 4th, 1820* 

The dear inseparable inimitables, Lady Butler and Miss Fonsonby, 
were in the boxes here on Friday. They came twelve miles from 
Llangollen, and returned, as they never sleep from home. Oh« such 
curiosities ! I was nearly convulsed. I could scarcely get on for the 
first ten minutes after my eye caught them. Though I had never seen 
them, I instantaneously knew them. As they are seated, there is not 
one point to distinguish them from men : the dressing and powder- 
ing of the hair; their well-starched neckcloths; the upper part of their 
habits, which they always wear, even at a dinner-party, made precise- 
ly like men's coats ; and regular black beaver men's hats. They looked 
exactly like two respectable superannuated old clergymen ; one the 
picture of Boruwlaski. I was highly flattered, as they never were in 
the theatre before. 

The packets now sail at seven in the morning; all day-work instead 
of night, which is delightful; and the weather is heavenly. People 
here are extremely hospitable; but, of all days in the year, Mr. 
Ormsby Gore went to Carnarvon assizes (being high sheriff) the day 
b^ore I arrived. He only returned yesterday; and almost forced me 
away from the inn. I, however, could not conveniently go there, but 
have been to call this morning. Such a place I 

By the by, have you any magnolias in the grounds ? if not, get me 
one or two. I saw a Portugal laurel, only four years old, full half the 
size of that great beauty at Lord Mansfield's; pray have one or two 
of them placed by themselves on our new lawn. 

I have to-day received an invitation to call, if I have time as I pass, 
at Llangollen, to receive in due form, from the dear old gentlemen 
called Lady Butler and Miss Ponsonby, their thanks for tl\e entertain- 
ment I afforded them at the theatre. 

C. Mathews, 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Dublin, Sept. 9th, 1820. 

I am now writing at Phillips's, where I am going to dine. He and 
his wife desire their kindest regards to " Sensitive Plant." I have the 
pleasure to say, I have arranged every thing here in such a way as, I 
think, to avoid all fidgets. 

Harris undertakes that all the business is to be transacted by his 
servants, so that my engagement is supposed to be with him, and he 
pays me a certainty. Instead of having a thousand knocks at my door, 
and my lodgings full of people, no one has any business with me. I 
have a short answer to all applications : ** I have nothing to do with it ; 
Mr. Farron will settle that It is Mr. Harris's business, not mine." I 
have in two days felt the advantage of this in numerous instances, too 
tedioas to mention. I have every prospect of being tolerably happy. I 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 99 

have resolved to remBin at an hotel where I put up first, within one 
hundred yards of the theatre ; very comfortable and clean, and in Sack- 
ville Street, the finest street in Dublin. 

C. Mathews. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

' Dublio, Oct 6th, 1820. 

I have only to repeat my report of triamphant success. I shall, as 
nearly as possible, average the same receipts as Harris with his whole 
company. Since you have planted me out from home, I shall not har- 
ry, though I am very home-sick. By the by, I do not recollect saying 
when I should come home ; for I certainly never have had a fixed plan, 
and my caravan must travel by easy stages. I therefore have had an 
idea of playing my way up ; in which case I could not be up till No- 
vember. However, my duty to my family ought to be above my love 
of ease at home ; and the longer I am away the better. I will there- 
fore remain as long as you shall think proper, and will not return till 
you say you are ready to receive me. 

G. Mathkws. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Dublin; Oct. 11th, 1820. 

I have been rather a bad boy this week to you; but the truth is, my 
life here is so monotonous that I cannot find any thing new to relate 
to yon. I find myself generally blue in Dublin, and therefore almost 
live at Seapoint, where I have become really attached to the inmates. 
Though a boarding-house, and therefore, you would suppose too public 
ibr me, I am quite at home with them; and they allow me to be as 
dull as I am sometimes inclined to be, without the slightest disposition 
to annoy me. They have one and all visited my theatre several times; 
and are aware of the relaxation absolutely necessary after my fi^tigoe. 
The morning there is particularly delightful; the beautiful sea-breeze, 
and view of the magnificent bay, &.c. make a Seapoint breakfast very 
desirable, and I have been induced two or three times to go down 
with some of the party after the performance. 

I finish to-night, and shall leave Dublin as soon as I can settle all 
my affairs. ** O, Ma!" how I long to see you. If it were not for the 
mould, I should be for flying up firom Holyhead ; but I will be patient.. 

C. Mathews. 



249432B 



100 JKIEliOIRS OT 

Daring one of these visits at Seapoint a striking instance 
was given of Mr. Mathews's power ef imbodying the mind^ 
as well as the person, of those he imitated. 

Mr. Plnnket, and about forty other gentlemen, after dinner 
one ^ay, at the time when Queen Caroline formed so fre- 
quent a topic of discussion, had grown rather warm upon it, 
when Mr. Shehan, since editor of a Dublin paper, wishing to 
turn the channel of the conversation, and longing to draw out 
Mr. Mathews, proposed the health of John Philpot Curran! 
" Pooh, pooh," said Mr. Plunket, who was at this moment 
rather matter-of-fact in his perceptions, " the man's dead! 
what do you mean by proposing his health?" — " I diflfer with 
you entirely," replied Mr. Shehan; " and I return to my 
toast." — " Then," said Mr. Plunket, ** may be you'll back 
your assertion with a bet?" — " With all my heart," replied 
Mr. Shehan: *' how much are you inclined to bet?" — " I'll 
bet you five pounds," answered Mr. Plunket, "that John 
Philpot Curran is dead." — " Done!" added Mr. Shehan: 
"I'll bet five pounds that he is not! So, gentlemen, I repeat 
my toast." The " health of Mr. Curran "was accordingly 
drunk with cheers, which were reiterated on the rising of 
Mr. Mathews, who happened to be disposed to humour the 
joke against Mr. Plunket. He began by returning thanks, 
in the tone, look, and manner of Mr. Curran, and his phrase- 
ology, for the "honour done him;" and afterwards delivered a 
most eloquent speech on a subject upon which Curran could 
never have spoken, the trial of Queen Caroline — taking the 
bias of Curran' s politics, and presenting altogether such a fine 
specimen of his style of oratory, and such a personification of 
Ireland's celebrated wit, that he completely impressed his 
hearers with the actual presence of the man, and induced Mr. 
Plunket (albeit not fond of parting with his money on such 
occasions,) in an enthusiasm of wonder and delight, to push 
over the bank-notes to Mr. Shehan, exclaiming, " I've lost — 
fairly lost! Curran is not dead, and can never die while Ma- 
thews lives!" 

The foregoing anecdote was recently related to me by a 
friend, as having occurred in his presence. It furnishes one 
of the many instances that occurred of the same character. 
His own words were hesitatingly pronounced, but the moment 
he entered upon the style and manner of another, however 
brilliant and intellectual, the mental resources of that man 
seemed immediately to become his own; and he invested 
himself for the time being with all his attributes and opinions, 
voice, and other peculiarities, becoming as fluent as though hQ 



CHARLES MATHEWS, 101 

had previously written down and studied what that particular 
man might say, whose supposed words he uttered. I .have 
heard him deliver long speeches upon any given subject, as 
from different orators of the day, on themes upon which they 
never could have spoken, but which they would not have 
disdained to 'own. Not only did he give with them the 
person's tone and gestures; but tke peculiar colouring and 
shades of their several minds, with the most inconceivable 
nicety. I have often regretted at the time that I had not been 
a short-hand writer, in order to take down and preserve these 
extraordinary instances of his peculiar genius.* 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Porkington, near Owestry, Oct. 19th, 1820. 

I am here as a visiter to Mr. Ormsby Gore. Porkington is one mile 
from Oswestry, and is the larf^est house in Eng-land, being four times 
the size of Hampton Court Palace. The park is forty miles round. 
There are thirty tliousand head of deer in it, and a lake much larger 

* The Countess of Blessington, in her " Conversations with Loi-d 
Byron," has rfep^istered the noble poet's opinion, and that also of Sir 
Walter Scott, (which he cites as agreeing with his own,) of Mr. 
Mathews's peculiar mental faculties. This high testimony to my 
husband's rare powers from such distinguished and indisputable au- 
thority, I am very proud to record ; and as the impressions of these 
illustrious personages will support and confirm my recent account and 
description of Mr. Mathews's particular imitation of their great contem- 
porary, it will not be inappropriately placed as a sequel to my notice.of 
Mr. Curran. Lord Byron's observations to Lady Blessington were as 
follows : speaking upon literaiy snbjecls, he said — 

"Translations, for the most part, resemble imitations where the 
marked defects are exaggerated, and the beauties passed over, always 
excepting the imitations of Mathews, who seems to have continuous 
chords in his mind, that vibrate to tliose in the minds of others, as he 
g-ives not only. the look, tones, and mannei*s of the persons he personi- 
fies, but the very train of thinking, and the expressions they indulge 
in ; and, strange to say, this modern Proteus succeeds best when the 
imitated is a person of genius or great talent, as he seems to identify 
himself with him. His imitation of Curran can hardly be so called; it 
is a continuation, and is inimitable. 1 remember Sir Walter Scott's 
observing, that Mathews's imitations were of the miW, to those who 
had the key ; but as the majority had it not, they were contented with, 
admiring those of the person, and pronounced him a mimic who ought 
to be'considered an accurate and philosophic observer of human nature, 
blessed with the rare talent of intuitively identifying himself with the 
minds of others. "^ 

9* 



102 MStfotRsor 

than Derwent water, or Killftmey, or Ontario. The lady he marrred' 
was «x times as rich as Miss Tilney Long, who was said, falsely, to be 
the richest heiress in England. Miss Ormsby had tl>ree roillions of 
ready cash, and a hundred and fifty thousand pounds a year. I heard 
of my old friend Gore marrying her three years ago, and when I wa» 
at Shrewsbury received an invitation from him, which' I could not 
accept, but have now. 

The above is something Ifbe the reports that were in circulation in 
Ireland when I was there last, and which have not above two-thirds 
exaggerated the real facts, in two years. It is really a magnificent 
place, not exceeded by Lord Mansfield's. I go there on Friday; 
return liere on Saturday; and give one night to a ragged manager, to 
'please Gore, on Monday. 

Charles Mathews. 



TO MRS. MAI HEWS. 

Porkington, Oct. 24th. 

Well, I have seen them, heard them, touclied them. The pets, 
"Me ladleSf" as they are called, dined here yesterday — Lady Eleanor 
Butler and Miss Ponsonby, tlie curiosities of Llangollen mentioned by 
Miss Seward in her lettei-s, about the year 1760. I mentioned to you 
in a former letter the effect they produced upon me in public, but 
never shall I forget the firet burpt yesterday upon entering the drawing- 
room: to find the dear antediluvian darlings, attired for dinner in the 
same manified dress, with the Croix de St. Louis, and otlier ordere, and 
myriads of large brooches, with stones lai-ge enough for snuff-boxes, 
stuck into their starched neckcloths ! I have not room to describe their 
most fascinating persons. I have an invitation from them, which I 
much fear I cannot accept. They returned home last night, fourteen 
miles, after twelve o'clock. They have not slept one night from home 
for above forty years. I longed to put Lady Eleanor under a bell-glass, 
and bring her to Highgate for you to look at. To-moiTow night \gtve 
a night here to Stanton, a poor manager. On Thursday, Litchfield; 
Saturday, Cheltenham ; and then for home ; dear home, dear t«f ancy 
and Charles! 

I really would advise building the wall, if you are clear weliave a right 
to build, but if you are in any doubt, I shall be home about Monday 
week; but, again I say, do what you like. 

C. Mathews. 



TO MRS.^ MATHEWS. 

Litchfield, Nov. 26th, 1820. 

I rather expected to hear from you. 1 go hence today to Stafford ; 
and shall be all the rest of the week at Newcastle-under-Lyne. U is 



CBASLES MATSBWI7. 103 

dieve young Bekombe Bves^ who makea aiy time pus very pleumtly. 
I have been greatly received here, in consequence of the ill treatment 
when here last. Parr was the great offender.* 1 was invited about a 
month back ; and I wrote a letter to the printer, in which I said I 
would never act in Litchfield Theatre again while Parr was alive. 
This made some noise. . I met a clerg>'man at Sir Roger Greslcy** 
who said, if I would come, he would get the Town Hall. This waft 
done. A few days ago Crisp found Parr's letter, and sent it to mef 
in which he agreed to let the theatre for two nights for five gtiineas^ 
though they stopped our good^ last year till ten guineas were paid, I 
read this letter in every place on Friday where 1 could muster an au- 
dience, and gave notice that I would have a touch at the parties at 
night. After dinner I tried my hand at an epigram, which I delivered 
after the lawyer's bill, that I always read, in which I introduced the 
whole transaction, making out (he demand from Mr. Griffin for an "At 
Home," and charge ** for stopping the apparel belonging to his country 
cousins.'' This made a ** great laugh at the time." God bless you. 

C. Mathews. 

Mr. Mathews excessively disliked to be looked at. He 
would make a circuit, lame as he was, through all the dirty 
windings of London, or elsewhere, to escape the recognition 
of the better-bred part of the population ; and, like a shying 
horse, he was always on the look-out for objects of annoyance. 
In driving about town he would generally keep the blinds 
down on his side, and would push me forward in the carriage, 
asihe said, '* to take off the stare from him.*' On all public 
(non-professional) occasions he liked to have some noticeable 
person with him, to attract the looks of strangers from him. 
If he heard his name even whispered, his eyes would fall and 
his colour mount ; yet, sometimes, ff any person, in middle 
or low life, appeared to know him, and discovered their 
knowledge by any indications that seemed involuntary, a 
smile, or a leer, he would smile good-humouredly in return, 
and not feel annoyed at such notice, though at the same time 
it made him look " sheepishly." Not only did he object to 
the gaze of strangers, but any other person looking fixedly at 
him, or any part of his dress, was equally disagreeable to his 
feelings ; yet often, as if by a fatality, he had something about 
him that seemed to invite the notice he disliked. He con* 
stantly wore a miniature eye as a shirt-pin, Avhich naturally 
attracted the observation of people while they listened to him. 
From the weight of its setting, it always appeared as if it 
was in danger of falling out ;, -and when warned of the 
probability of this happening, he would hastily (and as 1 

• A lawyer who hid the letting offbn theatre, and who, like many other such 
psople, thought he had a right loimpgw upon bim^-'A'M. 



104 HEHOIRS OF 

knew, impetuously) button up his waistcoat to hide it front 

farther remark. 

A droll incidjent occurred to him after his visit to Sir Roger 
Gresley. On the following day, having returned to his inn at 
Litchfield, he was visited by one of the gentlemen whom he 
had met the evening before. Mr. Mathews was always rest- 
less and depressed on his days of performance. This was 
' one of them ; and he willingly would have dispensed with 
the company of his new acquaintance. As the visit lengthen- 
ed, he paced up and down the room, from time to time, with 
some impatience. The visiter, however, was immoveable. 
At length conversation began to flag. The restlessness of my 
husband increased, but the gentleman seemed rooted to his 
chair. It was evident too, that while Mr.. Mathews walked 
about, the eyes of the visiter were directed to his feet. He 
thought that his lameness caused this pointed notice, and sat 
down abruptly. Still the eyes gazed with undiminished 
interest"; and no admirer of a Cinderella foot ever appeared 
more fascinated than did this gentleman with those of my poor 
husband. Again he started up ; again he walked and talked. 
The gentleman answered, but seemed to grow absent. Still, 
however, his eyes "glared," as my husband angrily termed 
it, at his feet. A last, quite unable any longer to endure this 
persevering investigation of his pedal peculiarities', he sud- 
denly informed his visiter that he must excuse him, as he 
had the business of the night to arrange. The geiitlemah 
again looked anxiously at the feet of the now really enraged 
owner of them, (who sjiowed by his manner how much he 
was annoyed,) hesitated, and blushed; but at last timidly 
observed, ** Those shoes of yours are very peculiar, Mr. 
Mathews?" A snappish " Yes, sir," was all the reply of the 
wearer, whose anger was increasing every instant. " I had, 
I think, a pair like them." — ** Probably, ^^ was the only word 
jerked out in answer. " Indeed I did not think a second pair 
was to be found of the same make." My husband looked 
daggers as he observed his visiter's eyes still riveted upon his 
feet. '* You, perhaps, remember," he continued, " where 
you bcJught them, Mr. Mathews ; for 1 really shall be glad to 
get a pair readily ?" No reply was given to this, but an 
impatient movement of said feet into another position. At 
last, pressed to account for the manner in which he procured 
these '* admirable shoes," he cast his own eyes upon them, 
and, to his surprise, perceived that they were not his own, 
but, as the gendeman said, a " yery peculiar pair," and much 
too large for his very small feet* 



CHiJII^BS MATHEW8. 10ft 

The tnith at once flashed across his mind:— '< These shoes, 
sir, perhaps, are yours?" The owner of them, for such he 
was, bowed, coloured, and said: " Why, Mr. Mathews, if you'll 
pardon my thinking so, I must confess I believe them to be 
mine. I had them made after a plan of my own, for shoot- 
ing-shoes, and missed them this morning with great regret, 
my servant bringing me a pair much too small for me; and 
I suspect they would better fit your feet than mine." The 
matter was clear; and they both laughed heartily. The most 
extraordinary part of this unconscious felony was, that the 
person wearing them did not perceive the bad fit of the shoes, 
or find himself inconvenienced with their weight, for the 
soles were^ embossed with nails! 

This incident amused him at the time; and afterwards, 
whenever a *' good stare " came in his way, the recollection 
of it had the wholesome effect of making the stared at think 
of the stolen shoes, and sometimes (if not on a performance 
day) smile, instead of expressing annoyance, at any partial 
notice. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Bristol, Nov. 27th, 1820. 

Here I am safe arrivedl Had the mail all to myself until Reading, 
when a drunken buck got in, who amused himself with blowing a horn, 
screeching, singing, and kicking up all sorts of rows. He was, how- 
ever, too sick to stay long inside, Uiank Heaven ! and told the guard 
that he would get out on the box. I did not wake between Marlbo- 
rough and Bath, notwithstanding his delightful horn, which I occa- 
sionally heard in my sleep. We breakfasted together at Marlborough, 
when, after re stupid stare, he sputtered out, " I don*t think I should be 
much mistaken if I called you by your name, sir?** This is the only 
"little anecdote"! can relate, as I slept nearly all* the way. Mr. 
Jameson, and Mrs, Routh, my landlady, are both well, and very fat. 
The " dear boy," too, is grown a sweet youth I They all "desire their 
duty to you.'* 

C. Mathjew 



106 MEMOIRS OF 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

BristoL 

I fake the opporttinity of Mr. Walker's going to town, to send yon 

the correspondence between Mr. * and Mr. Crisp. I went to 

efee the hero last night. The published copy of " The Mail-coach '*^ 
was his subject.t Such a dear fellow ! As the horn, in the song, it 
was just such an 'attempt as little Walter Terry's would be. He had 
a man under the temporary stage, evidently in the ventriloquy, which 
part appeared surprising ; and no wonder, for the response was so pow- 
erful, so articulate, and so unlike his own guttural sounds, that those 
who could be imposed upon must have thought, as I should, if I had 
not immediately discovered the trick, that he was the best ventriloquist 
in existence. When, however, he was obliged to rely, upon himself, 
with the child in the box, " merciful powers !" the voice for the child li- 
terally was not human. When he gave a glass of wine to the figure, 
and repeated, " God bless the King and Queen, and all the royal fami'> 
ly,'' an immediate uproar began ; and the hisses having rather discon- 
certed him, he bowed low, and, with his peculiarly soothing voice, said, 
"Ladies and gentlemen, I only speak the author." ^Oh, if you could 
have heard him ! I was convulsed, knowing that I was the person al- 
luded to, having invented that very original phrase. He is a pot-house 
sort of a man ; and Crisp's ill-considered letter raised him some parti- 
sans, who supported him with the most unnatural applause. There 
appeared, if all paid, to be about 25/. in the room ; but Cummins told 
me he had spoken to the cash-taker of the rooms, who said, this is all 
the money (not much,) and there's plenty of paper. Cumminsssays, 
there was not one perfion of respectability in the room. 

C. Mathews^ 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Birmingham, Dec. 12th, 1820. 

I opened here last night. The theatre is really beautiful, and the 
audience were joyous beyond former example, though not so numerous 
as might have been expected by some. For my part, I told Bunn, it 
would not do what he hoped: but he would have me: we had 641. On 
Monday, per pressing invitation, I enact in the Town Hall, at Strat- 
ford ; and, if they will come forward, I shall repeat on the Wednesday, and 
then off for home. This has been a most harassing and troublesome 
trip; and had I not made the bargain I have with Crisp, of clear half, 
I should by this time have been somewhere about raving mad. The 
impositions at Bristol exceed any thing I ever met v^^ith. They fell 
upon poor Crisp. He has stooped his neck to be trod upon, and be in- 

* A perBon who inUnied to pass for Mr. Mathews, his bills Iwing artfully maa- 
aged to that efiecU 
t Qae of the tr lUDpevy imposition already mentioned.— A. M. 



CHABLES MATHBW8. 101 

vnlted, that I might not be irritated and annoyed. That rascal at the 
Rooms made him pay five guineas for one for which Simpson only paid 
three, and Fiemington only two; and would not let him prepare it for 
a third night, under 102. ! 

Two demands I have had made for Mr. JrUh Mathews; one for the use 
of Merchant Tailors* Hall, Bristol — ^fbur weeks — **^ which doubtless I 
had forgot-^-OT you had forgot to mention it — as I went away before 
you — and you promised it should be sent *'!!!* 

I am very glad to hear Charley is learning short-hand: it must be a 
most desirable acquisition. 

C. Mathews. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Stratford, Dec. 18th, 1820. 

I arrived here last nighL When half-way it began to snow ; and I 
think I never was out in such a punishing day, as Crisp calls it. I 
am, however, thank God, none the worse for it. I applaud Charles for 
his modesty : I did not expect more or lees from him.t It is unneces- 
sary to. say more till I see you. I have the pleasure to tell you that 
my second night at Birmingham produced 84/. ! ! ! ! ! ! Don*t stare at 
the notes of admiration; for it is absolutely sgreed by Crisp and Bunn 
that, *^ under the circumstances, it is the greatest thing I have ever 
done. I thought then the thing had done its do; but the third and last 
night produced 135/., giving me for my week 140/. Be grateful, as I 
am ; and take this from me, that the thing is not over any where. It 
is still as warm as ever, and will last long enough for all hopes and 
purposes, please God I keep my strength. 

C. Mathews. 

Sanguine as he was, with regard to the continuance of his 
popularity in his Entertainments at this early period, he would 
have proved an absolute skeptic had any one assured him that 
his reputation and success would proceed increasingly for 
fourteen years after, and then only cease— with his life! 

Mr. Mathews had for some time past set his heart upon pro- 
moting, by a public subscription, the erection of a monument 
to Shakspeare in his native place; and his present visit there 
was chiefly on this account. 

* Here our namesakes had been doindr us honotir once more.^A. M. 
t Charles had been asked whether he felt competeut (o make a drawing and plan 
for a monument.— A . M. 



108 MEXOIIUS ov 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 



Stratford, Dec. 19th, 1820. 

I have just returned from the Town Hall. Would that thou couldst 
have seen me! Unprepared, unarranged, I rushed before them: I 
opened my plans, my proposals; and, in an extempore speech, gained 
the applauses qf " Ladies and Gentlemen." V affaire est fini. Two 
clergymen (one of them Dr. Davenport, the vicar) joined their names 
to mine as parties concerned. Subscriptions were immediately offer- 
ed, a committee formed, and the town half on fire already. Would 
you believe it, tlie first propitious circumstance on our arrival, the fii*st 
thing we heard, was, that the site of Shakspeare's house. New-place, 
where he died, and where tlie mulberry tree grew, is to be disposed 
of? 1 have got myself into a notoriety that I did not seek or expect. 
I was voted treasurer by acclamation « and, when the meeting was over 
a private communication was made to me that the corporation wished 
to bestow some mark of their favour upon me — would I like the free- 
dom? in short, "what was done for Garrick ought to be done for me.*' 
I declined all notice till the affair, at all events, was completed. 

Charles Mathews. 



The following account of this meeting appeared at the 
time: — 

Agreeably to the suggestion of Mr. Mathews, a meeting of the in- 
habitants of Stratford-upon-Avon was held at the Town Hall, on the 
19th of December, 1820, to consider of the best mode of erecting, in 
the form of a theatre, a national monument to tlie immortal memory of 
Shakspeare. 

Upon this occasion Captain Saunders took the chair. 

Mr. Mathews stated, at considerable length, the object of calling the 
meeting. It had long been a subject of regret to the literary and dra- 
matic world, he observed, that a town so distinguished as the birth- 
place of Shakspeai-e should not possess some token of national respect 
and gratitude to such an immortal genius. In other towns similar in- 
stances had occurred under far less imperative reasons.. On the Calton- 
hill, near Edinburgh, a monument had been erected to the memory of 
Hume the historian; at Dumfries a mausoleum had been raised by the 
inhabitants to commemorate their poet Bums. But the only tribute 
worthy of notice to the menaory of Shakspeare, was privately erected 
by Garrick, in his own garden at Hampton. He was desirous of stating 
that, in coming forward on the present occasion, he had any thing but 
interested views. He was ready to go hand and heart into the business: 
he would apply personally to all he knew; he would even endeavour, 
through the medium of those most distingoished members of the Royal 
FamOy, who had ever patronised the arts in feneral, and aboye all, 



C&AKLES' MXTHEWS. 10^ 

the drama, to lay this proposition at the foot of the throne; and he felt 
the fullest confidence that our gracious monarch would g^ve his par 
tronage and purse to the completion of this object. He would, more- 
over, exert what influence he possessed with every man of rank and 
talent, every poet, artist, and sculptor, whom he was fortunate enough 
to know, to aid this important undertaking. He particularly impressed 
on their minds that he did not wish at all to tax any person ag^nst his 
inclination or means. It would be the proudest boast of any person's 
life to say, in after times, when passing by this building, " Ay, I had 
a hand in that." All this he left entirely to their own ideas. But, 
above all, he begged their strenuous and united exertions in a cause 
so important to the literary and dramatic character of the whole coun- 
try. 

It was resolved unanimously: 

That Charles Mathews, Esq. be hereby appointed president and trea- 
surer of the committees. 

It was farther resolved unanimously: 

That a committee of management in London be formed under the 
direction of Mr. Mathews, who shall have power to imbody the samcy 
and enlarge it ad libitum. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Bury, Jan. 29th, 1821. 

I have just arrived here on my way to Ipswich, and stay to-night; 
therefore snatch the opportunity of saying [ am quite well, that I re- 
ceived your kind long letter yesterday, and that I am in high feather. 
I expect a letter from you at Ipswich, when I arrive in the morning; 
if not, write by return, and acknowledge the money sent by General 
Phipps. 

Have you read "Kenilworth?" though I don't know how you should. 
Only think of my good fortune! Having studied every word of the 
matter I brought with me, and unfortunately having no more, f was 
miserable at the prospect of an evening without a book. On Friday I 
went to a library, which had all the usual trash, and, without hope» 
asked for "Kenilworth." The man said he had lent it only two hours 
before, and it was not even cut up — " what a |>ity I was not sooner!** 
but he would send to the lady, and say it was for me, and perhaps she 
would give it up, if I would promise to finish the first volume that 
night. I did, and she did. Good woman! I read from six o'clock 
till three o'clock in the morning, and got into the middle of the third 
volume. Was not this a treat? But more, I forced — -~ to read for 
once, the only time I ever saw him. Got him « Mid Ix)thian;" and, 
as he knows nothing of the novels but through the meansof Terry and 
Pocock,* it was an event. He only went to sie^ twice, and actually 

* Tliese genttemeii dramatiaed ** Gay MaimeriDgand Rob Roy."— A: Mt 
VOL* I.— -IQ 



IIQ MXMOUUIpF 

read till half-past elcTeii! when he went to bed. kaTing ne up to my 
dun in delight 

C Mathsw». 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Colchester, Feb. 1st, 1821. 

I have been forced into playing two nights following; which I told 
you I would not do ag^in. Only conceive my surprise when I arrived 
at Ipswich on Monday night, at finding myself advertised for Wednes-. 
day, when I had fixed Thursday. The printer **had taken the liberty 
of altering the night!" What think you of that? George, Crisp, my- 
self, and above all the poor mare, doomed to fatigue, hurry scurry, and 
the bustle of travelling and playing the same night. These idiots here 
served me the same trick before. Defend me from fools; I prefer ras- 
cals. This fellow was one of the cool ones, too, that would not be af- 
fronted when I tried lo insult him. I only wish all of that breed could 
be kept out of my way. 

I am, however, in great health, thank God, and have walked to-day 
seTcn miles ^ with my lame leg.'* i return to-morrow to Ipswich. 

C. Mathews. 

It is a very melancholy fact, that Mr. Mathews was not 
originally altogether lame from his accident, as is evident from 
the circumstance of his notice in the foregoing letter of his 
seven miles' walk. Had he been satisfied with the partial 
cure which had been effected, it would have been a great bless- 
ing to him and to those who loved him; but not finding his 
natural activity entirely restored, he was resdess and anxious 
about it, always believing himself so nearly well as to feel he 
could not be far removed from entire recovery. This feeling 
operated so constantly that it induced many experiments, 
which ultimately rendered it a painful effort to him to walk 
only a few yards, . 

In March of this year the following paragraph appeared in 
the papers, the forerunner of many of a similar kind: 

It is reported that a gentleman of great comic celebrity in the thea- 
trical world is shortly to ascend in a balloon. Whether the object be 
to satisfy a carious and inqatting mind — 

** To catch the manners liTing as they rise,*' 

we know not; bnt must express our decided disapprobation of soch a 
bazardons undertaking ; which might be the means of depriving the 



CHAEtBS MATHEWS. Hi 

public of the gratification alwayt received from his unriTalled talents. 
Shoald this meet his eye, he will not think the worse of as lor this 
suggestion. 

In explanation of this report it is necessary to relate, that 
Mr. Mathews had long entertained a desire to ascend in a 
balloon; and falling in with a person of the name of Living- 
stone, who was speculating upon sending one up from Lon- 
don, Mr. Mathews actually promised, under pain of a heavy 
penalty in case of failure, to go up with him in the spring of 
this year. Upon learning this, the idea immediately occurred 
to the manager, Mr. Arnold, that such an event would give a 
pleasant and popular subject and title to the next entertain- 
ment; and consequently, every preparation was made in re- 
ference to the expected adventure; but my consent was want- 
ing. At first I had only faintly opposed what I really con- 
ceived to be an intimation made jestingly; but, unluckily, this 
apparent indifference about the undertaking induced my hus- 
band thus fearlessly to bind himself. When, however, he 
came to town, and declared his serious intention, and his po- 
sitive agreement with Mr. Livingstone, I urged him to give 
up the project at any loss; for that I never could consent to 
what seemed to me so hazardous an experiment. The con- 
sequence was, that the design, after a fruitless struggle to con- 
quer my objections, was reluctantly given up, and the fine 
paid (a considerable one,) for the owner of the balloon had 
great expectations of profit from so remarkable an aeronaut. 



U9 ifguova OK 



CHAPTER VIII. 



Aonouncement of Mr. Mathews's Adventures in Air, Earth, and Wa- 
ter. — Account of these Adventures. — Address on the close of the 
Fourth Season of Mr, Mathews's Entertainments. — Whimsical Mis- 
take. — Mrs. Siddons in Nell in tlie " Devil to Pay," and Mr. John 
Kemble as Falstaff. — Anecdotes of Mr. Coleridge and Mr. Charles 
Lamb. — Letter of Mr. Coleridge to Mr. Mathews. 

The relinquishment by Mr. Mathews of his desi^ of as- 
cending in a balloon, greatly disappointed public expectation, 
and frustrated in some measure the arrangements for the next 
" At Home." The proprietor of the theatre, therefore, found 
it expedient, in the form of advertisements, to follow up the 
reports of Mr. Mathews's intention by an affected and play- 
ful belief of his ascent. Many ingenious imitations were to 
be seen, in the papers and elsewhere, for a week or two pre- 
viously to the re-opening of the English Opera House, which 
served as announcements of his 

ADVENTURES IN AIR; EARTH, AND WATER. 

» FOUND.— MR. MATHEWS, 

Who (having been o.ut of his element) will be found again At 
Home, (for the 125th time,) at the Theatre Royal, B5nglish Opera 
House, Strand, this present Thursday, March 15th, 1821, when it is 
respectfully announced that he will have the honour to attempt a de- 
scription of his Travels in 

AIR, EARTH, AND WATER! 
'PXrt I. — AIR. — Ballooning. — Reasons for rising. — Professional' 
Opinions. — Friends in a Fever. — Murk Mirabel, the Wonderer. — Sen- 
timental Reflections on Sailing. — Major Longbow, the modern Mun- 
chausen. — White Lies. — Mr. and Mj*s. 6uffiD.-«JMrB. Dajnper,, a Joht% 
Comforter. — Inquisitive Ladies. 



CHARLBS MATBEWfi. 113 

Scag-^Air Ballooning, 

Lady's Album. — ^Little Extracts from great Poets. — Aotog^raphs.^ 
MoDsieur Arc en Ciet*a Essay on Ballooning !— ^dd SerwatiooB oa 
quilting Terra Firma. — Putney Bridge and Wandsworth Commoa.-.-' 
Patience in a Punt. — ^Frightening Fish. — Cockney Sportsmen. 

Song — T%e First of September. 

Re-ascent — Munchausen in Nuhihus. — Telescopic Observations. — 
Ciiinese Juggler. — Skein of Cotton Thread.^ — View of Margate.— Spe- 
culations on Smoke, 

Song — Steam-Boat. 

Part II. — EARTH. — Margate Pier. — Passengers per Steamer. 

Song — DejeHni at Saint Peter^o. 

Paul Pinnacle, the Quality Tag, and Cutter of Commons; his Sys- 
tem shown up. 

Song— High and Humble, \^hat a Jumble! 

Mr. Mathews's Code of Cuts.— Cut Celestial, Cut Infernal, Cut Col- 
lateral, Cut Retrospective, and Cut Direct ! — Mr. and Mrs. Capsicum, 
— Barnaby Thwack, the Donkey-Driver. — Danger of Non-aspiration 
of an H. — Epitaphs in a Church-yard transplanted to an Album. — 
Dissertation on Dress, — Lodgings to let.^ — Warm Reception in Close 
Quarters.— An Attorney's Bill, — Catching a Native. — Tossing in a 
Carpet. — Daniel O'Rourke ; his Dream ; his Visit to the Man in the 
Moon. — Mr. Chick. cherry-clap, the Margate Librarian. 

Song— J^e Margate Library. 
Return Home. — Finale. 

Part III.— WATER.— Mr. Mathews will represent the Pleaiureo 
of a Sea.voyage in 

THE POLLY PACKET.* 

Passengers per Polly : 
Mr. Theophilus Tulip, a novice on the ocean, 
Mrs. Tulip, his maternal mamma. 

Monsieur Jeu-Singe, French artist in dancing dogs and monkeysr ' 
Isaac Tabinet, a Jew merchant 

Major Longbow, ) Aeronauts on their return. 
Mr. Mathews, > 

Daniel O'Rourke, Steward of the Polly. 
Invisible Captain. 
Poultry in the Hold. 
K» B. As three of the elements have already been intruded upoB, iii 

* Written by R. B. Peake, Emj^ 

la* 



114 SEjfoiBB or 

order that the fourih may not feel mggtkrreAi it is neeesMry to sfat«- 
that a good FIRE is oonstantlj kept in the theatre. 

The songs will be accompanied ion the piano-forte, by Mr. £. Knight^ 
(Pupil to Mr. T. Cooke,) who will perforin favourite rondos between 
the parts. 



Of these Adventures the following^ account is worth pre* 
servation: 

About the middle of March the dead walls of the n^etropolis dis- 
played to the wondering gaze of passengers the following placard, in 
letters of enormous size : 

"jeiOOO Reward I—Charies Mathews, Esq.! 

" Whereas, it is said, that the above gentleman, actuated by a strange 
propensity for rising in the world, left hia home, at Highgate, perpendi- 
eularIy,on Saturday, in a balloon, and has not since been seen or heard of 
If this be fact, there can be no doubt (from his known habits of punctu- 
ality) that he will be * At Home * at the English Opera House on Thurs- 
day next, 15th March, when he will probably give the account of his 
adventures in the air, &c. 

^'N. B. If he will return to his disconsolate friends, (the public,) no 
questions will hG asked ; and he will, doubtless, in the course ol the 
season receive the above reward." 

Much speculation was set on foot by the appearance of this adver- 
tisement, and many of those good, easy, well-meaning persons, who 
never look beyond the surface of any thing, read the "quiz" in solemn 
sadness, commenting very profoundly upon the folly of the aeronaut in- 
thus endangering his precious limbs. The theatre, however, was 
crowded upon the appointed evenings and Mr, Mathews delighted the 
audience with a novel entertainment. It opens with the descent of 
Mathews upon the stage in a balloon; when, taking out his watch, he 
remarks, " He has, luckily, landed at the English Opera House just-at the 
hour appointed for commencing the performances.*' He then gives his rea- 
son for undertaking the aerial excursion. " All his friends had advised 
him to relinquish his * At Home,' assuring him, that it was utterly im- 
possible to produce any novelty. He, however, was not to be per- 
suaded ; and having * exhausted worlds,' determined to *• imagine new,' 
by the assistance of a balloon." Various personages endeavoured to 
alter his resolution ; and the arguments they make use of are detailed 
with exquisite humour. Among them is Mrs. Damper, a ** Job's com- 
forter," who, finding him resolved to persevere, details to him, with 
great exactness, the names of all those who have perished by falls from 
balloons. He ascends; and, afler meeting with sundry adventures, 
finds himself upon the banks of the Thames, at Wandsworth. H9 is 
here joined by Major Longbow, a modern Munchausen, whose charac- 
ter is the tit-bit of the entertainment, and is certainly conceived and' 



Oa AUIB8 MATHEWS. 115 

•ttstained in moit admirable ftjle. It rarpMiM all that we principally 
admired in the precedinjjr entertainmente ; even the Old Scotch Lady 
is not more hamorons. This Major is everlastingly boaating of hia 
** muscle/' and telllDg outrageous and unblushing falsehoods, clenching 
every one with the exclamation, *' Upon my life it*s true ! What*u 
you lay it's a lie !'* There is also a Monoieur Arc en Ciel, who fa- 
vours the company with a very learned dissertation on ballooning. At 
Wandsworth the party meet with Fatience in a punt, in the shape of 
Mr, Job Twaddle, formerly an eminent hosier in Gutter Lane, who is 
a most persevering angler, and in the course of a fortnight had the 
^ood fortune to meet with one nibble and one bite J We never saw any 
thing more laughable and true to nature than the way in which Ma* 
thews imitates the old gentleman's manner of examining his various 
lines, and his desponding shake of the head when he finds he is not 
likely to meet with any spertr Mr. Twaddle is a decided enemy to 
steam. boats, and upon being asked ** Wherefore?'* replies, *'They frighten 
the fish!" He also dislikes bathing, because it *^ frightens the fish!" 
And balloons likewise, for the same reason. Upon this, Longbow says : 
— " I advise, you, sir, never to show your face in the water." " Why 
so, sir ?"— »• 'Twill frighten the fi8h,^Upon my life it's true ! What'U 
you lay it's a lie ?" Certain Cockney sportsmen now approach, and a 
long burlesque account of their adventures occurs. Longbow and Ma* 
thews now re- ascend, and the Major indulges in some of his usual hy- 
perboles, when the travellers arrive in sight of Margate; and the sight 
of the steam-packet induces a very happy caricature of the humours 
of the vessel, in mingled recitation and singing. They then descend, 
and thus finishes the First Part. 

Part IL commences with a description of the gaieties of Margate, 
and a dejune at St. Peter's. Several of the visiters pass in review ; 
amongst whom is a notorious dinner-hunter, or feaster at other people's 
expense. "That man can drink a great deal; can't he!" says some 
one. "Oh! yes, any given quantity," is the reply. After hiui comes 
Mr. and Mrs. Capsicum^ vulgar citizens, and Faul Pinnacle^ a would- 
be fashionable, who spends his life in courting the society of great peo* 
pie, and thinks more about the House of Lords tlian he does of the 
Lord's house. This character is very elaborately described, and is 
evidently drawn from life. His directions for " cutting," though the 
idea is not new, are highly diverting. In the next place, Mathews ac- 
companies to the church-yard a young lady, who carries a magnificent 
Album, in which slie collects autographs and epitaphs. Of the former 
she has, among others, that of Sam Swab, the steersman of the steam* 
packet; and amongst the latter, the well-known lamentation, "Af- 
flictions sore long time I bore," &c. She also has **An Original 
Poem, by Lord Byron," commencing, " My name, d'ye see, 's Tom 
Tough, and I've seen a little sarvice ;" and some verses by Rogers, the 
first couplet of which is — 

" I am a brisk and sprightly lad. 
And just come home from sea, sir !" 

On his return from the ohurch-yard, Mathews meets with an- old ae^ 



116^ HSHoiitsor 

quaintance, in the form of Daniel O^Rourie^ wfco waa introduced inr 
the ** Trip to Paris.'' ' A whimaical detail of DanieVa adventures since 
that period follows ; and the piece terminates with the picture of a 
Margate library, and the embarkation on board the packet to return to 
London. 

Thus far all has been mere description; but, in the third Part, Ma- 
thews again undertakes that rapid assumption of characters, in which 
he is so perfectly unrivalled. The stage represents the cabin of the 
packet, with the berths, holds, &,c. In the first place, he enters aa 
Daniel 0*Rourke, who has obtained the situation of steward to the 
Polly Packet. After much laughable singing and soliloquizing, the 
performer's powers of ventriloquism are called into servicer and the 
eaptain*s voice is heard upon deck, calling for Daniel to come aloft. 
He ascends, and in a moment reenters as Mrs, ThUip^a. lusty sensitive 
dame, who expresses much disgust at the inconvenience of the packet,, 
and alarm for the safety of her darling boy. After which she retires 
to the ladies* apartment* She is succeeded by Major Longbow^ who, 
us usual, boasts of his *^ muscle \" tells the accustomed lies, and then 
descends into the hold. After him comes Mone* Jeu-Singe^ a French- 
man, proprietor of an establishment for dancing dogs, who takes refuge 
in one of the berths,, and is followed by laaac Tahinet^ a Jewish smug- 
gler, by whom another of the berths is occupied. Master Theophilue 
7V</tp, an overgrown spoiled urchin, now appears, crying loudly for 
his " mamma," and labouring under the horrors of sea*sickness. He 
afso seeks a cot ; and has scarcely laid himself down, when Longhow 
reascends from the hold» His *^ muscle," however, has failed him; his 
stomach, like Stephano*8, is ** not constant,'* and he is feign to have re. 
course to his nightcap and pillow. Lastly, Mathews enters in his own 
person, rallies the Major upon his fresh-water sickness, and termi. 
nates his entertainment with a brief address of thanks to the audience. 

We will not pretend to say that the two first parts surpass those 
of former seasons, because we think the w it of those performances can- 
not well be exceeded ; but we assert, without reserve, that the con- 
eluding part is much more admirable than that of the preceding year.- 



The following remarks on Mr. Mathews's genius by a 
clever writer, ought to find a place here. 

Mimicry in a low, and even m a middling degree, is within the 
reach of the most humble ambition — and very humble it must be; but 
to arrive at the perfection of the art, to mark the nicest shades and 
distinctions of manner and character, and at the same time to furnish 
the persons represented with all that variety of playful humour, and 
inofiensive satire, which runs through Mr. Mathews's personations,, 
must be the result of unwearied study, combined with a quickness of 
tact and a peculiarity of talent, as rare as it is admirable. 

There are two kinds of mimicry: the one simply imitates what it 
observes; the other observes and combines. It is scarcely necessary 



CHARLES MATSBWS. 117 

to add, that the firit it a very commoii Acuity, and fireqnently belong! 
to persons in the highest degree ignorant and nninformed. Voyageni 
mention, that it is very usual for savages to exhibit a peculiar talent 
for imitation; the very natural result of their enjoyment of the senses 
in perfection, and quick yet passive reception of external impressions, 
which is its consequence. This, however, is a very mean attainment, 
compared with the power which infers a study of all the circumstances 
Jeading to peculiarity, and especially of the mental associations that 
either produce singularity of character or spring out of it. Mathews 
is evidently a professor of the superior school. It is the highest praise, 
allowing the usual li<ieu8e for caricature, that although we never Juiv$ 
seen the beings whom he personifies, that we might have seen them. 
The ability to individualize a general conception is one of the rarest 
properties of the mind« 



Mr. Mathews closed the fourth season of his entertainment 
on the 14th of June. It maintained its wonted attraction even 
to the close, the house not only being well, but fashionably 
attended. At the termination of the night's peformance, Mr. 
Mathews delivered the following farewell address: — 

** Ladies and gentlemen, — It has been said, and I believe truly, that 
every man, however gifted with talents and enlightened by learning, 
has some point in his character open to the attacks of flattery, and ac- 
cessible to the assaults of vanity. To partake of this weakness, there- 
fore, in common with the clever and the wise, can scarcely reflect dis- 
grace upon any one. Be this as it may, I freely acknowlfedge myself, 
albeit neither learned nor wise, to be in the highest degree vain, and 
to the greatest extent susceptible of flattery. Th& flattery of which I 
speak is your undiminished approbation and applause; and the vanity 
which I think so excusable as to make it my boast arises from the be- 
lief, that no man by his own single exertions ever was so fortunate as 
to excite the public notice and attention for so long a period as I have 
had the happiness of exciting yours. This evening will close the 
hundred and sixtieth performance ! in which I have alone stood before 
you. I may therefore with truth assert, what few individuals can as- 
sert so truly, that I have passed a hundred and sixty evenings with un- 
mixed pleasure; for I have seen nothing around me but cheerful happy 
faces. If this world be indeed, as we are told it is, a world of trouble and 
care, how gratified should he feel, who (for a few hours at least) can 
banish those demons from the hearts of his friends ! Believing, as my 
vanity {pardonable vanity,! trust) induces me to believe, that I have 
been the happy means of accomplishing this desirable end, I confess, 
my ff ratification will be unbounded and complete, provided you allow 
me the pleasure of anticipating as cheerful a meeting next year ; and, 
in the mean time accept, with gracious kindness, my heartfelt thanks 
nnd most respectful fiirewell!*' 

•^Not only next year^" observes a contempomry writer, "but ih. 



118 MBIICIRSOF 

many sueceeding^ years, vrt hope to enjoy the pleawre of finding thU 
meny philosopher * At Horoe»* so agreeably does he put bhie devils to 
confusion by satirizing the follies and absurdities of mankind. The 
extraordinary success of his novel performance will constitute a curious 
incident in the stage-history of these times ; and we pride ourselves 
not a little upon the reflection tliat the compiler of such a histoiy, will 
find the most copious and satisfactory accounts of it in the volumes of 
the •British Stage.*" 

<<The several parts of this year's entertainment having already been 
fully noticed, we need not return to the'subject ; but we'cahnot take 
our leave of Major Longbow, the crack personage of the drama, 
without a word of admiration at parting. Not even the original Mun- 
chausen ever made us laugh so heartily as this, his worthy successor. 
To give our country readers some idea of the character, we annex a 
specimen of his stories ; though, of course, upon paper it loses half its 
effect. Some one observes that 'the weather is very hot;* upon 
which the JWiyor exclaims, *Hot! What d* ye call hot? Pho — non- 
sense! Why, Tve been in countries wliere salamanders dropped down 
dead with the heat of the sun. 1 dined one day with a friend and his 
wife at Callimahammacjuackadelore, near Cudderapoo. Well, after 
dinner, as we were takmg our wine, a coup de aoleil struck the lady, 
and in a moment reduced her to a heap of ashes! I, of course, was 
much shocked ; but my friend, who was quite accustomed to such 
accidents, coolly rang the bell, and said to the servant, "Kit, my gar, 
and consumar, hitheratoo jumma chaudra put ;* which means, in plain 
English, * Bring fresh glasses, and sweep away your mistress!* " 

In the Lent of this year a whimsical mistake occurred, in 
consequence of the stage of the English Opera House being 
occupied on alternate nights by Mr. Mathews, with his 
" Lecture on Men and Manners ;" and by Mr. Bartley with 
his lecture on the ** Structure of the Universe." This change 
from ** gay to grave," probably caused more mistakes than 
the one I now relate. 

It appeared that the editor of a newspaper, having been 
prevented by illness, or some other cause, from writing a 
criticism on Mr. Madiews's Entertainment of this season, and 
wishing to give some notice of it, requested an intelligent 
Scotch friend, who had visited London for the first time, to 
go to the English Opera House, for the double purpose of 
enjoying the performance, and afterwards, of furnishing an 
account of it for publication. 

On the following morning, when the Scotchman entered 
his fiiend^s office, he was questioned as to his impressions 
with regard to the preceding night's exhibition. He owned 
he had been disappointed by it ; he expected more comicality 
than he discovered in Mr. Mathews, whom he had never seen 
before. The subject, he said, was not made so much of as il 



CHARLES KATHSWS. 1 19 

migfat have been; there were no jokes, no opportunities for 
him to display drollery ; in fact, he was disappointed. 

The editor expressed surprise, and asked whether the 

songs i^er^ not good ? ^ He was told that there were no songs, 

and ^what music there was introduced was of a very grave 

character. This was a puzzle. " Well — but the rest of the 

audience were amused, I suppose, though you were not ?" — 

** No : they smiled occasionally; but we were all frozen. 

The house was thinly attended ; and, even had there been 

cause, we were too cold to laugh ; but, in fact, there was 

nothing to laugh at." — " Is it possible that you did not think 

Mathews a very droll person ?" — " Oh dear no; quite the 

contrary : he was very gentlemanlike, but very, far from droll. 

I never heard a more sensible delivery, or a better voice; but 

he was not comical, or what I expected." — " Oh!" said the 

editor, " he must have been ill." — " He did not look ill; on 

the contra^ry, he was fat and jolly in appearance." — " Pat ! 

well, he must have altered very much since last year, then. 

Are you sure you were at the right theatre, and that it was 

really Mathews you saw?" — "Oh! yes, no doubt of it. 

The name of his entertainment was " Earth, Air, and Water;" 

those were the subjects he professed to treat of, and he 

delivered all he had to say^veiy well; but it was not comical: 

a mere matter of fact production, and very dull. I did not 

wait to hear it out." 

*' The editor paused : "A dull entertainment — no songs— 
a thin house — a fat matter-of-fact Mathews !"— all this was 
inconceivable. At last he remembered the alternate exhibi- 
tions, and at once saw through the mistake; and, without 
explaining it to his Scotch friend, he induced him (with some 
difficulty) to go again that night, in order to try a second 
impression, and give it a fair hearing to the very end. 

Th^ result of his second visit was his appearance at the 
supper table of his friend in a state of excitement and delight 
at his evening's amusement ; he had almost been deafened by 
the shouts of laughter in which he had joined, almost pressed 
to death by tae crowd, and nearly suffocated by the heat. 

On farfiier questioning him about the preceding night's 
experiment, he owned that as soon as the first portion of 
the subject was ended, he had left the theatre ; satisfied that 
he had seen enough of Mathews's fun in ^e description 
so excellendy given by Mr. Bartley, of the formation of the 
terrestrial globe, which afforded no ground to be comical 
upon, and was delivered too well to be laughed at by his 
auditors. 



120 MEMOIRS OF 

• 

The following letter from Mr. Perry, I am induced to in* 
sert, because it establishes a curious fact in dramatic history, 
not less remarkable than Mrs. Siddons's, performance of iVe// 
in the " Devil to Pay," during her great tragic reputation. I 
retain a perfect recollection of an account of this attempt, 
related by a gentleman of York, who had been present on the 
occasion, which was for her own benefit, in Dublin, about 
1801 or 1802, and more " heavy lightness " or " serious va- 
nity " never was exhibited, according to him. But it answered 
its professed aim, that of attracting a great house; which, 
however, her splendid powers, in her own magnificent style* 
must, surely, have ensured. I have some reason to believe 
that Mrs. Siddons was addicted to drollery. As a proof of 
this, she was very fond, in private society, of adding, like the 
Old Scotch Lady J " her little mite to the conviviality of the 
evening," by singing, with a tristful countenance, the bur- 
lesque song called " Billy Taylor;" and I will venture the as- 
sertion, from many evidences, that both Mrs. Siddons and 
Mr. John Kemble had a bias, I may say a great leaning, to- 
wards comedy. Mr. Kemble, every body knows, harboured 
an intention (a serious intention I may caJl it) of performing 
Falstaff not long before his retirement, and rehearsed it seve- 
ral times. Happily for his reputation, the idea was aban- 
doned. 



TO CHARLES MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Tavistock Square, April 26th, 1821. 
Mr DEAR Sir, 

Permit me to request your acceptance of two MSS. The first is the 
part of Nell in the »* Devil to Pay," in the hand-writing of Mrs. Sid* 
dons. It is authenticated by Mr. Charles Bonnor, whose hand-writing 
you will see at the upper corner. The second* is the part of Auf/rey 
in "The Fashionable Lover," marked by Mr. Barry for his own study, 
to remind him where he should lay the emphasis. It is questionable 
whether this was done by himself, or for him. 1 am aware that these 

* **The second ** I well recollect our laughing at very mucb. Such scoring and 
dividing, sometimes in such odd placesi 

If the above letter meet the eyes of the present possessors of these manuscriptst 
which were sold with the rest of Mr. Mathews's collection of theatrical curioei- 
ties, after his death, it will be an additional evidence of their authenticity.— A.M. 



CHARLSS IUTHEWS» . 121 

trifles will wily derire importance by hfiing made a part of jwir in* 
cooiparable eollection. 

Belifive mo to be, my dear Sir^ 

Your faithfol servant, 

Jamks PziKT. 

Our personal knowledge of Mr. Coleridge commenced in 
the autumn of the year 1819, after our arrival at Kentish 
town (or, more properly, Highgate Hill,) when he kindly 
claimed our acquaintance in the quality of neighbour.* 

Many, many delightful hours did Mr. Coleridge's splendid 
conversation give us and our friends. His kiud-hcartedness, his 
beautiful simplicity of manner, (for his familiar thoughts and 
expressions were as admirable as the higher attributes of his 
vast mind,) we really loved, as much as we admired him. My 
flower-garaen proved a very great attraction to him, j^id he 
visited it very often, being passionately fond of flowers. As 
he went he gathered them till his hands were full, repaying 
me for these floral treasures with the costly gems which fefi 
from his mouth, as the pearls and diamonds were said to have 
poured from the lips of the good fairy, in the child's tale. 
He doted upon flowers, and discoursed so poetically upon 
them, that I frequently regretted my want of power to pre- 
serve the many-coloured beauties of his observations. He 
was so kind, too, whenever kindness was valuable. In ill- 
ness, his manner partook of the tender compassion of a wo- 
man; his pity was almost feminine. I remember, on one oc- 
casion, after a long confinement, his coming down the hill, 
one stormy and severe winter's night, to cheer me with an 
entertaining book^some periodical just published — and sit- 
ting with me and a friend, who resided with me, in my dress- 
ing-room, reading, and commenting upon what he read, until 
I forgot my indisposition. Indeed, I do not know whether 
he was not a more charming companion when he stooped his 
magniHcent mind to the understanding of the less infomjed, 
and little gifted, than when he conversed with higher intel* 
lects. It is, perhaps, too bold an assertion, yet I will venture 
to say that he was not less delightful by such condescensions 
of his genius, or less esteemed for them. He was exceed- 
ingly attached to my husband, always writing and speaking 
of him as *< dear Mathews," and he was equally partial to 
Charles. 
The simplicity of Mr. Coleridge^s character on familiar oc^ 

* Hit letter to Mr. Mathewf, at Bristol, in 1814, will be remem* 
bered. 

V0L.I.-^11 



122 MEMOIRS OF 

casions, gave us iofinite amusement; which, oh his perceiv' 
ing it, he allowed, with a smile, against himself, while some 
charming remark would increase our enjoyment, and he would 
leave us with his benevolent featui'es beaming with good-hu- 
mour and kindness. One invariable result, of his earnestly 
engaging in a long subject of discourse was a total abstrac- 
tion of mind succeeding to it. In our drawing-room we had 
placed a large mirror, which reached from the ceiling to the 
floor, so inserted (without any visible frame) as to seem a 
continuation of the apartment. On taking leave, morning or 
night, he generally made an effort to pass through this glass; 
and it was our custom always to watch his first movement of 
departure, in order to be ready to guard against the conse- 
quences of an attempt to make his way out through this pal- 
pable impediment, and guide him to the door. To all this he 
would submit, talking and laughing upon the point which pre- 
vented his knowledge of outward things, until the entrance- 
gate was closed upon him. 

During the first part of our acquaintance with him, Mr. 
Coleridge talked much to us of his friend " Charles Lamb," 
and expressed a strong desire that we should knowliim. His 
affectionate manner, when speaking of Mr. Lamb, interested 
us as much for the man as for the writer, whose published 
works we had read; and it was at last arranged that we should 
dine on the fifth of May, in this year, at Mr. and Mrs. Gil- 
man's (the intellectual and excellent friends with whom Mr. 
Coleridge resided,) in order to meet this charming person and 
his amiable sister. 

On our reaching Mr. Oilman's house, we found Mr. Cole- 
ridge anxiously waiting for Lamb's arrival, and as anxious 
that Mr. Mathews should be pleased with his friend. Two 
notes by " Elia " were shown, which Mr. Mathews begged, 
as additions to his collection of autographs of distinguished 
persons. The first was addressed to Mr. Coleridge, in reply 
to his invitation for the day in question. These notes are too 
characteristic of the writer to be withheld.* 

May 1st. 

TO S. T. COLERIDGE, ESQ. 

JUr, CrUman% HighgcUe. 
Dr. C^ I will not fail you on Friday by six, and Mary, peiluq)a^ ear- 

* In a volume of Mr. Coleridge's letters published after his death, one, dated the 
3rd of May, mentions this particular occasion in the following words:— "We 
have a party to-morrow, in which, because we believed it would interest you, you 
stood iticluded. In addition to a neighbour, Robert Sutton, and ourselves, there 
will be the Mathews (Mr. and Mn.;) 'At Home' Mathewi, I mean, and Charlea and 
MaryLanib.**-A.M. 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 123 

Her. I very much wish to meet *^ Master Mathew," and am maeh 
obiiged to the G ■ s for the opportunity. Our kind respects to 
them always. 

£UA. 

Extract from a MS. note of S. T. C. in my Beaumont and Fletcher, 
dated April 17th, 1807. 

Midnight, 

" God bless you, dear Charles Lamb, I am dying; I feel I have not 
many weeks left.** 

The second note was addressed — 

TO J. OILMAN, ESQ. 

Surgeorif Highgaie* 
DiAB Sib, 

Ybii dine so late on Friday, it will be impossible for us to go home 
by the eight o'clock stage. Will you oblige us by securing us beds 
at some house from which a stage goes to the Bank in the morning? 
I would write to ColeridgCt but cannot think of troubling a dying man 
with such a request 

Yours truly, 

C. Lakb. 

If the beds in the town are all engaged, in consequence of Mr. Ma- 
thews's appearance, a hackney-coach will serve. 

Wednesday, 2 May, '21. 
We shall heither of us come much before the time. 

My husband, who was punctuality itself, and all the little 
party, except the ** Elia " and his sister, were assembled. 
At last, Mr. and MisS Lamb appeared, and Mr. Coleridge led 
his friend up to my husband with a look which seemed to 
say, "I pray you, like this fellow." Mr. Lamb's first ap- 
proach was not prepossessing. His figure was small and 
mean; and no man certainly was ever less beholden to his 
tailor. His " bran '* new suit of black cloth (in which he 
affected several times during the day to take great pride, and 
to cherish as a novelty that h6 had long looked for and want- 
ed) was droUy contrasted with his very rusty silk stockings^j 
shown from his knees, and his much too large thick shoes, 
without polish; His shirt rejoiced in a wide ill-plaited frill, 
and his very small, tight, white neckcloth was hemmed to a 
fine point at the ends that formed part of the little bow. Hid 
hair Mras black and sleek, but not formal, and his face the gra- 
vest I ever saw, but indicating great intellect, and resembling 



124 MEMOIRS OF 

very much the portraits of king Charles I. Mr. Coleridge 
was very anxious about his pet Lamb's first impression upon 
my husband, which I believe his friend saw; and guessing 
that he had been extolled, he mischievously resolved to thwart 
his panegyrist, disappoint the strangers, and altogether to up- 
set the suspected plan of showing him off. The lamb, in fact, 
would not consent to be made a lion of, and it followed that 
he became puerile and annoying all the day, to Mr. Cole- 
ridge's visible mortification. Before dinner he was suspicious 
and silent, as if he was taking measure of the man he came 
to meet, and about whom he seemed very curious. Dinner, 
however, opened his lips for more than one purpose; and the 
first glass of wine (enough at all times, as we afterwards 
found, to touch if not shake his brain) set his spirit free, and 
he became quite impracticable. He made the most ahsurd 
puns and ridiculous jokes, and almost harassed Coleridge out 
of his self-complacency, though he managed to maintain a 
tolerable degree of evenness with his tormentor, now and then 
only rebuking him mildly for what he termed " such unworthy 
trifling." This only served to exasperate the perverse hu- 
mour of him it was intended to subdue; and once Mr. Cole^ 
ridge exclaimed meekly, after some very bad joke: " Charles 
Lamb, I'm ashamed of you!" — ^a reproof which produced only 
an impatient "you be hanged!" from the reproved; and 
another jest, " more potent than the former," was superadded 
to his punning enormities. 

Mr. Lamb's last fire, however, was at length expended, and 
Mr. Coleridge took advantage of a pause to introduce some 
topic that might divert the party from his friend's determined 
foolery. He chose a subject which he deemed unlikely, if 
not impossible, for Lamb to interrupt with a jest. Mr. Cole- 
ridge stated, that he had originally been intended for the pul- 
pit, and had taken orders; nay, had actually preached several 
times. At this moihent fancying he saw something in Lamh's 
face that denoted a lucid interval, and wishing to turn him 
back from the nonsense which had so " spoiled the pleasure 
of the time," with a desire also to conciliate the " pouting 
boy," as he seemed, (who, to our observation, was only 
waiting for an opportunity to revenge himself upon his friend 
for all the grave checks he had given to his jocular vein during 
dinner,) Coleridge turned benignly towards him, and observed 
— " Charles Lamb, I believe you never heard me preachP^^ 
As if concentrating his pent up resentment and pique into one 
focus, and with less of his wonted hesitation^ Lamb replied 



CHARtSS MATHBWS. 12ft 

Witii great emphasis, " I nt-tvtr heard yon do any thing 
else!'' 

Our first day with the amiable " Elia *' was certainly un- 
lucky. We knew him, however, better in after-time, and 
coveted and loved his society as much as every body did who 
had time given them to know him; but he ^* woald have his 
humour.'* 

One day Mr. Lamb told us the following story of himself. 
He was at one part of his life ordered to the sea-side for the 
benefit of bathing; but not possessing strength of nerve suffi- 
cient to throw himself into the water, he necessarily yielded 
his small person up to the discretion of two men to " plunge 
him." On the first morning, having prepared for immersion, 
he placed himself not without trepidation between these huge 
creatures, meaning to give the previously requisite instruc- 
tions, which his particular case required; but, from the very 
agitated state he was in, from terror of what he might possibly 
** suffer " from a " sea-change," his unfortunate impediment 
of speech became greater than usual; and this infirmity pre- 
vented his directions being as prompt as was necessary. 
Standing, therefore, with a man at either elbow, he began: 
" I — I — I'm to be di — i — i/j/^ed." The men answered the 
instruction with a rteady *' Pc«, sir!^^ and in they soused him! 
As soon as he rose, and could regain a portion of his los^ 
breath, he stammered out as before, ** I — ^1.^1 — ^I'm to be 
di — i — ippeAV^ Another hearty " Jc», «zV/" and down he 
went a second time. Again he rose; and then with a struggle, 
(to which the men were too much used on such occasions to 
heed,) he made an effort for freedom; but not succeeding, he 
articulated as at first, "I — I — I'm to be di — i — ijojoed"— 
" Fc5, *ir/" and to the bottom he went again; when Lamb, 
rising for the third time to the surface, shouted out in despe- 
rate energy, " 0—0 — only once!^^ 



TO MR. MATHEWS. 

Extempore, on rising from my Beat at the close of " At Home,'* on 
Saturday night: 

" If» in whatever decks this earthly ball, 
'Tis still great Mother ^tature — one in aU! 
Hence ^Mathews needs must be her genuine son, 
A second Nature, that acts all in one. 

S. T. COUDUDGI. 

11* • 



126 MBMOIRS or 

I hive been redwAng a few thoaffhts of my own, ezcHei! by my Sa^ 
ttirday night's feast, to some sort of shape in my own mmd; and, if I 
shoold find courage enough to transfer them to paper for yoor perusal,- 
iny principal, if not my sole object will be to rectify, or to confirm my 
own judgment, by bringing it into contact with the toueh^tone of your 
obserTation and experience^ I have seen enough of mankind to feel 
little apprehension of offending you by sincerity, for men are tolerant 
of blame in proportion as they are secure of admiration; even if I had, 
as is not the case, found any thing in your performance to be censured. 
But, I ain not equally confident, that in some of my notices, as ta 
the order of excellence in the different parts of the performance, con. 
sidered independent of yourself, and even exclusiTe, (and, permit me 
to say, without suspicion of flattery, that this excludes the very finest 
parts of the ^* At Home,*^) I might not offend others, and even give 
you pain as their friend. 

I must, therefore, bargain, that, as I shall submit what I wrote to 
no eye but yoursr, so you will consider the same in the light of a tite^ 
d-tite conversation, having this particular advantage, that you may 
listen to it just at your leisure, or not at all. Be assured, that I shall 
have strangely perverted and misrepresented my own mind and feel- 
ings, if you do not recognise in my remarks the imfeigned admiration 
and regard with which I am, 

Dear sir, your obliged 

S. T, Coleridge.* 

My best respects to Mrs. Mathews and your son. 

* The remarkB alluded to ia the above letter, I regret to say, I hare not bees 
able to find.— A. M. 



GHAKLE8 HATBEWS. 127 



CHAPTER IX. 



Mr. Mathews's Zeal with Recrard to the Erection of the Shakspeare 
Monument.— Letters on this Subject from royal, noble, and other 
Personages. — Mr. Mathews and the celebrated Dwarf, Count Bo* 
ruwiaski. — Description of the Count when a young Man. — His Visit 
to Ivy Cottage. — Mr. Mathew8*s Attempt to procure an Interview 
for the Count with George lV.-^The Visit to Carleton House.— 
Reception of Boruwlaski and Mr. Mathews bv the King. — Conver- 
sation of his Majesty with the Count. — ^The King's Inquiries of Mrf 
M&thews as to the Circumstances of Boruwlaski:— «The Count and 
the King's dying Servant. — ^The King's Present to Boruwlaski.— 
Mr. Patmore's Inscription of the Count. 

About this time Mr. Mathews's hopes with regard to the 
erection of the Shakspeare monument became touch strength- 
ened? His heart, indeed, was deeply interested, in the ac- 
complishment of this obj ect. The following letters, addressed 
to the Earl of Blessington and himself, by the royal and no- 
ble personages who had been applied to for their patronage 
and support, warranted Mr. Mathews's expectation of the ul- 
timate realization of his plan. Lord Blessington, with the 
kindness and good taste for which he was remarkable, had 
entered warmly into the subject of my husband's wishes, and 
employed his influence, with most of the distinguished per- 
sons, from whom the following letters were received. The 
manner in which Mr. Mathews's wishes and proposals were 
answered is too flattering to my feelings not to be recorded in 
these pages: 



TO THE EARL OF BLESSINGTON. 

Berkeley Square, May 27tb, 182L 
DiAR LoED Blissington, 
I shall be very happy to do aay thing that «aa contribute to the ho« 



128 mcvoiRSOF 

noar of Shakspeare; and certainly not the len, if it gives pleanire to 
Mathews. 

I only wish he may be able to satisfy himself and us, that a real re* 
semblance of the ^ peerless bard ** can now be erected to his memory ; 
respecting which, I am afraid the critics hare some most provoking 
doobts. 

Believe me, 

Ever fiiithfally, yours, 

Landsdowne. 



TO THE RIGHT HON. THE EARL OF BLESSINGMON. 

Horse Guards, May 28th, 1821. 
Mv DEAR Loan, 

I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter, and shall be much 
obliged to you if you will be so good as to desire Mr. Mathews to call 
Upon me here, next Tuesday, at one o'clock. 
Evet, ihy dear Lord, 

Yours, most sincerely, 

Frkdbrick.' 



TO THE EARL OF BLESSINGTON. 

Wobum Abbey, May 29tli, 1821. 
Mt sear Lord, 

I beg you will be assured that I have very great pleasure in obeying 
your wishes, by becoming a subscriber and vice-president of a Society 
which has so interesting an object in view as to do honour to the 
memory of our great dramatic bard; an object which, 1 am sorry to 
say, for tlie credit of our national taste and character, has been too long 
neglected. 

Mathews's zeal on the subject does him infinite credit. 

I put myself in your hands, to make any use you please of my name; 
and I am always, my dear Lord, with perfect truths 
Yours most faiihfully; 

BBDVOBn. 



TO THE EARL OF BLESSINGTON. 

June 10th, 1831. 
Mt dear Lord, 
I hope you will excuse my dehy in replying to your letter, i shall 



CHARLES KATHBWS. 12U 

be bappy to subscribe to the monument to Shakspeare, and to gire 
Mr. Mathews my name as one of the vice-presidents. 
I haye the honour to be^ 
My dear Lord, 

Your sincere humble servant, 

Dbtovshibx. 



TO CHARLES MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Chairman of the Committee of the Shakipeare Sodeiy, 

St James's Square, July 8th, 1821. 
Mt DiAit Mathxws, 

As it is possible ttiat you have not received Lord Aberdeen's answer, 
I forward you the enclosed; and I consider it as some advantage to 
have the warm support of the President of the Antiquarian Society. 

I am yety sure that Lord Aberdeen's name will have considerable 
'"weight with Lord Liverpool and Lord Bathurst I think you might 
write to the latter with great prospect of success, adding Lord 
Aberdeen's name to those already obtained. 

I hope you have written to Lord Warwick, mentioning that you have 
included his name in the list of vice-presidents. 

Lord Clonmel positively declined subscribing when in Warwick- 
shire, and will not relent* I had no great expectation in that quarter. 
The Earl of Guildford is arrived at his house in St James's Place; and 
I think you may rely on him. I would advise a letter forthwith, and 
think you had better call with it yourself. 
You might also address a letter to Lord Jersey, Berkeley Square. 
Yours very sincerely, 

BLsasuroTOis. 



TO THE EARL OF BLESSINGTON. 

Argyll House, July 6th, 182L 
Dkar BLxsnirftTOir, 

I wrote to Mathews when I received your note, in order to say that I 
should be yery happy to become a subscriber to, and vioe-president of 
his Shakspeare Society; but, as I find he has left town, perhaps you 
will haye the goodness to inform him, whe,never you may next have 
communication with him on the subject 

Youm very sincerely. 

Abirsmit. 



180 MEMOIRS OF 

Last, and not least interesting, is the following, in answer 
to Mr. Mathews's own application: 

TO MR. MATHEWS. 

Mr. Watson* presents his compliments to Mr Mathews; and having 
had the honour to submit for his Majesty's consideration, the outline of 
Mr. Mathews's design for the erection of a national monunnent in 
veneration of the memory of the great Shakspeare, he has it in com- 
mand to refer Mr: Mathews to Sir Charles Long,j- the paymaster- 
general of the forces, upon the subject ; and to request that he will be 
pleased to confer with that gentleman, upon the most eligible and 
most effectual mode of carrying into execution a measure so worthy of 
the country. 

Carlton House, Slst August, 1821. 



Upon these and similar promises of support, my husband 
based his most sanguine hopes ; which he naturally commu- 
nicated to his allies at Stratford, through the medium of the 
mayor elect, a gentlemain of great taste and very enthusiastic 
in the cause, from whom he received the following reply: 

TO C; MATHEWS ESQ;. 

Mt dxab Sib, 

The very agreeslble iritelligfence conveyed by your le*tfer, has 
revived all our hopes hkte that something worthy of our great towns- 
man may be accomplished. For myself, I never had a doubt but that 
your energies would surmount all obstacles, and I really feared 
precipitancy rather than delay. However, you seem now to have got 
it in a train that must succeed. I should have answered you on the 
instant; but waited to show the contents of your letter to all your well- 
wishers here, and tell you the result, which is easily summed up in the 
general satisfaction expressed by all at the great pains you have taken, 
and the success that has accrued from the prudent direction you have 
g^ven them. We have been much gratified by knowing the good 
terms on which our noble and worthy friend^ Lord Blessington, 
appears to have been with the Duke of Kent at the public dinner. We 
are to have a corporation dinner here on Thursday next, which will do 
mtieh good, as it will keep the thing aliVe amongst our old dons, who 
are now pretty well excited. I wish to my soul you could join us oft that 
day: all here are ready to receive you with open arms. The favourite 
site is still to be had on good and equitable tei*ms; and we only await 
^our farther kind communications to make an oifer. Your time I know 
IS valuable; and yet I must trespass on it by entreating a line when you 
have any tiling desirable to impart to the Stratfordians. 

* Since, Sir Frederick Watson. t The late Lord Famborougta.— A. M. 



CHABLES MATHEWS. 131 

Heartily wishing you saccess in all your undertakings, beliere me, 
my dear sir, 

Yours, very faithfully, 

Jaxis Savitdbbs. 
Stfatford^on^Avon, June 8tb, 1821. 



TO C. MATHEWS; ESQ. 

Grosyenor Place, May 20th, 1822. 
Sir, 

If I hesitate in returning a favourable answer to the request of your 
letter, it is not that I am insensible to the glory of Shakspeare, nor that 
I do not feel the propriety of your object, provided it can be guarded 
by certain restrictions, which 1 shall take the liberty of explaining to . 
you. 

I consider the fame and genius of Shakspeare to be the property of 
the whole kingdom, and 1 cannot consent to confine it to the town of 
Stratford, although distinguished by having been the place of his birth. 
I therefore hope that the statue may be placed in the metropolis; and, 
if the subscription be sufficient, that a duplicate may be sent to Strat- 
ford ; but, at all events, a cast. 

1 must also consider the subject with reference to the present state 
of British art. I have seen monuments to our fallen heroes, executed 
at the public expense, which appear to me to disgrace it. I now see 
one of our best sculptors, for whose character I reel great regard, as 
well as great admiration of his talents, abandoning his own just pre> 
tensions, and submitting to great labour in making a cast from an an- 
cient statue, imperfect in its proportions, and in which I can trace no 
connexion of sentiment with the great and truly national objects for 
which it is intended. I see subjects the most interesting to British feel* 
ings improperly seized upon ; and in one instance, which is completed, 
very unsatisfactorily executed. 

I shall therefore engage in no work of art, unless I am satisfied that 
it will be intrusted to some one of our most eminent sculptors; and I 
think it would be an act of meanness in me if I did not insist on this 
condition, under the conviction, which is fixed on my mind, that if 
sufficient encouragement and opportunity are given to their exertions 
in original conceptions, they will prove themselves to be at least equal 
to any artists that now exist, and perhaps not inferior to any that have 
existed, and whose works are still the admiration of the world. At all 
events, I think that the British public ought to feel great obligation to 
you for the trouble you have taken to promote an object which so well 
deserves their attention and protection. 
I am. Sir, 

Your obedient humble servant, 

EoRBKOIfT. 



132 MEMOIRS OF 



, TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Lord Spencer presents his compliments to Mr. Mathews, and wil. 
lingly consents to add hiti name to the list of persons contrihuting' to. 
wards a monument at Stratford-on-Avon to the memory of our immor. 
tal poet. He will, however,, defer fixing the amount of bis subscription 
till he shall be informed farther on the subject 
Spencer House, SOth June, 1822. 



TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Sw, 

I have to acknowledge the favour of your letter of the 28th ult., and 
its enclosure; and very willingly add my name to the list of vice-pte- 
sldents for the erection of a monument to Shakspeare at Stratford on 
Avon. 

I have the honour to be. Sir, 

Your obedient servant, 

Whitworth. 
Knole, July Ist, 1822. 



TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Berkeley Square, 29th May, 1822. 
Sir, 

I have received your letter of yesterday, and request that you will 
acquaint the committee formed for the purpose of erecting a monu- 
ment to the memory of Shakspeare at Stratford-on-Avon, that I con. 
sent with great pleasure to have my name added to the list of vice-pre* 
sidents. 

I am. Sir, 

Your very obedient servant, 

Dartmouth. 



TO CHARLES MATHEWS, ESQ. 

My DEAR Sir, 

I received your joyful treat yesterday, and was taken up the whole 
day in imparting its contents to the admirers of Shakspeare and your* 
■elf. I dined with Sir Grey Sktpwith, who was highly gratified at oot 
present prospects, through your ekertions. He suggested the propriety 



CHAiaES MATHEWS. 133 

J 

t)f Wheeler's calling our committee (here) together on Tuesday next, 
and of m J thus writing to you in the mean, time, requesting you to 
send down any queries, or points requiring information hence, as to 
loc&lities, &c. for your London committee, which we will answer in 
form, or send up a person authorized to give such intelligence on these 
subjects as may be desirable to our friends in London. 

For myself, I should be delighted with the task; but would naturally 
wish to proceed with the sanction and consent of the Shakspearian 
committee, lest they should deem me officious, or disposed to take too 
much on myself without their approval. However, believe me the ar- 
dent and disinterested servant of the cause, and that I am anxious to 
do the most required of me. 

His Majesty's good taste and munificence were never questionable 
here; his knowledge of and interest for the town and the memory of 
our glorious townsman, must give a grateful impulse to our personal 
attachment to himself, as well as to our ancient and proverbial loyalty. 
The site of our place may combine all the rpyal wishes as to contiguity 
to the Avon and view from the London road ; it also possesses great 
interest from its central situation in the town, at the same time that it 
is capable of assuming the greatest rurality of character. But the 
grand point is that it was the hallowed ground of the poet's property 
and residence. I am glad to add that it is still to be had, and at the 
sum first specified to you. 

Lord Middieton*s place is still undisposed of; but a new offer is 
made, and in a most liberal way, by Mr. Lloyd of Willcombe. He 
will make a free gift in perpetuity of the top of the hill in his grounds 
nearest Stratford (half a mile,) with a space for the temple, and 8ur> 
rounding promenade and shrubberies. This is too far from the town. 
However, Lloyd is actuated by an honourable enthusiasm ; and it an- 
swers one capital project, that is, we can hold it in terrorem against 
the pretension of high demands for our more favourite situation. We 
greatly regret the resolution you have formed of ^oing abroad at this 
glorious crisis; but surely much may be done in forwarding it before 
your departure. There must be one consolation to your friends— the 
certainty of expanded fame and increase of prosperity, which all here 
sincerely wish you. 

Believe me, my dear Sir, 
Yours, ever sincerely and faithfully, 

James Saunders. 
Stratford-on-Avon, May 2nd, 1822. 

Notwithstanding the many gratifying instances of flattering 
acquiescence, however, Mr. Mathews found some difficulties 
by the way, arising from the variety of feelings and views, 
both with regard to the subject and the persons applied to for 
their support. 



VOL. I. — 13 



134 MEMOIRS OF 



TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

3d July, 1821. 
Mt dxab Sn, 

I beg^ leave to acknowledge the receipt of yours, dated the Ist of 
July. You must pardon me for saying that I cannot think of lending 
my name to a circumstance of such general theatrical importance with- 
out first consulting my brethren of Drury Lane Theatre; and it appears 
to me somewhat inconsistent that a project which so deeply concerns 
Qg all—- that of raising a monument to Sliakspeare — should be under- 
taken without the mutual consent and assistance of the two theatres. 

Your list of directors, I perceive, is colely confined to the Covent 
Garden company. If by this is meant the exclusion of the rival thea- 
tre froni all the hononrs of the event, I should be doing them the great- 
est injustice to singuhrise myself in all matters where their cause needs 
advocacy. The Drury Lane performers have done me the honour to 
select me as their representative, and I cannot abuse their confidence 
by countenancing a subject in which I conceive they are interested, 
without their full understanding and- concurrence. 
I have the honour to be, Sir, 

Your most obedient servant, 

Edmund Kean. 



TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Mt dxab Sir, 

Now do not surmise, from what I am going to say, that I feel luke- 
warm about the monument for Shakspeare ; but as this is a period preg« 
nant with pecuniary proposals from artists, I am afraid of connecting 
my name with a work of art in the outset, lest I should be numbered 
with the designing and the sordid. 

I dined yesterday in company with Sir T. Lawrence, and had some 
conversation about the monument. He appeared much inclined to do 
all he consistently could; but doubted very much whether artists were 
the proper people to appear in the first notice of a professional work, 
and thought it would be much more prudent were they called in aid of 
a committee of gentlemen, and not themselves forming part of the 
committee in the beginning. 

These remarks struck me forcibly; it is a delicate matter; and will- 
ing and anxious as I am to give every assistance in celebrating a name 
that honours our country, I am afraid, were I afterwards to appear as 
sculptor, it might be said I had promoted the moving of a sum to pay 
me fi>r my own labours. 

I can safely trust all this personal matter in your hands; I should 
like, however, to have a few minutes' conversation with you before you 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 135 

go into the country, havingr some half-defined ideas of the monoment 
to communicate to you. Believe me very hearty in the caiLie, and 

Very truly yours, 

F. CHANTftKT. 

The next letter was from Dr. Hook, afterwards Dean of 
Worcester (brother to Mr. Theodore Hook,) a most accom- 
plished and delightful man, now, alas! no more. 



TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Whippingham Court, Isle of Wight, 
^ August 14, 1821. 

Dear Sir, 

Having strong suspicions that my brother has not communicated to 
you my thanks for the very kind manner in which you -fulfilled my 
wishes respecting the Shakspears bust, from his neglect in informing 
me (according to my request) to what amount I am indebted to yoa 
in a pecuniary point of view, I am induced to trouble you with this 
letter, to express my sense of the obligation, and to request the infor- 
mation with which he has neglected to supply me. I have farther to 
request that you will honour my son, Walter Farquhar Hook, and 
myself by placing us on the list of subscribers to the Stratford monu- 
ment. 

May I be allowed to present my best compliments to Mrs: Mathewa^ 
and my most sincere wishes that health of body and mind may long be 
yours, to enable you to continue your valuable labours in the cause of 
the drama and dramatic literature. 

I have the honour to be, dear sir, 

Most truly, yours, 

J. Hook. 

So few communications remain out of the many received 
from my husband's distinguished contemporaries, that I can- 
not prev?iil upon myself to withhold even one ** trivial fond re- 
cord " from the hands of departed genius. Every line from 
such persons must be interesting to the reader. 

Sir George Beaumont was early our visiter after our coming 
to London. General Phipps brought him in the first place to 
see our son Charles, then a little fellow, who bore so perfect 
a resemblance to Sir Joshua Reynolds's picture of the " Robin 
Goodfellow," that had he been born in Sif Joshua's time, it 
might have been supposed that he was the actual study foi 
the subject. Sir George wished to make a painting of Gharlea 
merely as a curiosity, to compare with the print, but some* 
how the little oreatore coidd not be kept quiet long enough 



136 MEMOIRS or 

for more than a slight sketch. This, however, led to a friend- 
ly acquaintance with Sir George, which extended to^his latest 
years. 



TO CHARLES MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Grosrenor Square, June 14^ 1821. 
Mt SKiB Sib, 

Great as our disappointment was, I can assure you it was but a se- 
condary consideration, and I sincerely hope, for your own sake, and 
for the sake of the public, your health will be speedily re-established. 

I cannot refrain from enclosing Sir Thomas LAwrence's letter, be- 
cause it cannot be unpleasant to you to know how your talents are ap- 
preciated by such a man, and because it always gives me the highest 
pleasure to see one man of genius strongly feel, and warmly acknow- 
ledg^e the powers of another. 

I am, my dear sir, most faithfully yours, 

G. Beatjmoht. 



Russell Square, Friday Morning. 
Mt OBiB SiB Geobob, 

1 am very sincerely sorry that I am prevented by a prior engagement 
from the pleasure of waiting on you on Wednesday next, and from en- 
joying the unequalled amusement that you hold out to me in the so- 
ciety of Mr. Mathews, in whom humour is elevated, as 1 suppose we 
both think, by real genius. Pray get him, if possible, to tell the quiet 
story of "The Irish Watchman and the Dmnken Sailor." It gives a 
dignity to those guardians of the night, that is not surpassed even by 
Dogberry himself 

This is true benevolence, to attempt to cater for one^s friend^ when 
denied the feast ourselves, 
I beg my best respects to Lady Beaumont, and remain, 
My dear Sir George, 
Your obliged and faithful servant, 

Thomas Lawrbncx. 

Mr. Mathews, as I have said, was. exceedingly partial to 
that interesting dwarf Count Joseph Boruwlaski. He had 
first seen him at York, where this amiable and accomplished 
creature was forced by his necessities to undergo the wretch- 
edness of public exhibition. From the first moment of their 
meeting they conceived a mutual regard for each other. The 
Count was quick to perceive that h& visiter, unlike the << gen 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 137 

neral," regarded him as a gentleman, forced out of his natural 
pwsition by all-subduing circumstance, and one, though "out 
of suits with fortune," not necessarily debased on that ac- 
count. In a few years after they met again at Liverpool, un- 
der similar circumstances; and in 1805 the Count came to 
Xiondon, and was invited occasionally to visit us. This ele- 
gant and fascinating, person was the delight of all who ever 
knew him; -full of accomplishments and good sense, playful 
as an infant, and altogether the most charming of companions. 
Soon after this, the Count having provided litde towards his 
future retirement from a life that shocked the delicacy of his 
feelings, and imbittered all that period of his existence, pur- 
posed to make a voyage to America, that refuge for the desti* 
tute, in order to make up a sum which might purchase him 
an annuity, and allow him to spend his latter days in gentle- 
manlike leisure. Some amiable ladies, of family and fortune, 
who had known and loved him, were shocked at the idea of 
this voyage, and ascertaining from him the sum requisite to 
accomplish his independence, nobly supplied it; and thus he 
was made happy for the remainder of his life. These kind 
friends often visited him years after, at our cottage, when he 
came to see us, and were most delicately kind and attentive to 
him, each inviting him to their respective houses a week or 
two, in turn, during his stay. 

Before I proceed with my own account of this elegant little 
creature, I will bespeak the reader's interest in his favour by 
a description of him circulated in the year 1760, when he ar- 
rived in Paris, a young man, from Poland.* 

Mr. Boniwlaski, who came over with the Coimtess of Humiecska, is 
twenty-two years of age, and only twenty-eight inches high. He is 
well-proportioned, and has nothing shocking about him. His eyes are 
fine and full of fire, his features agreeable, and his physiognomy spirit- 
ed, indicating the gaiety and sprightliness of his mind. He enjoys a 
perfect state of health, drinks nothing but water, eats little, sleeps well, 
and can bear a great deal of fatigue. He dances well, and is very nim- 
ble. Nature has refused nothing but size to this amiable creature, for 
which she has made him ample amends by the beauties of his body 
and mind. 

His manner is extremely graceful, and his repartees smart and spi- 
rited. He speaks sensibly of what he has seen, and has a very good 
memory. His judgment is sound, and his heart susceptible of the most 
tender impressions. Ho has never sbow^ any passion or ilUnatitre ; 
is extremely complaisant; loves to be treated with the decorum doe to 

* This account was sent by Count Tressau, Fellow of the BopX 
Academy of Sciences, to the Society at Paris.' A. M» 

12* 



18d MEMOIRS OF 

his rank, yet is not offended with those who make free with him ott 
account oi* his stature. 

The father and mother of this little creature did not think him worths 
bestowing education on; and he probably would have remained igno- 
rant and illiterate if the Countess Humiccska, and a relation of hers,, 
had not, about two years ago, taken him under their protection. * Oar 
little gentleman has so well improved that short time, that he writes 
and reads very well, and understands arithmetic. In four months he 
learned the G£)rman tolerably well, and French sufficiently, to express- 
himself with ease„ and in chosen terms. 

In the present year Count Boruwlaski's first visit of any 
length, took place at Ivy cottage. He had written his Memoixs,. 
which he earnestly desired to present in person to his Majesty, 
George IV., v»^ho had graciously desired, many years before, 
that they should be dedicated to him. When the Count first 
came to England, he had been much in the society of the 
Prince of Wales, who always treated him with the most 
friendly kindness. Mr. Mathews, who really loved the Count, 
and whose own nature prompted him to give pleasure to all those 
who seemed in any measure dependent upon others for their 
gratifications, resolved, if possible, to accomplish the object 
so earnestly desired by his little friend, whose account of his 
past intimacy with the Prince justified the hope, that an ap- 
plication for a private interview would not be treated coldly.. 
The only drawback to this his hope, was the circumstances 
of the time. The coronation was upon the point of takings 
place, and the King, whose mind was harassed, and intent 
upon other cares, then before the public, might be indisposed,, 
nay, unable to grant what otherwise his known condescension 
and good nature would readily yield, itowever, my husband, 
where his heart was interested in the accomplishment of a* 
good-natured purpose, would not easily be deterred by difficul- 
ties, and he consequently applied personally to Sir Benjamin 
(now Lord) Bloomfield, who at once discouraged any expec- 
tation of consent from his Majesty, at such a crisis, to any 
thing so preposterous (for in this light he professedly viewed 
the application, and considering the time, it must be con- 
fessed, with great reason.) Mr. Mathews's interview, indeed, 
ended in. a decided negative, as far as Sir Benjamin's interfe- 
rence was concerned, as^he declined mentioning the subject 
to his illustrious master. 

Amongst our numerous visiters to the cottage, (at this peri- 
od not a few of them, to behold the exquisite little gem it 
contained,) our friend Mr. Ormsby Gore called one morning. 
He was enchanted with the Count; and Mr. Mathews men- 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 189* 

tioned to him the attempt he had made to procure him an 
interview with the King;. Mr. Ormsby Gore immediately of- 
fered to mention the business to the Marquis of Conyngham; 
and the result of this kindness was speedily communicated to 
my husband in a note from the Marquis, who informed him 
that his Majesty had expressed great pleasure at the idea of 
once more beholding his old friend, and requested that Mr. 
Mathews would accompany the Count to Carlton House the 
next evening. 

At the appointed hour my husband and his little charge pre- 
sented themselves, and were immediately ushered into the 
presence of their Sovereign, who was seated in his domestic- 
circle. On the announcement of his expected visiters, the 
King rose from his chair, and met Boruwlaski at the entrance, 
raising him up in his arms in a kind of embrace, saying, ** My 
dear old friend, how delighted I am to see you!" and then 
placed the little man upon a sofa. But the Count's loyalty 
not being to be so satisfied, he descended with the agility of 
a schoolboy, and threw himself at his Master's feet, who, 
however, would not suffer him to remain in that position for 
a minute, but raised him again upon the sofa. When the 
Count said something about sitting in the presence of his 
Sovereign, he was graciously told to ** Remember for the 
time, that there was no King f/iere/" Mr. Mathews received 
his share of the royal courtesy, and was thanked very em- 
phatically by his Majesty, for having been the means of 
giving him the pleasure he at that moment experienced, in 
once more beholding his friend, the Count. In the course of 
the conversation, the Count addressing the King, in French, 
-was told, that his English was so good that it was quite un- 
necessary to speak in any other language; for his Majesty, 
with his usual tact, easily discerned that he should be a loser 
in resigning the Count's pretty broken English, which (as he 
always thought in his native language, and literally translated 
its idioms) was the most amusing imaginable, and totally dis- 
tinct from the imperfect English of other foreigners. This 
made his conversation, with his extraordinary intelligence of 
mind and vivacity of temperament, extremely entertaining. 

The King reminded the Count, that " it was forty years 
since they had met," adding, *' that their last conversation 
had taken place in the very apartment they were now in;" at 
the same time asking the Count *' whether he recognised it as 
such?" The Count, albeit, the very essence of politeness, 
could not recollect what he was in a manner called upon to 
do, and replied — ** No — no, Majesty, not same '' (bowing 



140 MEMOIRS or 

very low,) " beg pardon, Majesty! "-*-and was hastily inter* 
rupted by the King, with — " You are right, Count, qxiite 
right — quite right, and I am not wrongs This is, in fact, 
the same room, but it has undergone so many alterations since 
you were last in it, and been changed so completely in its 
fittings up, that it is of course not the same that you remem- 
ber. But, Count, you were married when I knew you: I 
hope madame is still alive, and as well as yourself?" 

" Ah, no! Majesty; Isolina die thirty year! Fine wo- 
man! sweet, beauty body!* You have no idea, Majesty!" 

" I'm sorry to hear of her death. Such a charming per- 
son must have been a great loss to you. Count." 

** Dat is very true. Majesty? Indid, indid it was great sor- 
row for me!" 

Just at this moment, as It seemed, he recollected that it 
might be improper to lay farther stress upon a melancholy 
subject, on so pleasing a visit. Resuming, therefore, a cheer- 
ful tone, the Count playfully observed, by way of ending the 
subject, that ** he had throughout life been great philosophy,^' 
and quoted the Frenchman's epitaph upon his departed wife: 

**Ci gtt ma fcmtne! ah ! qu^clle est bien. 
Pour son repos, et pour le mien !^' 

Which sally surprised the King into a hearty laugh, while 
every body else present, in common with Mr. Mathews, 
doubdess felt that such an allusion to wives might have been 
made at a more safe moment. Boruwlaski afterwards con- 
fessed to my husband that he was, himself, though too late, 
conscious of the impropriety of it at that particular juncture. 
The royal husband, however, did not seem to notice it far- 
ther than as a pleasantry, arising naturally out of the subject, 
and the gaiety of the Count's temper. 

His Majesty then inquired, how old the Count was? and,, 
on being told, with a start of surprise observed: " Count, you 
are the finest man of your age I ever saw. I wish you could 
return the compliment." 

To which Boruwlaski, not to be outdone in courtesy, ludi- 
crously replied: " O, Majesty, ^zc body! indid, indid; beauty 
body!" 

The King smiled-*-aImost laughed, and then asked whe- 

c 

* The Count had a peculiar way of placingr a lagfging atresa upon 
the Brat syllable of hie words when they were meaat to convey a atron^p 
meaning* He'alwaya said My to express an individual pert on* 



CHARLES MATHEWS. ' 14t 

ther the Count had not brought him a book?" The little 
creature replied: " Yes, Majesty," again attempting to kneel 
while presenting the volume. He was again prevented by 
his patron, who allowed him to kiss his hand; and turning af- 
terwards to Lady Conyngham, took from her a little case, 
containing a beautiful miniature watch and seals, attached to 
a superb chain; the watch exquisitely embossed with jewels. 
This, the King held in one hand, while, with the other he 
received the book, saying — " My dear friend, I shall read 
and preserve this as long as I live for your sake; and in re- 
turn, I request you will wear and keep this watch for mine.*^ 

This was a double source of pride to Boruwlaski;.for in 
his anxiety to see the King he had but one drawback, and 
that was a fear lest his royal patron should suppose his visit 
actuated by any mercenary desire in a pecuniary form, which, 
under his regained power of gentlemanly independence, 
would have mortified him extremely. The Count said 
something expressive of his gratification; and the King led 
him to a distant part of the room, where they spoke in a low 
tone for some minutes.. They then came back, and his 
Majesty, as if from a sudden recollection, observed aloud: — 
" Count, I suppose you do not mean to encounter the fatigue 
and crowd of a coronation; and it would possibly gratify you 
to see my heavy robes to be worn on the occasion; if so, I 
will order them to be shown to you?" The Count bowed 
assent to this courteous and considerate proposal, and orders 
were given to conduct Count Boniwlaski where the robes 
could be displayed for his inspection. Following his conduc- 
tor, this little miniature of a man left the room, with one of 
his graceful bows to the King and his suite. 

His Majesty then turned his attention to Mr. Mathews, 
again expressed his satisfaction at the gratification he had 
given him, declaring he would not have missed the occa-« 
sion of seeing his dear little friend for the world, for he 
supposed him to have been dead many years, adding, with 
something like a sigh, that he reminded him of very happy 
hours spent in his presence, and he was a most delightful 
creature. After other commendations, he concluded by 
saying, " If I had a dozen sons, I could not point out to them 
a more perfect model of good breeding and elegance than the 
Count; he really is a most accomplished and charming 
person!" The rest of the time was filled up iti conversation 
respecting the Count, his quick habits, and whether his 
circumstances were really easy. This last inquiry was made 
in a lower tone than the others, and, wilh great apparent 



142 VSMCIRS OF 

interest Mr. Mathews answered, that his little friend was 
perfectly independent. He then gave his Majesty the follow- 
ing account of the manner in which he, the Count, held his 
life-annuity, the particulars of which had been detailed to him 
by the Count himself. A wealthy tradesman of Durham had, 
upon the Count's settling in that city, received from him a sum 
of money to be sunk for a life-annuity. The granter of it 
believed that he had entered into a very advantageous under- 
taking, speculating as he did upon the then advanced age of 
tlie annuitant, and the general fact that dwarfs are seldom 
long-lived. But after a time the grocer waxed old, (though 
much .the Count^s junior,) and saw himself increasing in 
infirmities, while the little grig he had speculated upon bury- 
ing' long before, had outlived the capital upon which his in- 
come was secured; and, strange to say, gave no sign of delay. 
The unlucky old tradesman watched him from year to year 
with a jealous eye, and found him unaltered and apparently 
unalterable. Knowing the Count to be a great alchymist, he 
began probably to suspect that he had acquired by his studies 
the elixir vitae, while, at the same time, he obtained the more 
valuable secret of transmuting base metal into gold by his 
periodical experiments upon the door-knocker of the luckless 
grocer, whose strong box proved the true philosopher's stone, 
and supplied the little experimentalist with continual re- 
sources. In short, the granter of his annuity, believing that 
the. 'lount bore about a "charmed life," gave up the struggle 
U' outlive him, and died, leaving the little incumbrance, like 
S'nhnd's Old Man of the Sea, upon the shoulders of his 
siiv- ^sor. 

JVlr. Mathews's relation of this fact and other anecdotes of 
his little friend much diverted his Majesty; but had my 
husband told the story as he learaed it, the King might have 
been still more entertained. 

Mr. Mathews was staying many years ago in Durham for 
a few days, and was walking out one morning, with the 
Count's little hand in his, when he found himself led into a 
shop, where an almost imbecile old person was seated. The 
Count gaily inquired, "Ah, how you do?" A slow shake of 
the head told an unfavourable tale in return; and the aged 
man, rather drily, asked how the Count felt himself. To 
which he answered, with all the glee and vivacity of eighteen, 
"Oh, never better! quite vel!" and ran out of the shop from 
the gaze of the aged man, scarcely able to restrain his merri- 
ment till he got out of hearing. He then told Mr. Mathews, 
dunDg[ convulsioiM of laughter, that the person they bad just 



CHARLSfl MATHSW8. 148 

Been was the granter of his annuity.— '*'Ha! ha! ha! Oh^ 
Mattew, I cannot help! Oh, poor devd, poor hold hody! 
It macks me laffing (it makes me laugh) poor hold hanimalf 
Oh! he say prayer for me die, offen when he slip. Oh, you 
may (depend — ha! ha! ha! but Boruwlaski never die! He 
caicoolated dat dwarf not live it long, et I live it forty year to 
plag him — ^ha! ha! ha! — oh, he is in hobbeLdebblishly! I 
tellee dat! He fifty year yonger den Boruwlaski; mintime 
he 'dead sooner as me. Oh yes, you may sure dat — dat 
is my oppinfion, Boruwlaski never die,'' playfully nodding 
his little head, "you may rfepend.'* 

Mr. Mathews asked if the old man had any family (feeling 
some compassion for his hard case,) to which the Count cried 
out, *• Oh! he have it shildren twenty, like a pig, poor develf 
mintime he riche body! Oh, he have it goold, et wast many 
bank-no^^' Bote, he have it greet preppencitty (propensity) 
to keep him (it) fast hold, poor idio^' It macks me laffin!^' 

But, to resume the parti^culars of the Count's visit to Carl- 
ton House. He was absent not much less than an hour, and 
it was remarkable that during this interval not one word in 
aQusion to my husband's piofession, or his individuals talents, 
escaped his majesty. Nay, it seemed as if he purposely 
avoided any reference of the kind; and that his superior tact, 
which was apparent in all he did, rendered him careful not to 
be suspected even, of any sinister intention in this -invitation, 
or a wish upon a private occasion to mix up the actor with 
the visiter. 

At length the little hero of the night re-entered the room. 
He had evidently been weeping; his deportment was alto- 
gether altered, and his manner agitated. The kin^ went up 
to him; and, taking his small hand within both his own, 
pressed it fervently, saying, with much significance of tone, 
" I hope, Count, you have been interested in what you have 
seen?" The Count could make no reply, otherwise than by 
a bow, tears rushing down his aged cheeks, so as to require 
his handkerchief to arrest their course: it was clear that he 
could not recover his spirits. The King seemed also affected; 
but, conquering his feeling, told the Count that he had a part-' 
ing request to make, and pointing to the tiny feet of his guest, 
added: " My good friend, I must have one of your shoes to 
place in my cabinet, so pray do not fprget to send it to me; 
mind, one that you have worn. So, good night! my dear old 
friendl Good night, and God bless you!" Then making a 
most gracious and kindly inclination of his head to my hus- 
band, h« said: " Good night to you, Mathews; good night! 



444 MEMOIRS OF 

f 

I assure you I am much obliged by your visit. Good 
night!" 

It may be imagined, that Sir Benjamin Bloomfield, who 
was present during the whole of this scene, did not feel' so 
much pleased and interested in it as the Marquess of Conyng- 
ham assuredly did. It was certainly rather awkward for him 
to witness the result of what he had so pertinaciously refused 
to assist in bringing about. But his refusal was upon very 
good grounds, and not to be censured; for who could antici- 
pate at that particular period, that the king would so promptly 
consent to such an interview, however interesting to his feel- 
ings under pther circumstances? 

When Mr. Mathews and his little charge were re-seated in 
the carriage, the latter took his friend's hand and pressed it in 
silence, his sobs soon explaining that he was affected at the 
recollection of something more than the mere kindness of his 
royal patron.' At last, and before they reached home, the fol- 
lowing facts were revealed: — It appeared that when the King 
took Boruwlaski aside in the room, he very delicately and 
earnestly inquired into the state of his resources during his 
future life, saying, that as he considered he was the Count's 
oldest friend in this country, he assumed to himself the right 
to offer whatever might be necessary or desirable for his fu- 
ture oomfort, and concluded with a request to be frankly in- 
formed what it was in his power to do. The Count with sin- 
cerity assured his generous patron that he wanted nothing. 
(It will be remembered that the king afterwards questioned 
Mr. Mathews upon the subject, perhaps fearing that the 
Count, from too much delicacy, had been disingenuous.) 
The king, satisfied on this point, then inquired whether the 
Count retained any recollection of a favourite valet of his, 
(whom he named) known to him in former years. The Count 
professed a perfect remembrance of the man. *' Well," said 
the- king, "he is now, poor fellow, upon his death-bed. I 
saw him this morning, and mentioned your expected visit. 
He expressed a great desire to see you, which I ventured to 
promise he should do; for I have such a regard for him that I 
would gratify his last hours as much as possible. Will you, 
Count, do me the favour of paying my poor faithful servant a 
short visit? He is even now expecting you — I hope you will 
not refuse to indulge a poor, suffering, dying creature." The 
Count of course expressed his perfect readiness to obey the 
king's wishes, with much anxiety to please the poor man, and 
left the room as described. 

Boruwlaski was first shown the robes, and then conducted 



CHAEIBS XATRIWS. 146 

to liie diamber of the siek raan, which was fitted up wi& 
erery comfort and care; a nune and anodier attendant in waith 
ing^ upon the sofferer. When the Count was announced, the 
poor invalid desired to be jpropped up in his bed. He was so 
changed by time and sickness that the Connt no longer recog- 
nised the face with which his memory was familiar. The 
nuTse aQd attendant having retired into an adjoining room, the 
dying man (for such he was, and felt himself to be) expressed 
the great obligation he felt at such a visit, and spoke most 
gratefully of him whom he designated the beat of masters f 
told the Connt of all the King's goodness to him, and indeed 
of his uniform benevolence to edl that depended npon him; 
mentioned that his majesty, during the long course of his poor 
servant^s iUness, notwithstanding the circumstances that had 
agitated himself so long, his numerous duties and cares, his 
present anxieties and forthcoming ceremonies, had never 
omitted to visit his bedside twice every day, not for a moment 
merely, but long enough to sooth and comfort him, and to 
see that he had every thing necessary and desirable, telling 
him all particulars of himself that were interesting to an old 
and attached servant and humble friend. This account was 
so genuine in its style and so aiSecting in its relation, that it 
deeply touched the heart of the listener. The dying man, 
feeling exhaustion, put an end to the interview by telling the 
Count that he only prayed to live long enough to greet his ' 
dear master after his coronaftcm—- to hear that4;he ceremony 
had been performed with due honour, and without any inter- 
ruption to his dignity — and that then he was ready to die in 
peace. 

Poor Boruwlaski returned to trie royal presence, as I have 
related, utterly subdued by the foregoing scene; upon whidi 
every feeling heart will, I am persuaded, make its own com- 
ment, unmixed with party spirit or prejudice, 

I was at home waiting with some curiosity for the particui^ 
lars of this interesting evening, when the gate-bell sonnded, 
and before I could suppose that the parties had even gained 
admittance, I heard the Count huxza-ing like a school-boy 
on a return home for &e holidays. Hastening to meet 
them, I found my husband seated in the hall, benevolently 
smiling at his dear little firiend's antics, as he watched them* 
The Count, who had had time to recover from the melandi^ 
part of the visit, was demeins and pirtmeiHng about, witn 
the beantifiil watch held up above his head for me to notice. 
Those who may have seen the farce of •< Fortune's Frolics,'?; 

VOL. 1.— 18 



146 1IB1IOIR8 or 

and witnessed the mad delight of the clown at his acquisition 
of unexpected wealth, may, in some measure, fancy our dear 
little pet's extrayagant manifestations of wild delight exhibited 
in this giddy way, partly to' make me laugh, partly to throw 
off those feelings which were too powerful to be restrained 
within rational bounds; and, if these extravagances need ex- 
cuse, let the reader remember that they were committed by a 
young gentleman only in his eighty-fourth year! 

** Look! ma'am; beauty watch! Kind King. Good body! 
iS'u^eet man! '. Indid, indie/, ma'am, he mack it kingum hap- 
py" (he'll make his kingdom happy.) " Oh, you may sure 
of i/." — (Here the Count's tone altered to a graver expres- 
sion.) — " Good body to poor Aold servant at horn. Good 
Mister! da — ^t is beauty!" (That is the beauty of it.) Fine 
body! sweet man! Majesty George the Fourth!"* 

** In an elaborate article (to which I have recently referred, and frqm 
which I shall occasionally give extracts) called " Personal RecoUcctions 
of Charles Mathews," written by Mr. Patmore, the following account 
is given of his meeting our little favourite at this period, at Ivy Cot- 
tage. In reference to the diversity of visiters to be found at Ivy Cot- 
tage, Mr. Patmore observes :— " I remember meeting at Mathews's 
house, on one and the same day, his Royal Highness, the Duke of Sus- 
sex, Rowland Stephenson, and the Polish dwarf, Count Boruwlaski. 
This latter extraordinary personage was an especial pet of Ma- 
thews, and the whole of his family; and not without reason, for I 
think I never saw a more interesting specimen of the human species, 
an example of our common nature, from the contemplation and study 
of which more might be learned, to soften, as well as to strengthen the 
heart. 

** At the time I saw this person at Mathews's, be had, I think, 
iiearly reached his eightieth year [he was in his 84th;] yet, in health 
and symmetry of person, in clearness tmd quickness of intellect, and 
in brilliancy and buoyancy of animal spirits, he was like a youth of 
fifteen, and his conversation was the most entertaining in the world. 
In the course of his public life (at the time I speak of, he had been 
living for several years in strict retirement, either in or near Durham, 
on the competency settled upon him many years ago, by an English 
lady of high rank,) he had repeatedly visited every court in Europe, had 
been personally favoured and caressed by their respective sovereigns, 
male and female, for two or three generations deep, and had something 
curious and amusing to tell every one of them. But the interest ex- 
cited by his society, was not so much to be found in what he had to 
tell of other people, however celebrated, as in what he exhibited, in the 
exquisite little microcosm of his own mind and character. It was, at 
once, the mast enrioos, and the most delightful sight I ever witnessed, 
to see him domesticated at Mathews's, which he aknost alwavg was, 
for several weeks together, when he paid his annual visit to London. 
Be used to go gamboling about the house and grounds like a pretty 



CHABUW MATHSWS* 147 

lap-dog, or playful child, happy as a bird, and, like Uie birds, fer erer 
uttering his happiness in song. Yet, if he had to meet a stranger, so 
doing, with the tone and manner of a perfect gentleman, and without 
the slightest evidence of a consciousness, that he was, in any degree, dif. 
ferent from the rest of the world ; nor, in fact, was there any thing about 
him to create even a strange^ much less an unpleasant feeling, in the minds 
of others. It was like looking at an exquisite object of virtb, or one of 
those miracles of mechanism of which we read as having been ezhi- 
ted throughout Europe, about the middle of the last century. He was 
perfectly straight, upright, well formed, and proportioned; yet, when 
standing on the ground, his chin could scarcely have rested on a di- 
ning-table of the ordinary height But what he particularly piqued 
himself on, was, the aristocratic smallness of his hands and feet His 
shoe, and he always exhibited one as * a natural curiosity,' when he 
was staying at Mathews's, was not larger than those usually worn by 
a girl of six or seven years of age ; and a pleasant practical joke, 
played, I remember, by young Charles Mathews, on the most portly ot 
the two celebrated authors of the * Rejected Addresses,' was, to substi- 
tute, in his dressing-room, in the place of Ats trunk, a lilliputian trunk, 
(of about twelve inches square,) containing an entire dress-suit of the 
Count's clothes. Then, at meals, it was a pretty thing to see Mrs. 
Mathews lifl up the Count in her arms, and place him by her side in 
the seat always prepared for him, and sometimes, in doing so, put a 
playful kiss upon his delicate little cheek, round the rosy soilness of 
which, a profusion of snow-white hair curled and waved like that of a 
&ir child. Nor was there any thing in the slightest degree ridiculous 
cr unseemly in all this ; on the contrary, there was mixed with the 
gentle simplicity and child-like innocence of deportment of this extra- 
ordinary person, a certain air of dignity, and propriety, which created 
an effect at once touching and impressive*" 



149 HMOBMor 



CHAPTER X. 



Mr. Matliews^s fendness for the Society of Foreigners^r-Noldi, Am* 
brogetti» Sor. — Droll TransUtton. — A Foreigner's Compliment.-— 

Count D'Orsay's Bans itfote.—Moniiiear P Ue and his Wife. — 

Unreasonable augmentation to a Family^ — Letter to Mra. Mathews. 
-—A deaf Auditor. — Ludicrous Interruption during one of Mr. Ma- 
thews's Performances. — A Provincial Lady -Patroness — ^her Delight 
and Surprise at Mr. Mathews's Transformations,^ — Letters to Mrs. 
Mathews.— Whimsical Perplexities of Mr. Mathews with Tiades- 

, men.— Singular Memorandoms^— Letters to Mrs. Mathews. 

My husband was exceedingly fond of the society of foreign- 
ers; and it was noticeable, that they were all great admirers 
of him, in public and in private life;-p4hey really loved him. 
Naldi was particularly fond of his society; and, though he un- 
derstood English imperfectly, seemed always to comprehend 
all he said. We were very intimate with Signor Naldi, who 
invariably addressed my husband — " Dear MsLirhewV* Naldi 
liked to talk English; and was always encouraged in this 
liking by his friend, who never failed, by his management, to 
elicit something amusing from the practice. The Prince Re- 
gent had made him a present of a snufT-box, in consequence 
of his singing before him on some occasion. Naldi, who was 
a refined gentleman in all his ideas, was gratified at this mode 
of receiving compensation, and wished Mr. Mathews to un- 
derstand that he was better pleased with the present of the 
snuff-box (on the lid of which appeared the royal donor's por- 
trait) than he should have been had the Prince given him a 
thousand pounds! This sentiment he conveyed to my hus- 
band the next time they met, in his own peculiar way: "See, 
dear Msii-hewf dees boox, presente me from de Regent 
Prince! If I am a tousand pounds I was not so proud as dees 
boox!'- 

Ambrogetti's love and admiration had all the character of 



CIU&LEB MATHEWS. 14)i 

infantine regard, and used to show itself most amusingly* 
His English was even worse (or beUer) than Naldi's; for he 
had not mixed so much in English society as Naldi had done, 
neither had he been so long in this country. One night, at a 
supper-table, Ajnbrogetti was seated next my husband, wha 
\iras much diverted with his ardent admirer, and the childish 
delight he exhibited at all Mr. Mathews said or did. My 
husband took pleasure in exciting his droll expressions, and 
was surprising htm with all sorts of things. At last, Am- 
brogetti, wrought up to the climax of his wonder, having pre- 
viously exhausted every known word with which he could 
express his rapture, cried out, in a transport of delight, 
embracing him at the same moment, " O MdiXhew! you are 
my sweetheart J^^ 

Sor, the guitar player, was another of my husband*is devoted 
admirers. Meeting Mr. Mathews for the first time at an 
evening party, he watched and followed him about the room 
with the fondest attention,, listening to all he said with the 
greatest apparent admiration and enjoyment. At last he con- 
^ved to enter into conversation with him, and Mr. Mathews, 
as usual, with foreigners, led him on to talk in English. 

Sor began by complimenting my husband on his extraordi- 
nary powers, professing himself his great admirer, and a 
co^tant attendant upon him in public. This was at the time 
Mr. Mathews acted in the drama, before his "At Homes" 
were contemplated. Sor mentioned the delight he had felt at 
the last new character he had seen him represent, and laughed 
over, in his recollection, the points which most amused him; 
but he could not remember the title of the piece which had 
so entertained him, although he declared it was one of his 
greatest favourites. Mr. Mathews suggested several. "Non, 
non, non," said the perplexed Spaniard, still trying tq 
explain. After many attempts, he at last endeavoured to do 
this by describing each particular of the dress worn in the 
piece by Mr. Mathews, who would not assist his memory. 

"Cott (coat) vite9'' (Mr. Mathews shook his head.) 
" Large caps?" (Capes.) " De man vis the large buttons, 
»i/eF" (Still Mr. Mathews aflfected not to know.) ** Large 
hat viter' Noss-gay!" (Another shake of the head.) 
"Long veepl (whip.) Oh, so droU at long veep!" Mr. 
Mathews could not but be aware that he meant, the farce o£ 
" Hit or Miss." At last Sor exclaimed, " Oh, now 1 know, 
now I know; I recollect in French de nom! it is * Frappe o\k 
Medemoiselle!' " This translation may be worthily placed 

13* 



UO ummofam qw 

with *^ La deniiire Chemue de L' Amour/' ham Cibhei^n 
play, called '' Lore's liuit Shift." 

I leconect one night, at the Haymaiket Theatre, after Mr. 
Mathewi'fl performance of ** Mr. Wiggins," a di8tin|uiahed 
foreigner found hii way behind the scenes; and seeing the 
performer reduced to his own ** fair proportbns," and dressed 
for another eharaeter, threw np his hands and eyes at the 
contrast he now presented— from the over-fed figure in the 
first piece to the starveling sharp in the '^ Lying Valet." 
The Frenchman was full of compliments; he was enchanted 
with '< Monsieur Yiggen/' and declared he must hasten back 
to his box to see him again, although he professed to be almost 
exhausted with laughter, '* I most go to my box to laugh 
more den I can — ^I never so laugh before," adding, with a low 
how, *' But indeed you deserve to be laughed at by every 

With regard to the prepossession of foreigners, as I have 
observed, Mr. Mathews was not a jot behind them in their 
regard for him, even where nothing of the ludicrous contri- 
buted to his stock of enjoyment in their presence. For 
instance: he loved Count D'Orsay as much as he admired 
him. His amiable disposition and extraordinary conversa- 
tional talent made my husband always happy in his society, 
while his wit delighted him the more because it was untinged 
with bitterness. It was my husband^s observation that he 
could enjoy Count D'Orsay*s hons mots without any qualify* 
ing regret, for his witticisms possessed the rare charm of pun* 
gency united to good-nature, while his pleasing accent (which, 
as he understands our language perfectly, is all that proclaims 
him a native of another country) added effect to his words. 

4mong the many foreigners with whom Mr. Mathews was 

intimate was a M. P He, who frequently visited us after 

our marriage. Monsieur P lie and his wife, a pretty 

English woman, had bem married several years, but no chila 
had blessed the otherwise happy couple. At the time we be- 
came acquainted with ^em, in York, the lady had given 
promise, and in due time the critical period arrived which was 
to complete their happiness, as they believed, by a moro 
powerful bond of union. On the evening when this event 
was expected, and Mons. P— Ue hoped to become a father, 
ke invited himself to dinner with us, desiring to divert, if 
possible, the intensity of his feelings from the little less than 
agony of suspense which he experienced lest his dearly be- 
^ed wife should fall a sacrifice to her situation. It was al- 
most impossible, even while witnessing the husband's suffer- 



oustis WMatw§. 161 

ih^, not to smile at the Indieroof expieMion he gxte to it 
Mr. MathewBurged hhn to take more wine than the habit of 
the abatemious F^nchman wonld have dUowed him to drink 
at any other time; but now he seemed glad to nae any artifi- 
cial meane to sustain himself. A second bottle of port had 
been produced after dinner, before any inteliigenee from 
home reached the anxious husband, when lo! a« he wa« sip- 
ping a second glass of the newly-opened wine, a senrant fiom 
home was admitted, almost brea&less with, haste, and an* 
nounced that his mistress was " put to bed " with a fine boy! 
The rapture of the father was as whimsical as had been his 
dread. He was flying off to see his first-bom; but a prudent 
message from the fleeter was added, recomn^ending Mens. 
P He not to return immediately, but to wai% satisfied with 
present intelligence, until summoned. To this he reluctantly 
submitted; and, re-seating himself indulged in his future pros- 
pect of added bliss. NoQiin^ had been wanting but a son to 
perfect the interest of his life; one child was sufficient for 
their mutual wishes; indeed, as he observed, a large family 
would not be desirable, or consistent with his means; and, as 
he and his wife were no longer youthful, it was not probable 
that any very serious increase to his family circle could be 
expected, — he was in fact the happiest of men. After a short 
interval, the servant appeared once more, to acquaint Monsieur, 
his master, that, since his first message, *' Mistress had got 
another bairn!" Surprising was this news, and somewhat 
dampings we thought, to the happiness and satisfaction which 
the first intelligence so indisputably occasioned. However, 

after the first ejaculation of surprise, Mons. P He inquired 

how his wife was, and on being again assured that there was 
nothing to fear, and that he would soon be allowed to see 
her, he appeared to resign himself to his twofold blessing, 
observing, "Well, well! it cannot be jorf vented — it is one 
more den I expect — mais I not repine— two shildrm at one 
time is ra-ther inconvenient et very expenmve— tnat^ n'tm- 
parte! I cannot help him — ^I mooBt be resign to tV." In 
this manner he philosophized while he sipped his wine, look- 
ing into the fire, at the same time, in a musing attitude; now 
and then, however, taking out his watch, and again expressing 
his anxiety lest his " dear wife " should be in danger. We 
had some difficulty in preventing him from appearing at his 
house before the ruling powers there thought proper. A third 
time his messenger rushed in, more agitated and pale thian at 
first. He appeared to bring fatal news, for his eyes seemed 
almost bursting from their sockets, and his whole appearance 



162 UMQiBS or 

was truly alarimng to us all. . '* Well? " we simultaneoualy^ 
exclaimed, *'how is Madame -— — ?" — << She's as well as can 
be expected, doctor says; but — ." — " But, what?" asked the 
agitated husband. — <' But she's gotten anoother bairn!" replied 
the messenger. — " Anoisere shUdl!!^^ cried the astonished 
Frenchman, starting from his chair, and pushing his hair 
back from his forehead, with a '< Wheugh!^' as if sudden heat 
had distressed him. In truth he looked less in sorrow than 
in anger at this unseasonable augmentation; and, after a 
second's pause in seeming refleetion, he suddenly assumed a 
resolute manner, as if from a strong effort of mental decision; 
buttoned up his coat rapidly; called for his hat, forced it with 
a blow down upon his forehead; drew in his breath; and, in 
a calm yet determined voice, as he hastened out of the room, 
exclaimed, as if in soliloquy, *^I most put a stop to dis 
business I" 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Newark, August 29th, 1821. 

My health is excellent, and already I feel the value of the horse-ex- 
ercise on my spirits. My entertainment goes uncommonly well. The 
^ajor* is as great a hit as in town; every line tells. My scene is quite 
as good as the Lyceum. I have never had one so complete elsewhere. 
At present all is propitious and my name still up. At Stamford, a small 
theatre, I had part of the pit laid into boxes. 1 was rathe.r annoyed by 
loud talking in the stage box, which was so incessant that I was quite 
confused. During all tlie first act I put up. with it. The moment the 
second act commenced, I heard my friend again, and paused, and then 
only discovered the cause. An old gentleman, a physician, very deafj 
sat there with his wife, who selected what she thought most worthy, 
' and repeated very loud to him, after me. This was at length disco- 
vered by the audience, and we all laughed together. Towards the last, 
I waited till he had received the. communication. When the audience 
laughed very loud, he said, ** Hey ?" and then she repeated: ** He says, 
'Mamma, I want some Daffy's Elixir!' " "Oh— he, ha, ha, ha, he! 
capital!" Then he had a second laugh, which gave me breath, but 
made a quarter of an hour's addition to the performance. Once, when 
she repeated " Sweep away your mistress," very loud, it had the effect 
of doubting^ the truth, and I addressed myself to the old gentleman: 
^Upon my life it is true!" amidst shouts. It was really very droll. 
^ seems that every body knows and loves him, which made the ciicum- 
atance the more relished. 

C. Mathews. 

• Major iMf few.— A. M. 



^ was by no meaiM feuMoommi lot lit. MatheWtt In Iho 
eoorse of his petformanemi in the ooumry^'to experiedce ht* 
dicrdos intenuptionB, iimiliar to tho one just lelaled. I n* 
member his tniddnf me laugh very much by hie descripti^m 
of an oid gefotlemiin with green flpeetadlee, who came into the 
sta^e-box one night during the ** At Home," in some proiin- 
eial town, and remained in a standing position during the early 
port of the entertainment. The evening had been rainy; and 
as the old gentleman entered the box he deposited his wet 
umbrella in the comer near the door, before he advanced to 
tbe firont; but upon every occasion, when any part of the per* 
formance particularly pleased him, he went to die back of the 
box for the said umbrella, and bringing it forward, stamped it 
applaudingly upon the ground. He then carried it back and 
replaced it in the corner where he first led it. The repetition 
of this ceiemony was frequent, and was only put a stop to by 
ttte box becoming too full to admit of his moving any more 
from his place. The effect of this whimsical proceeding 



(which continued at intervals nearly a whole act) upon 
pitesent need not be described. My husband was almost con* 
vulsed with laughter, in which the audience cordially joined, 
at each manifestation of the old gentleman's approbation, who, 
in his earneetness while fetching the umbreUa and returning 
it to its place, did not seem conscious that he was a coatiH)a* 
tor to the mirth that surrounded him. 

On another occasion, when Mr. Mathews had been solicit* 
ed to perform his entertainment in a small town, a short dis* 
taaace from that in which he was staying, he was induced to 
comply, upon the assurance that the Assembly Room would 
be previously taken by the resident gentry, and a certain 
anount ensured to him for the night. CHi the appointed eve* 
ning, he found a neat litde ball-room prepared, at the farther 
ettd of which was placed a large screen, uid behind it a table 
and chair in the space reserved for his retirement between the 
aets; as there was ^o other mode of exit for him, withont 
walking out through all th^ andienoe. Before the vimten 
were admitted, therefore, my husband was obliged to bo at hie 
post. Thus ensconced '' behind the arras,*' he was able, in 
due lime, to <£soem a very genteel audience collected; the 
prominent object being a l»cly of a '^oertain age," seated in a 
large ann*chmar, which had been placed there for her ospeeial 
comfort, the rest of die audience being seated on benches. 
This lady, Mr. Mathews was itfterwards informed, was a 
person of great conseifttence in the town, and the ^sentre of 
the litde circle in which she, moved* She was a phuap. 



164 ttHonuior 

rogy^faced, joyoas4ookhig peison, and moneoverdifltiiiglHshed 
by a large bespangled turban, and diamond eaF^ringB. She 
tadked very loud, and was evidently elated at the ** treat ^* she 
declared she was prepared to receive; upon which expectancy 
she chatted with much volubility to every body in turn, and 
read the " bill of fare '' audibly, with comments upon every 
part of it. At last, the silver '^note of preparation" wbb 
heard; the bell tinkled; the table and lamps were brought 
forward; the piano and musicians in their places; the overture 
began; and all were seated and silent until Mr. Mathews ap- 
peared.' The lady patroness (as she clearly was) of die night 
then led the applause with great vehemence and warmth, by 
striking her large fan against the palm of her left hand, 
* turning her head from side to side, and round, with expressive 
gestures and smiling observations to her friends. At length 
9iese flattering demonstrations of welcome subsided into 
smiling expectation, and the performer was allowed to com- 
mence his task. This little audience (all the room could hold, 
and more, as an Irishman might say) proved most joyous; 
but the raptures of the " great lady " knew no bounds. While 
the rest of the party were satisfied with the usual mode of 
testifying approbation, her surprise and delight at what she 
saw and heard refused to be confined to mere action; words, 
as well as laughter and applause, were necessary to express 
her measureless content, so that at the close of eveiy point 
her voice was raised in audible exclamations of wonder and 
admiration, such as, "Excellent! — ^DelightfuU — Admirdble! — 
Charming!" Now and then she appealed to her friends 
with: — " Did you ever hear any thing so good! Ha, ha, ha! 
Capital! How very fine that wast He's a wonderful man! 
greater than I could have believed. Charming! charming, 
indeed!" All these verbal indications of the lady's approba- 
tion were very flattering; but my husband found soine difficul- 
ty in controlling the risible muscles of his face, while it was 
evident to him that the respect in which she was generally 
held by the rest of " the room " precluded any visible effects 
on their part. The patroness's wonder, however, was not at 
its climax until the Old Scotch Lady appeared, hooded and 
fihawled before her. The effect of Mr. Mathews's sudden 
transformation seemed to exceed possibility itself; and during 
the " Leetle Anecdote " the lady seemed transfixed; all ex- 
pression was denied her. She was absorbed, and remained 
totally silent for the time, her eyes distended, her lips apart, 
her cheeks pale, and her hands upraised,— the image of 
wonder turned to stone! But, when &e story was over, the 



CHAIUB8 MATHEWS. 1 66 

ho€>d and «hawl thrown back, and the performer 0tood again 
before her, in propria persona^ she dropped her hands heavily 
upon her knees, fell back in her chair, took a lo^g breath, 
and recovering her wonted power of utterance, criea out ex- 
ultingly — <<And there he is, a handsome man again! This 
was loo much for my husband; he was so upset, as he said, 
by this novel instance of feminine partiality that he ^as com- 
pelled to retire for a few minuleii behind his screen to hide 
his blushes, and to give way to the irrepressible laughter into 
which his newly discovered beauty had surprised him. 

At the latter end of August, Charles and myself paid a visit 
to Paris and Versailles, to some friends, journeying with my 
friend Mrs. Charles Kemble, who wished to place her 
daughter Fanny j''^ (who accompanied us,) at a French school. 
The following letters from my husband reached me during 
my stay abroad. 

TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Doncaster, Sept 17th, 1821. 

1 received both your letters by the same post, namely, the 10th and 
llth, and a great treat, you may be assured, they were to me, after the 
noise, bustle, and confusion of a town during the races. You must 
know, tliat I am here " a pleasuring " for two or three days at the races, 
which are always my •• breaking-up *' days after my fag — witness Ep- 
- som and Ascott; and, as I by great caution, cleverness, calculation, 
long-headedness, cunning, and activity, ensured the making of tweilty- 
iive guineas, before I came, which I have already ensured in my pocket 
at this present writing, (seven o'clock, Monday evening,) I felt I could 
afford to send my little company to Porofret to await my coming. I 
felt some consolation that before I received yours, and shortly after the 
writing thereof, you would have read my amende honorable for the un- 
just attack I made upon . It is between ourselves; and I 
rejoice that you only were privy to my injustice, whom I know from 
experience are the most likely of any other person to make allowance 
for my weakness. My gratification is complete at hearing of the kind 
treatment you have met with under such circumstances. God bleaa 
them, and all those who show kindness to my dear wife! I do not feel 
a momentary hesitation in saying, I approve of your plan of remaining 
in France until my return home, if not until 1 cai^ come for you. I 
leave all to your prudence; and therefore act with respect to Charles 
and yourself remaining as you think proper. I find that I have not half 
room to reply to your two letters, by this post Say all sorts of the 
kindest sayings to our dear fHends the Rollses. 

I received, yesterday, another cargo of about twenty dozen of the 
finest peaches and nectarines from home, directed: "Mr. Mathews, 

* The present Mxf • Butler. 



IM XBlfOIBSOF 

Efqaare,'* inHanouig me that *« hoi is well Th« doga is very fand of 
me. The gall is better. The other birds is well. And I returns my 
cinsere thenks for the munny. The fruit is the pick of the garden.'* 
It was the admiration of the learned and curious in fruit At table 
yesterday I presented a large dish to Lord Cremorne, Colonel Rawdon, 
and a few other friends, with whom I dined. 

I have quite travelling enough to hate it cordially. Regular dack- 
ingSf jovyrney after journey. Yesterday, from Derby here, sixteen 
miles; poured the whole day; never ceased for one moment My heart 
would have broken had I been on wheels. The horse exercise has so 
banished all blues, that I even bear wet with good temper ; indeed, like 
the eels, I am used to it. We have had, in all, nine dry days since I 
left home, and no more ! I beg you will return by way of Calais, not 
Dieppe. As I believe the Rouen route is the Dieppe road, do not come 
over by that horrid long passage. 

I hope very soon to hear from you, on this side the water. I am 
well, and still triumphant. Derby and Macclesfield, 102. each, better 
than my last trip. Excellent health. 

C. Mathews. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Birmingham, Nov. 20th, 1821. 

I have very little lime to catch the post from hence, so as to be in 
time for Dover; therefore, I merely write that you may not be disap. 
pointed at the freezing " No, sir," of a postmaster. Well I know how 
to appreciate it. I am well ; never so well, and in such uniform cheer- 
fulness of mind and spirits. Let that content thee. 

You shall find waiting for you, on your return home, a brown paper 
parcel fi-om Derby. Unpack it very tenderly, and you will find *• a 
trifle from Derby," of their manufacture, with which I hope you will 
be pleased. They wei?e very cheap; and I hope you will patronise my 
taste, though I always tremble. 

C. Mathkws. 

It was one of Mr. Mathews's kindly habits always to bring 
me home a present after any lengthened absence; and I some- 
times, in spite of myself* and the gratitude his intention de- 
eerred, looked my disapproved of the article. The strangest 
things were forced upon his notice, for which he paid more 
than their value; and if the article was one of a really desi- 
rable kind, I always found he had been sh^nefully cheated 
in the price. He had no notioa of tEanaaeting the slightest 
bargain. The commonest purchase poBzled him, and he 
would come home after any attempt to supply himself with a 
pair of gloves, shoes, hat, or other trifling ardcle, and con* 
vulse me with laughtfir» by hii> sewus account of the d^- 



tHARLES HATHeWs. , iS^ 

cultieS he had gone through in obtainirig what he had bought; 
and the bad quality and fit of his purchase was equally laugh- 
able. He gave the drollest description of the tradesmen, who 
always accused him of being diflerent in his proportions from 
other people — nothing would fit him that was made upon ge- 
neral principles; neither hat, shoe, glove, neckcloth, nor 
stock, " nothing did for him that was suited to other men of 
similar height." This w*as, in fact, true; for if the collar of 
a shirt fitted, for instance, the wrists were wrongs and vice 
versd^ Hii^ hands and feet w'ere so small that neither stock- 
ings, shoes, nor gloves" could be obtained ready-made, but 
what were too large for them. " Sir," a shoemaker would, 
say, as if reproaching him, " you are not made like other 
gentlemen; your feet are too short for your height." This 
would excuse a pair of boots brought home two or three 
inches too long, although he had been measured for them. 
"Sir," said the haberdasher, '*your throat is larger than that 
of other gentlemen." If he asked for a hat, the hatter would 
shake his head — " No, sir, your head is smaller than any 
ready-made hat: you tA\i^ he measured, ^^ All thi^ used to 
fifet hito for the momefit; and he Once asked a friend, if he 
thought his hatter knew him; for he wished to try to obtain 
a hat of somebody who would not iwit him with his '* pecu- 
liar make." His friend encouraged him to drive to a hatter's 
in Bond Street. I waited for him at the door, and watched 
the process of putting on and taking off a great many hats* 
At last he hastily re-entfered the carriage, and ordered it iO 
drive home, observing to me impatienfly, w^th ,a half-sigli: 
"Ah! it's of no use; I wWs found out.* No hat to fit my 
head! Hatter very mudh offended at rny expecting such a 
thing. In fact, it appears, that I am very much to blame. 
They're all angry with me when I go to buy any thing; and 
I feel as if I ought to apologize for ray mal-proportions." 

Another peculiarity of Mr. Mathews was, that he did not 
know how to behave to people who stood upon the debatable 
ground of respectable claims, neither* high nor low. He 
always felt awkward in 'the presence of a tradesman of this 
grade. He could not bear such a person to stand before him, 
and was equally at a loss how to give his orders (which he 
never did with precisiorl', or in a manner to be perfectly un- 
derstood.) In fact, what such persons might be expected to 
feel with their superiors, he felt with them. One day, in Lon- 
don, a tailor's journeyman came to him Respecting a coat sent 
home that did not please. He had come inopportunely; the 
cab Was waiting to take my husband out, and yet his good^ 

' voi;. I.— 14 



158 MSJUOI&SOF. 

nature made him reluctant to ^end the man away without his 
orders. He had endeavoured to direct the alteration required; 
but between an appointment on business out of doors and that 
forced upon him within, he could not collect his ideas so as 
to make them suddenly intelligible to the tailor. I entered 
the room at the very crisis of his embarrassment, and found 
him in the act of abusing street-music.^ He said the organ 
playing precluded his knowing what he Said; and I, observing . 
two intervening doors open (those of the room and central- , 
passage,) closed them carefully, expressing my surprise it^t , 
he had not resorted to so obvious a mode of subduing the. nui7 
sance. I saw I had made a mistake, and afterwards found 
that he had done a violence to his genius, and attempted to 
giv.e me a hint. Alas! how could 1 guess that this was his . 
plan of getting rid of the man whom he wanted courage to 
send aWay "for no exquisite reason.". ;The man's obtuse- 
ness was equal to my own; so that, at last, my poor husband, 
in despair of managing the affair, led me out of the room, 
begging me to dismiss the tailor; ?knd.then bustled into his ca- 
briolet, half angry with me, and more vexed at his own in- 
firmity. Excessive deference frpm such persons vexed ^d 
disconcerted him. Eyes exasperated him, even from the fair- 
est faces; for he did not like, as I have before observed, to Ibe 
looked at. 

Another oddity: — Mr, Mathews's .memorandums v^ere^.al-- 
ways made with the palest pencil-marks, on the cornei;^. of 
letters, and were generally carried, unprotected from rubbing, , 
in his pocket. At one time he often complained to me that 
*' Mistress Tidy " (the housemaid) displaced his memoran- 
dums in his dressing-room; and from time to time enumerated . 
the wofuV effects such officious neatness had drawn upon him. , 
To prevent a recurrence of this evil, I gave general orders that 
no paper, book, or letter should ever be touched or removed 
while arranging the room, unless I was called to superintend. 
Notwithstanding this precaution, and my reiterated warnings, 
one night my husband returned home, after performing at 3ie 
theatre, very cross at a distress he had suffered there from the 
want of something he ought to have taken with him from 
home; for which he was compelled to use a substitute quite 
unfit for his purpose, " and all because Mrs. Tidy would re- 
move his memorandums." (He hated to be helped in any 
thing, and always himself looked out what he required from 
home for his performances.) I really was very angry my- 
self at the circumstance, and summoned the responsible per- 
son to hear the charge preferred against her. ** Mrs. Tidy,'f 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 159 

with tearM earnestness, protested that nothing of the sort 
had happened on the present occasion. Her master vehe- 
mently persisted in his charge; and the woman, turning to 
me, exclaimed, << Indeed, ma'am, I moved nothing but a stock- 
ing, which master had taken off with his boots, and which 
was lying in the middle of the room."—" That's it/ that's 
it/** cried her methodical ^d discomfited master, "I put it 
there on purpose to remind me to take a pair to the theatre. 
It was my memorandum /^^ In fact, his favourite mode of 
making a memoraLndi^in was that of dropping a pocket hand- 
kerchief, a gloye, or something equally conspicuous and unu- 
sual, in some part of the room in. wjtiich he happened to be.* 
Oh my return to England I foiind the Derby " trifles " 
/two biscuit figures,) and the following letter, waiting at home 
for me. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Binntnghain, Nov. 9tb, 1821. 

Welcome home, my love, say I, most .si\icerely. Notwithstanding 
your delight at ** foreign parts,'* I feel very comfortable at addressing 
you once more at home. 

Captjun Saunders, now the' mayor of Stratford, comes over here to- 
day, to hear me J^epQ];t progress about the Shakspeare monument The 
communication from Mr. Watson will set his heart- dancing and the 
Stratford people raving mad. 

Pray write a few lines, directed to Mr. Watson, at Carlton House, 
'tod say you'have just returned from Paris, and found his letter, and 
that I shall n6i be home till Christmas; but that you will communicate 
the contents of it to me, and that you are sure I shall get drunk with 

C. MATHEW8.f 

* Durinj;^ the early part of his last illness, his visiters perceiving his 
handkerchief lying at his feet, would kindly pick it up and present It 
to him, to his very great vexation when this natural result recurred, 
which it did several times a-day, unless I hadtheiheans of warning his 
visiters not to notice any thing of the kind. 

t The letter alluded to has been given in a previous page.'-A. Ms 



y50 MBMoi^ or 



TO MRS, MA.THEWS. 

Shrewsbury, Dec. 13th» 1821^.. 

Your cheering letter was delivered to me this morning, and came 
moftt opportunely, having been called up in the middU of the nighty 
to encounter foity miles'* ride through fog and Scotch mist I couldl 
hardly see my breakfiist; and, though they can never possibly have a. 
ray of sun in the Albion, yet they are conceited enough to have win- 
dow blinds — one of which, from the pulleys being, bmken, hungiquitaD 
down and obscured the small portion of daylight that appeared. The. 
news of your improvement in health dispelled the clouds both from my 
mind and the horizon; for I had only three miles of wet, and^the rest 
of the day has been beautiful. If we poor hypochondriacs do suffer 
Hjore than you even-tempered people, we have an advantage " when 
stocks are up,'* for I am sure you never enjoy the rapture we feel at 
the cheering influence of the sun. The day you mention — Tuesday 
^I really revelled in it. 1 took five hours to perform twenty miles, 
from Wawington to Chester, and chirped like a bird as I strolled 
through a most hisuriant country, pitying the poor calm ones who are 
perpetually saying, <* This must be a sweet ride in summer/' I would> 
not have arrived in gloomy old Chester for the world before dusk« I 
received both yoiur letters there. I " operate " here to-morrow night» . 
On Saturday I proceed to Hereford, where I have arranged for two 
, nights; and on Thursday I shall bum my books, or tie squibs to Billy 
Crisp's tail, or jalap my musician, or commit some 4such extravagance 
as a boy. would do who is going home for the holidays — as .1 count 
every hour now as such urchins do about the middle of December* 
Oh, what fun it will be. Ma! to see you ag^o, and my playfellow Char* 
ley — 9x\^aU the refit on you, I will write from Hereford, and tell you 
as nearly as I can what time to expect me. I shall coach it up, as I 
cannot afford to nde 140 miles in three days; and Moses and Spooney 
the younger (my musicianer) will come up with the horses and my 
JUh'Caravan. — "Loaded wi' fish, I reckon," has been often repeated, . 
in addition to " wi}d bastes, I do suppose," and "a gentleman's hearse,^ 
may be?**t 

Poor Mrs. is here, with her crowd of hung^ children about 

her. She desires all sorts of kind saying^ to you, and blesses you £br 
your letter almost as much as she do^s me — which is overwhelming. 
But it is a g^eat reward for thfee hours' use of my lupg^L.to lee them 
exercising their, little jawsto-night, which would have be^Hiusty but 
for my abihty as well as^nclmation-toserve them. 

Tell Charles bow happy your accounts of hiiamak^e me; and be > as- 
sured you both possess the sincere love of 

Yours afiectignatply, . 

Charlu Mathews^ 

* His exaggerated term for being forced to rise earlier than his usual tiiM.— 
^> M> 

t This carriage wi|8 a sort of forgon (covered.) with a curricle seat in front, for 
j^ls men of basiness. This machine conveyed his dresses, machinery, Jfcc on joiur- 
^|««.-rA.«t." ■ ■ ' . . V . . . . . 



CttAKUS KATBBW8. 151 



. ' CHAPTER XI. 



The Original of JUigdr 'liang^ow.^hetier from Colonel Thornton on 

the 'Subject of h\B oyrn Deatk — Letters to Mrs. Mathews: a Road 
« AneQjl^te; ^ival at Edinburgh; Hoaxt^ere; Conversation with 

Sir Waher Scott; Visit to the great Novelist— Mr. Mathews *« At 

Home *' for the Fifth Seasoi) at the English Opera House.— *< The 
, Youthful Days of Mr.|Matheirs."— Remarks on the Performance.— 

Letters to Mr. Mathews from Mr. Knight and Mr. Theodore Hook. 

Piiv&te Tbefttricals. — ^Performances of Mr. C J. Matiiews. — Mr. 

Mmtfaews^a Advice to his Son.— Success of the latter as an Aroateor 

Performer. 

A REPORT bein^ circulated that the original of '* Major 
Longbow " on my hu^b"arid*d stage, had quitted the stage of 
life, that gentleman, in his characteristic style, printed a con- 
tradiction, .which not only satisfied his friends that he was 
still alive, biit at the same time that he *< never wcis dead," and 
was anxious to justify the general assertion, namely, that he 
never could die while my husband lived. 



THORNTON REDIVIVUS. 

Those persons who are favoured' with Colonel Thornton*8 acquaint- 
anoe.will be pleased and amuseid by the following letter from him 
on tlie subject of his death. Those who do not know him will be able 
to appreciate the exquisitely fine imitation of the GolonePs st^le and 
manner which Mathews gave the town last year in his happiIy*con- 
ceived character of Major Longbow. 



Paris, Rue de U Paij^; Dee. 95, IStl. 

Mt Bonnrr BtoTBBK SioftTiMiN, 

This is Christmas day, dedicated'^; n^ fyprnmy tputh to ^ety naA 
reisooable hospitality, endevroaring tb^mAki''all happy, aooording to 
14* 



Wi MBMonuror 

the fiitaation in which Providence has placed me. In health tto i 
can be more hearty, but not quite stout in my knees and feet. Siamaek- 
invincible. Alicays an appetite. Eat three time$ a day: tea, muffins,, 
and grated hung beef at nine; at two, roasted game or cockscombs, 
and about a pint of the finest white Burgundy; dinner at five, and then n 
bottle of wine, about three or four glasses of spirits and water, rather 
weak — then to bed. Sleep better than I ever did in my life. li'EreUy 
well, you will say, for a dead man. Rise at eight, breakfast at nine, so 
we go on. Every night the finest dreamt.. I. expect some Wild Boar.. 
If it comes, our friend B. may be sure of a part. 

P. S. Dec. 26, I find, by the papers, that I di^, aftqr a short illness, . 
much lamented, &c., at Paris. However that may be, I gave a dinner 
yesterday to a dozen sportsmen. We had roast beef, plum podding, 
Yorkshire goose-pie, and eat up singing moetgaibf till two o'clock tJnk 
morning. . At twelve wo had two' broiled fowls, gizzards, &.C., and 
finished a bottle of old rum, in punch. No intoxication^ for I went, to 
bed well, and never rose better, 

(Signed) THORNTON, MAjtf^s j>B Pont* 

»* Can't hurt me — there's muscle — feel m^arm — hard as iron-^I 
can't fall. if I*wovdd-^'poa my soul it's true— what will you lay it's a 
lie?" ' . ' ' Fide^MATHiws.. . 



TO MRS. MATHEWS* 

Doncaster, Jan.. 26th, 1822.^ 

Hero I am safe- and'^ sound t* arrived much sqoner than I expected,, 
the North mail having increased in speed four hours, between York,i 
and Lonid<^n, since I wasj here last. We arrived at three o'clock, with- 
out appearing to travel remarkably quick. I had three fellow-travel- 
lers, bags, and brothers, — very gentlemanly, and very great and excel- 
lent sleepers (great qualifications to me for agreeable companions,) per- 
fectly disposed to indulge me in my taetturnity. 

One ^Mittle anecdote " only can I relate : it is amusing from its per- 
fect novelty. At Huntingdon, at three, ia the morning, while they 
were ehanging horses', 1 heard the coachman 8a.y, ." Why there be but . 
three horsey?" — »iDang it, there was four, I'll. be on oath, when I 
brought 'em out," said the horsekeeper. »» Well look, then ; be there 
fqur now ? Come,. be alive, and get t'other.-" He looked op the yard 
and in the stable, but in vain. The coachman swore, the guard raved; 
^ch ran up and down the town — the search was fruitless. The ostler 
had also started' in. search. At length one of the already jaded animals, 
who had performed his night's work, was doomed to take the place of 
the runaway. Just at the period when he was unwillingly dragged 
oncemore to the pole^.the ostler -was heard galloping back canning 
Isaac, who had .tried to shirk his duty. He had crawled. off quietly 
and unperceived; then, from the distance, must have trotted^ and had« 
VikCi^)^ hi4den, bims^f ODtd^r a ^ifiway wijece he was not acttuvtomol 



to go, ** I>-*M if ever I knew a Chruliaii 'do a moie euimiiif triok,'* 
iaidDan. 

CHABiBi Matbiwi*. 



TO MRS: MATHEWS. 

Edinburgh, Feb. 5tii, 1 822. \ 

I arrived heoe ok Sl^day, and dined with that pleasant fellow Ma- 
grath. 

I open here to-night., We have had four chuigee of weather tince t 
arrived. I think things look well here — ^thongh great donbts are . 
abroad if I am the real Simon Pure. The first night will probably 
BufiEer. I' have got a horrid place to act in, across a ride : it is a cir- 
cus. I -shall ccMtlescewith Miirr'ily^ if he is willing. However, any 
WQj I feel up; for even a bad trip here will be no £lure of the expe- 
dition. ' Glasgow has secured a profitable one, and something well 
worth my trouble and. journey. v . 

C. Mathkwb. 

The '<^d0U&/«" m'enlSoii^il in; tliis ^elter o^ in the 

previous visit ' '^ his namesake, whose failure thq . following.' ^ f^, 
paramph, foirwa^ed to my hiisbahd.fit the* time, will relate. ' 
it w£b Mr, M4thewi*s%st " At Home ** in Edinburgh. 



UOJiX AT EDINBURGH. 

The mat celebrity of the eomic Mathews, of the En^ish Opera 
House, last week induoed. an iropostpr to take a room in jBdinburgh, 
and to issue bills, ** Mathews at Home.". Having attracted a select party 
to witness his. *« Budget of Budgets,'* he commenced the exhibition of 
his loonderftiZ powers, which were deemed so intolerable as to excite* 
the greatest dissatisfiiction in the galled spectators. A row ensued^ and 
he was followed by a crowd of his patrons to the police-office, where 
he remained for protection during the night (quite ^ at home,'*) and 
iiext morning, was brought before a magistrate. He was dismissed; 
there being no charge against hiin. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS: 

Edinburgh, Feb. 9th, 1^29. 

I know too many People here to study undistur)>ed; therefore an 
olUiged to hide myseinn the private walks, when the weather will per' 



IM mMOHifor 

mit ir«9ferd4y wm lovely, ind I had a good flpell ; to^y boitterous- 
and wot Terry declared that he was blown off the pavement into the 
middle of the ureet, from the violence of a squall, and must have fall- 
en, if he had. not made a snatch at a roan who returned his hug, like 
two people on the ice. I have had two nights, the first 802., for they 
would not be persuaded that I was myself, in consequence of, the dis*^ 
turbance Irish Mathews occasioned here. But believing from ocular 
demonstration that I toas I, my second amounted to 133f , i|irhich, to 
appreciate, you must be acquainted with circumstances top .tedious, 
&.C* When I tell you that the boxes will only hold 551, you may sup- 
pose what it was. Sir Walter, the magician of the Nor^h,. and all his 
family, were there. They huzzaed when he came in, and I never 
played with such spirit, I was so proud of his presence. Coming out, 
I saw him in -the lobby, and very quietly shook his hand — ** How d*ye 
do, Sir Walter ?"—.*» Oh, hoo are ye ?, wall, hoo have ypu been enter- 
tertainedt'* (I perceived he did not know mp.) — "Why, Sir, I don't 
think quite so Well as the rest of the people.'* — *• Why not ? I have 
been just delighted. It*s quite wonderfbol hoo the deevil he gets 
through it all." — (Whispering in his ear.) *♦ I am surprised too; but 
I did it all myself.*' Lockhart, Lady Scott, and the children quickly 
perceived the equivoque, and laughed aloud, which drew all eyes upon 
me : an invitation for to-morrow followed^ which I accepted joyfully. 
I doubt if the players in Shakspeare*s time appreciated his invite, as I 
do an attention from the man who, in my mind, i% second only to him. 
Hurray has overreached himselfr-and I continue to oppose. Mach 
I thank him for allowing me to stand alone, and to oppose without com- 
punction. 

Charlu Mathswb. 

It was his invariable .system to try to make arrangements 
with the managers of) provincial theatres who had companies- 
acting at the time, being willing for their sakes to forego the 
greater advantage of performing solely on his own account. 
But if the heads of the theatres tried to make hard bargains 
with him, or were illiberal in their aims, he felt that he owed 
it to his own great exertions to seek a mode of fair renume- 
ration; and where he was expected to use his attraction and 
langs fo^ little more than a moderqfe Bolary, he felt, as he 
says, that he ipaight set up for himself "without compnnc- 
tion."^^ Without some provocation of this sort he never op- 
posed a company. Mr. Murray doubtless felt his mistake 
on this occasion; but it never lessened their mutual good un- 
dexstaoding. 

* The theatre open at the same time. 



eiUMLEM MATKIWS. 165 



TO MBS. KATHEWS. 



E^hburgl^ F^b. 12tb, 1822. 

How ally of G to mention suth a phVAse to yoa as *<tic-dota.' 
leiix,'' even if he had belUyed you had siich a disonler. It was per- 
fect childishneiB to mention it 

Yoor letter has made me vei^ ^ihretctied. I have long felt convic: 
tion that you cannot eidst ih that cott^tge, and every month coi>^. 
firms it. I never quit it but a' regular bulletin is issued, of cold and, 
rheumatism. What a martyr you have been to itl I hope yoii wiUj 
write every dky between the despatch of the last and Thursday, or send 
me an accotint 

I am going on capitall;*; and'have the pleasure to say, without pai^ 
ticularizing i^ceipts, for which 1 havte not time, that, including utf the 
expenses ftom Liverpool, of Crisp, George, and luggage^ and all here, 
I shall dear SOOi by my trip. When we recollect, that I had written 
to give up the expedition, this is no bad aifair. 

I had a most ddightful day at Sir "V^alter Scott's on Sunday. Terry'^ 
and wife wiere there, who desire all klAd sayings to ydu. Watty' ia^ 
quite concerned for ybOr' illhess. He id coming up to Richaidsoii's 
school in the Spring; and, as his mother will not be with him, I have 
made all thdr eyes gUsten, by asking him' to see 3rou at Midsummer. 

C. Mathxwb. 



InM^Tch, 1822, Mr. Atathews r^appeaxed at the English , 
Opera H^Uael, for the fiAh season of his ** At tiome " in a new'^ 
entertainment.' 

MJi; MiTHEWS AT riOME 

at the Theatre Royal, English Opera House, Strand, on Mondayf^^.^* 
Thursdays, and Saturdays, during March, 1822, with his annual lecture ^ 
on Charufter, Mdnnera, and PeeuMaritieB, und^r the title of 

THE YOUTHI^trii^ DAYS' OP'MR; MATHEWS' 

Pavt I.— From nothing to the age of an hour and a quarter* — *' First 
the infant," &c.— Parentage. ^Childhood.— From One to Ten.— 
"Then the schoolboy with shining morning fitce.^'— Preparatory Se- 
mffl»3^.—- Merchant Tailor's School. — Public Speeches.*-Latin, Greek 
sod English Orations,— Dramatic Mania of ICaster Charles Blathews.— 
PsrentJ Objections. 

Song— TKidSs Choosing. 

FBom Ibi to i^em.^Bound Apprentice^ .Wnus, Chamberhdn of 
LdtoAD|u*-]fint atten^ as an A<^ ^. Pf^HiD,'-^¥tD^.'^lnitry\pr 



166 MEMOIRS OF 

With MicKLiir; the Veteran's opinion of the qualifications of a Trage- 
dian. — Elopement from Home.— »I\it Traveller. — Ap Llywelya ap 
Llwyd, Esq. — Mineral Waters. ^Stratford upon Avon. — Shakspeare's 
Tomb. 

Song' — Market Day,. 

Engaged for the Dublin Theatre.— Careful Carter, — Ipgenious Por- 
ter.— First appearance in Ireland,— Splendid Wardrobe. — ^Mr. Mathe\rs 
ruffled. — Old Hrasr.-^Cox's Bull. — ^Dickt Suett's Letter of Recom- 
mendation. — Hibernian Friends, &c. &c. &c. 

Song— ./^ IrUh Rubber at Whiet. 

Pai«p U.-i-Dublin Coippany. — George Augvistus Finley, 9f the Line 
of Beauty.— <&Ir. Trombone.— O'Flanagam—GBOBoa FBBt>vaicK Cooke. 
— ^Por/ Arms. 

Song-^^/uM/e£r iteld-day and Sham Fight, 

Mr. CuKBAN (a portrait.) 

Re^llrish Ballad— CrooAA:een Xaum. 

Leave Dublin. — ^Yisit WaleB.^Mr. Mathews engaged for the Yoric 
Circuit— Interview with Tate Wilkinson, Esq., the wanderii^ PateiN 
tee.— Buckle-brushing (Garrick's buckles,) 

Mr. Mathews's, Mr. Wilkinson's, Mr. Garrick's Richard, 

Tate's Antipathies: — Rats? Cross Letters.^York Roaciua. — Overture 
from London. — Mr. Mark Magnum. — " All that sort of thing," and 
** Every thing in the world." — Arrival in the Metropolis. 

Song-^Londm Green Rooms. 

PlBT m. — Stories: in which Mr. Mathews will take Hepa to introduce 
the following characters: 

Nat, Servant of All-work in a Lbdging-Housd. 
Sir Shiverum Screwnerve, guardian to Amelrosa — (eecond floor.) 
Monsieur Zephyr, French Ballet MAaiet^{flrat floor.) 
George Augustus Fipley,, ^< A Line of Beauty,"— in love. 
Ap Llywelya ap Llwyd» Esq. iV^^ Thin Enough. 

. Mr., Mark Magnum, nori compos Lodger (next door.) 
Miss Amelrosa, in love wit& F^ky, 

The songs will be accompanied on the piano-forte by Mr. E^ Knight, 
iHio will play favourite rondos between the parts. 

Of this £ntertaininent I will here introduce the following 
account, written at the time. 

The character of Mr. Mathews's imitatire power is now so IreU 



CHAUBS 1UTHBW8. 107 

established, that we are spared all reooune to genenl analysis. The 
personation of Mathews is doubtless of the very highest order, for it 
individualises classes of character, and so &r is Shaksperian. His ca- 
pacity exhibits an extent of observance far beyond that of the common 
mimic, who can seldom compound, but roust have all his originals in 
positive existence. As the major includes the minor, Mathews, of 
course, can imitate the existing individual, as well as personate the in- 
dividual of a tribe; but his felicity and luxuriance are indisputably in 
the superior line. We always like his cVeations or compositions better ■ 
than his mere copies; and, judging b!y appearances, we are of opinion' 
that his audience generally agrees with us. ' 

*< The Youthful Days " profess to be a sketch of a portion of incident 
which befell Mr. Mathews when he sfole from behind the counter, and 
sought the smell of the theatrical lamp — no gas in those days. The 
known characters introduced, are no doubt very closely imitated; in- 
deed, of some of them we could judge; as, for instance, MaekUn and 
Cookei and we have equal confidence in the version of Tate WiUein^ 
son, .The greater part of the other characters, we presume, are cre- 
ated, not altogether ex niA»i(9| probably, but formed freely and plasti- 
cally from a few predominant features. Mr. Jlp Llwyd, a good-hu- 
moured Welshman, who washes his inside at aU sorts of spas and mineral 
springs, in order to grow thinner, appears to be of this description, and 
is a very meritorious concoction. A IVeneh Dancing Ataater, dressed 
up for a ballet, is another most happy imitation, and, burlesqued as it 
is into extravagance, still preserves an admirable portion of nature and 
verisimilitude. 

Of the recitations, the ** Irish Rubber at Whist,*' was possibly the 
richest. Th^ ** Volunteer Field-day*' was'.too well understood in this 
our s^ire of 'Ck>ckney not to fie ^well taken, although the quiz was in 
the vjPjrjr extent of license. The »♦ Londpn Green-room,'* which, of 
course, afforded a scope for imitating a few defunct and retired, and 
several i[>f the rnorp elderly existing performers, was pleasantly and ra- 
pidly executed, without giving us too much of the respective " Gar- 
ricks a!t second hand,*' which practice Has often been as disagreeable 
to us as to Churchill. The last act concludes, as usual, with a per- 
sonation chiefly of the characters previously introduced in the narra- 
tive. In the present instance, the plan is borrowed froni the French 
piece entitled " Les Trois Etages,** three stories, being, in fact, the 
three stories of a boarding-hoose, constructed upon the principle of out- 
side galleries to each, in the manner of the Belle Sauvage, and some 
other of our inns. The locality, of course, supplies fine opportunities 
for exits and entrances, as also fur lodfring the various dramatig per- 
sofitf . We do not think it so good as *^ The Polly Packet :** but every 
thing cannot be best ; and it is exceedingly good. The Dancing Mas- 
ter, Welshman^ and intoxicated Steward at a public dinner, will bear 
any comparison. 

The — what shall we call it, ** Conversational Web,*' in which all 
the representation is interwoven, abounds, we think, in somewhat more 
than the usual portion of fun and whimsicality; ai^d, what is more, Mr. 
Mathews seemed to deliver it in excellent spirits. He uncorked with 
ail the vivacity of the most sparkling champagne, and the effect pro- 
duced was similar — brisk, light, and transient On the part of the 



%W ]kSM0IR8 0» 

spectator, the wnile was constant, or the load Uxngh ita tole interru^*' 
tion; apd all passed off with apparent glee on both sides. 

UpoB commdn-place imitation we place little talue; but Mathews 
has a talent per $e ; and be who year after year can entertain crowded 
houses for months at a time by his own nnassisted powers, is any 
thing but a common man; and no common man is Mr. Mathews. 



In his «« Youthfal Days " Mr. Mathewi has presented us with & su- 
periority, in point of interest, iover all his former efforts. Hitherto ,w&; 
have been amnsed with the eccientri^ities of iiDaginary beings, the. 
Biere ideal creations of a lively fancy; but here ouff pleasure is augr 
mented by t^e reflection that a great portion, at least, of his narrative 
is matter of fact; that we are listening to the description of actual ex- 
perience, and that the individual to whom the events oceurred stands 
before us. This is not the only reason why our attention is powerfully 
arrested. Characters, o€ whom Uie aged must have a distinct remcm- 
branoe, and whon^ the young have b^n taught to regard with wonder, . 
admiration, or respect, are brought before uf with such marks of iden-^ . 
tity, that, while the experience of some bears testimony to the fidelity 
of ijie portraits, to otherft they too nearly resemble what their imagi- 
nation had conceived for their resemblance or cprrectness to be doubted 
fo^ a moment. The phy^iiuat^miail portrait of Wilkes was not merely 
admirable^it was wondernil. The very features of the sturdy patriot 
were presented^to the eye so faithfully, that no one'«who has oyer seen- 
even a graphic >esemblanoe of the origiijal, ic^uld fail to recognise it* 
Let any person. who possesses an engravii^gof this, extraordinary man,, 
take it to the theatre and make the comparispn. The drop of the lip, 
the cast of the eye, and,|reiieral aspect of the countenance, impressed' 
us with the id^ of reamination rather than mimicry. On his voicd 
and delivery our experience will not permit us to decide, but itpos' 
sessed too muc'hl the air. of reality to leave much doubt of its being ge- 
nuine. 

The imitatic^ of Macklia has the same marks of fidelity. The iron-^ 
featured caustic, veteran, his hard-favoured physi^ognomy, his growl, :. 
the lack-lustre aspect pf his visual orbs, as if glazed over by the touch 
of time, and tl^e |reneral uncouthness of his. manners, so true to the 
traditional descripf ion of him, were finely preserved. Old Hurst^ with 
his blindness and cross-medleys; Dickey ^uett, of whom our memory 
has preserved a .recollection so strong, as tO; enable us to pronounce the 
imitation admirable, and Tate Wilkinson, were exquisite portraitures. 
The very finest ieffort of Mr. Mathews*s art, however, the very acme of 
his powers, was displayed in his delineation of the celebrated Phillpot 
Currap. He stood before us, not as an imitation, not as a copy, but as 
the original itself. It possessed a vitality in which every shadow of 
mimicry was lost; it was not Mr. Mathews, but Curran. A friend 
who accompanied us, and who had been on terms of intimacy with 
this great man, was strongly affected by the resemblance; and it is 
the most honourable testimony to the skill of the performer, that with- 
«>Qt losing a single portion of Curran's peculiarities, but retaining the 



CUAVLEU MATHEWS. 160 

Irish accent, and the pecaliar gesture of the bar, which can tearcely 
be considered graceful, he delivered a speech, so impressive, energetic, 
and affecting, so true to nature and feeling, so remote from any thing 
resembling imitation, that the audience were moved almost to tears. 
It is the very triumph of art to imitate a character without making it 
appear ridiculous, and this triumph Mr. Mathews successfully achieved. 



The faculties of Mr. Mathews are certainly improved by use. His 
imitations of individuals, extraordinary as they are, hide their heads 
before his description of a mixed conversation. Instead of playing a 
concerto upon a single instrument, he gives us the accompaniment and 
variety of a full orchestra ; and he glides (in the *« Irish Rubber at 
Whist ") from one corner to another, changing sometimes the subject 
and sometimes the interlocutor, with a rapidity and absence of effort, 
which must be seen to be believed. He puts, as it were, the whole 
party before you at a glance. Shut your eyes, and you will become 
actually one of the company. Imagine the cards, and the wine, or cut 
the one, and cut out at the other, and your acquaintance, " as large as 
life," are located about you. Nothing can exceed his reception, as 
host, uf the different visiters, whose names are announced : — the Cap- 
tain, who talks French because he does not understand it; the Lady 
who is so anxious about Mrs. O* Shane's accouchment; Counsellor 
O^Skane, who has not yet heard whether he is an uncle or an aunt ; 
and the Tipperary Gentleman, who writes " gout *' because he forgot 
how to spell ** rheumatism." We could go to the antipodes, to enjoy 
ten minutes of that description. Of no whit Icm value are some of 
Mathews*s reminiscences of actual character. Old Hurst, playing Sir 
Anthony Absolute, and forgetting the text ! His ringing the bell back- 
ward, without regard to connexion, upon Sir Anthony*s threat of an 
ugly wife to his son : — " She shall have a hump on each shoulder, and 
he as crooked as the crescent ; her one eye shall roll like the bull's in 
Cox*s Museum. She shall have a skin like a mummy, and a beard 
like a Jew," &c. Hurst's keeping up the passion, and throwing in 
the words at random, as he caught them indistinctly from the promp- 
ter: — "An eye, a hump— a hump in her eye; two humps; — a bull; 
Cox's bull; — a beard; — a bulFs beard; — cocks; a cock and bull!'* To 
convey the effect by words ia impossible; but the story, which, inde- 
pendent of the acting, is happily enough arranged, convulsed the house 
with laughter. 



The more we see of this extraordinary man the more wc are sur- 
prised; not at the mechanical rapidity of his transformations, not at the 
minute correctness of his imitations, not at the spirit and animation of 
his performances, for with those we, as well as all England, are fa- 
miliar; but at the powers of the mind which can, each succeeding 
year (when one really thinks the mine exhausted) produce a fresh sup- 
. ply of matter sad manner; and in an entertainment inevitably upon 
VOL. I. — 15 



170 HBMOiaS OF 

the same principle always^ so completdy vary the detail as to excite 
anew all the anxiety to see and hear, and to gratify that anxiety en- 
tirely in the exhibition. His introduction and imitation of several ce- 
lebrated persons are highly interesting as matters of history ; and no- 
tices of a life so actively spent as that of Mr. Mathews's has been, and 
so shrewdly observed upon, cannot fail to excite public attention, and 
receive public applause. 

In the dramatic afterpiece of " Stories,*' his changes are incalculably 
rapid; and the difficulty of managing that rapidity, we s^iould suppose, 
must be considerably increased by the inevitable running up and down 
stairs in the progress of representation. 

I have already explained my motives in inserting friendly let- 
ters from his professional brethren. They stand at once as ho- 
nourable evidences of their liberal feelings, and of my hus- 
band's just claims to their . admiration, both as a private and 
public character. The following letter is written by his old 
friend *' Little Knight." 



TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Garden Ck)ttage, March 24th, 1832, 
Mv DEAR Friend Mathews, 

I thank you for the great pleasure your unrivalled talents afforded 
me last evening. It has frequently been said, that professional con- 
gratulations are often somewhat ambiguous; I do not pretend to decide 
on the justice of this remark, with regard to others, but for myself, I 
do but feebly transcribe my delight, when I declare that, in my life I 
never enjoyed a dramatic treat with more unmixed satisfaction than 
that which I experienced in three short, exceedingly short hours at the 
English Opera House, where my old friend sparkled with infinite jest 
and flashes of merriment ; — a modern Yorick, " setting the table in a 
roar." 

I am, dear Charles, your true friend and admirer, 

E. KNioifr.- 



My dear Mat., 



TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Kentish Town, 1822. 



I have been laid up, and confined to my bed and room for nearly three 
weeks with a bilious attack, which has pulled me down, and made me 
like unto a shadow. Owing to my hurried eiremnstaoces, I have been 
very little here of late, and next week propose quitting it altogether. 



CHAKLB8 MATHEWS. 171 

I was very sorry at not beings able to g^o to Charles's private theatri- 
cals, but I got the tickets in the middle of my illness. Will you tell 
him so, and thank him for recollecting me? 

I should like very much to go to you, and dine some day quietly, if 
you would let me; for I thio^ the sight of you and Mrs. Mathews 
would do me good. I enclose you a bit which 1 took out of a maga- 
zine for the year 1760 — the date is with it — about Boruwlaski, which 
makes him older, I think, than we calculated. What a wonderful lit- 
tle creature it is! I thought if you had not got it, it would be sat^i- 
factory.* 

I hear that you are doing wonders this year; and I am not sur- 
prised ; for I think the subject is particularly good, when the hero of 
such adventures is present. As you are a good fellow, I dare say you 
will excuse the unnatural paper upon which this is written : I have no 
other in the house; and I was anxious to write to you to thank you for 
your calls, and to return my acknowledgments for Charles's kindness. 
Pray make my remembrances to Mrs. Mathews and her son, and be- 
lieve me. 

Dear Mat, yours, very sincerely, 

T. E. Hook. 

The allusion to " Charles's private theatricals " in the fore- 
going letter, refers to an evening's performance at the Eng- 
lish Opera House, where our son's first attempt on the stage 
took place, in the French piece of " Le Comedian d'Etampes," 
in which he took Perlet's part, in professed imitation of that 
. great actor, whom he had recently seen act in Paris, and had ac- 
quired a most perfect power of representing. Mr. Arnold 
had good-naturedly offered the use of this theatre to Charles 
and some young friends, for their amusement; but the enters 
tainment turned out one of rather a superior kind to the audi- 
ence. The curiosity which this evening's performance ex- 
cited was extraordinary. A private play is notoriously a nui- 
sance to be shunned, generally speaking; but here were press- 
ing applications (nay, money, from strangers, offered) for ad- 
mission; and the result was, that the theatre was not only 
occupied by Charles's young friends, but with much of the 
first rank and talent in London. The following humorous 
bill will explain the plan of the night's entertainment, and the 
handbill announces an accident which befell the hero of the 
evening, and which almost precluded his appearance: 

* This account of Borawlaski I have inserted in a previous page, where I intro- 
duced bim to the reader.->A. M. 



172 MSMOIRH OF 

Theatre Royal, English Opera Ikuse, Strand- 

Particularly private. 

This present Friday, April 26th, 1822, will be presented a farce, called 

MR.H .♦ 

(N. B. This piece was damned at Drury-lane Theatre.) 

Mr. H , Captain Hill. | Belvil, Mr. C. Byrne. 

' Landlord, Mr. Gyles. | Melesinda, Mrs. Edwin. 

Betty, Mrs. Bryan. 

Previous to which, a Prologue will be spoken by Mrs. Edwin. 

After the farce (for the first time in this country, and now perfona- 
ing with immense success in Paris) a French Petite Comedie, called 

LE COMEDIEN D'ETAMPES. 

(N. B. This piece was never acted in London, and may very proba- 
bly be damned here.) 

Dorival (k eomedien,) M. Perletf (Positively for this night only, 
as he is engaged to play the same part at Paris to-morrow 
evening. ) 

JVI. Maclou de Beaubuison, Mr. J. D*£gville. 

M. Dupr^, M. Giubilei4 

Baptiste, Mr. W. Peake. 

M. Corbin, Mr. Oscar Byme.§ 

Madeline, Madame Spittallier. 

Immediately after which, A Lover's Confession, in the shape of a 
Song, by M. Emile|| (from the Theatre de la Porte, St. Martin, at 
Paris.) 

To conclude with a Pathetic Drama, in one Act, called 

THE SORROWS OF WERTHER. 

(N. B. This piece was damned at Covent Garden Theatre.) 

Werther, Mr. C. J. Mathews. 
Schmidt (Aw friendy) Mr. J. D'Egville. 
Albert, Mr. Gyles. 

* A whimsical production from the fanciful pen of " Elia," who, on this occa« 
sion witneised a succeBsAil representation of her originally condemned farce.— 
A. M. 

t C. J. Mathews. x The now admirable basg-singer. 

§ The present ballet master. j C. j. Kathews. 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 178 

Fritz ( Weriher*8 Bortant,) Mr. R. B. Peake.* 
Snaps (Mbert'B servani,) Mr. W. Peake. 

Charlotte, Mrs. Mathews. 

Brothers and Sisters of Charlotte, by six little cherubims eng^ed 
for the occasion. 

Orchsstra:— Leader of the band, Mr. Knight; Conductor, Mr. E. * 
Knig^ht; Piano-forte, Mr. Knight, jun.; Harpsichord, Master Knight 
(tliat was;) Clavecin, by the Father of the Knights to come. 

Vivat Rex!— -No money returned (because none will be taken.) 

*^* On account of the above surprising novelty not an order can 
possibly be admitted; but it is requested, that if such a thing finds its 
way into the front of the house, it will be kept 



Theatre Royal, English Opera HousCy Strand. 

Friday, April 26th, 1822. 

The ladies and gentlemen who have honoured the theatre with a 
visit, are most respectfully informed that Mrs. Edwin has been very 
suddenly and seriously indisposed. In this emergency, Mrs. J* Weip- 
part (formerly Miss I. Stevenson,) of this theatre, has kindly under- 
taken the part of Mekainda, in tlie farce called *• Mr. H ." The 

Prologue intended to have been recited by Mrs. Edwin, will be read 
by Mr. H himself, wlio solicits the customary indulgence. 

As a conclusion to this complicated apology, it is with sorrow an* 
nounced, that M. Perlet, M. Emile, and Mr. C. J. Mathews, have had 
the misfortune of falling from their horse and have sprained their right 
ankle; but it is anxiously hoped, that as the actors intend to 'put indr 
best legfarwardf the p^ormance will not be considered a lame one. 

Notwithstanding the effect of this disappointment and ac- 
cident, the whole evening's performance went off brflliantly, 
while all our theatrical friends looked grave when it was over, 
and thought we had aided to raze all buildings from Charles's 
brain but that of a theatre; no such effect, however, followed, 
although his success was enough to upset all other ambition. 
His performance of the French part was really extraordinary, 
considering the very little acting he had had opportunity of 
witnessing.! His father was so surprised at the result that 

* The popular Dramatic author, 
f Charleses early success in tue "French version of " Le Comedien " 
of 1822 suggested his adaptation of the same piece, in 1836, so suc- 
cessfully produced at the Olympic Theatre, under the title of •• He 
would be an Actor.** *1 . . 

15* 



174 UEUoitiS or 

he almost felt sorry he had given him any other profession. 
Charles, however, declared he would not resign that which 
he had chosen, and refused to fulfil the arrangement made for 
another night's performance, if it was to be considered in any 
other light by his friends than for his own amusement. It 
was settled, that a second performance should take place in 
a few nights, with a distinct set of pieces; and his fadier and 
Mr. Young (the tragedian) proposed on the occasion to ap- 
pear as '* green-coat men," and carry the chairs, tables, &,c^ 
on and off the stage; but something intervened to break up 
this laughable plot; though Charles had written a little piece 
for the occasion, for himself to act in, which piece reposed 
from that time until 1835. At that period, in the short inter- 
val between his determination and appearance on the stage 
professionally, no introductory piece being to be procured in 
such haste, the " Humpbacked Lover '' was drawn forth from 
its obscurity, in order to present Charles in it to the town. 
His father, after this amateur performance, frequently spoke 
" to Charles upon the subject of changing his views as to his 
profession, and of resigning his prospective chances as an ar- 
chitect, for what he felt assured would produce an immediate 
and liberal certainty; and on Charles's return from his first 
year's stay in Italy, at the Palace Belvidere, with Lord and 
Lady BlessingtOn, he gave such additional evidences of dra- 
matic power as induced his father to consider his requisites 
very strong. His Italian Sermon, an Old Road-side Poet, his 
Neapolitan, Italian, and French characters, and a variety of 
others, he reluctantly exhibited to any but ourselves; but 
when, to please his father, he was prevailed upon to do so, it 
was the general opinion that he was eminently calculated for 
the stage. His various representations certainly were as ori- 
ginal and skilful as those of his father himself, and he pos- 
sessed the same extempore power of varying them. Perhaps, 
had he adopted his present profession at that early age, he 
might have followed successfully in his father's track; but he 
was too long allowed to contemplate the excellence which he 
despaired of attaining, and of which he feared to be thought a 
servile copier. He continued to resist every temptation to 
try his fortune on the stage, although he had several offers, 
and was more than once applied to, to become an actor at the 
French theatre. His love of his profession, however, re- 
mained unchangeable while he found himself able to prose- 
cute the study of it; nor would any thing have induced him tp 
abandon the pursuit but unforeseen circumstances, over which 
he had no controL By its reception of the s<m, the pablie 



CHA1LS8 MATHfiWS. 175 

proved how it had loved the father: this was an affecting in- 
stance of generous appreciation of its once favourite enter- 
tainer, and an acknowledgment of the respect which all felt 
for his memory, whose name alone was a recommendation to 
him who thus diffidently came before them. Never let me 
hear of a " forgetful " or an " ungrateful public." 

After years of persuasion, of praise, and encouragement to 
make the trial, overruling circumstances at once determined 
the point, and Charles appeared upon the Olympic stage; un- 
practised, except by about a dozen private peiformances, at 
long intervals, in characters not even chosen by himself, and 
unstudied for the theatre he entered, except in the two parts 
prepared for his first night, when he stood before a most re- 
ined and critical audience, a fortnight after the suggestion to 
the completion of his attempt. 



CHAPTER XII. 



Mr. Mathews's Performance In Aid of a Subscription for the Irish Peji- 
sants. — Letter from Mr. J. Wilson Croker; Portrait of Mrs. Clive. — 
Letter from Mr. Mathews to the Rev. T. Speidell; Visit to Stratford 
on Avon. — Letter to Mrs. Mathews; Charles mistaken for Lord Bles- 
sington.— Letter from Mr. Terry to Mr. Mathews. — Mr. Mathews's 
Regret at his Compact with Mr. Arnold. — Causes of the Kenrous 
Excitability of Mr. Mathews. — Proposed Eng-agement with Mr. 
Price in America. — Stipulations with Mr. Arnold. — Mr. Mathews's 
Address on taking Leave of the London Public. — Letters to Mr. 
Matliews from Mr. Elliston and Mr. Macready. — ^Letter from Mr. ' 
Horace Smith; absurd Mistranslations; Speculations on the Voyage to 
America.— Letter from Mr^ Freeling.— Mr. Mathews's Performance 
at Carlton House. — Conversation with the King. — His Majesty's 
Anecdote of Mr. Kemble.—Royal Munificence. 

Mr. Mathews gave his performance at the English Opera 
House on the 21st May, for the purpose of aiding the sub- 
scription for the Irish sufferers. In the course of the evening, 
in that portion of the entertainment where he is enlarging, on 
Irish anecdote, he thus addressed the audience: 

"While upon the subject of Ireland, I am under the necessity of 
regretting that my humble endeavour in giving my entertainments i» 



176 MBMOmi OF 

ftid oftiie liberal subscription for the distressed peasantry of that coun- 
try, should not have proved to my feeling quite successful. I wisU 
that there had been a fuller audience than I had ever seen at my nights 
*At Home.' 1 should have sincerely desired, that it had been the best 
house, instead of the worst, during the many evenings I have had the 
honour of making you merry here. I am convinced that the public 
will take the will for the deed; and it gives me some gratification, 
that though the numbers of the audience have unfortunately decreased, 
the laughter has not in proportion diminished." 



The following letter was written by Mr. Croker a few 
days after a visit to our cottage. He was kind enough, with 
many others, to interest himself in my husband's hobby. 
Soon after ihis intimation, Mr. Mathews discovtered, and 
bought the painting, by Hogarth, of Mrs. Clive, in the " Fine 
Lady in LeUie," now in his collection aj; the Garrick Club: 

TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Mekiny, May 22nd, 1822. 
Dear Sib, 

You may be glad to know that my recollection was correct, and that 
there is a portrait of Mrs. Clive at Strawbeny Hill, by Davidson. 
There is also another in water-colours, of her, as <* the fine lady in 
Lethe." Perhaps this latter is the original of your engraving. I 
presume that the portrait by Davidson must luive been like, or her 
friend, Mr. Walpole;* would hardly have preserved it. 
I am, dear sir,, your faithful humble servant, 

J. W.Crokxb. 



At this time Mr. Mathews paid a visit to Stratford, the ob- 
ject of which the following letter to his friend and school- 
fellow will explain: 

TO THE REV. THOMAS SPEIDELL, 
St John' 8 College, Oxford. 

Stpatfoi-d, April2nd, 1822. 

Mt BSAR SpIIDXLL, 

I slept at Oxford last nig^t, and was much mortified to find you 

* This portrait is introdaced in Mr. Bentley's edition of the lietters of tlie Earl of 
Drford, froia a drawing made by Harding.^A. M. 



CHARLSB JIATBEW8. 177 

were not in town. I shall return about Friday. Shall you be at Ox- 
ford or at Handboroug^h? I shall be in a hurry, but should like to 
shake you by the hand. 

When I was here last I promised tl)e inhabitants to build them a 
monument to Shaksp^are, and I pledged myself to them to get the 
King* to patronise it. I have now paid them another visit to redeem 
my pledge. God bless the King, I say, for lie has made me very 
happy two or three times; and through me all the people of this 
place. 1 am here, I may say, by his command. 1 would say more on 
this interesting subject if the post-master would allow me, but he is in 
power, and arbitrary. 

If you could find m&the smallest and the handsomest Marlborough 
dog* in the world, between this and the end of the week, I should not 
mind price. Charles is with me, and wishes to make mamma a 
present. 

I am very sincerely yours, 

C. Mathswb. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Warwick, April Srd, 1822. 

Here we are at Warwick. Charley is quite enraptured. He was 
up at six this morning. I got him a horse, and Saunders and I followed 
outside a coach. He is sketching now very busily, in which he would 
have been disappointed after all, but for my interest with Mrs. Hume, 
through the Scott visit. 

It was very droll to see the capping to Charles yesterday, which we 
did not quite understand at the moment; it appears, throughout the 
town he was taken for Lord Blessington.* I saw all the furniture of 
the best rooms in the passage at the White Lion, yesterday; and was 
asked this morning when I expected my Lord? for they smoked 
Charley at the inn. He has created a dreadful disappointment to 
Brulgruddery and Dan^\ I can see. 

C. M^THXWS. 



TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ, 

Edinburgh, April 19th, 1822. 
Mt i)EA.a Sib, 

By the smack Favourite, which sailed from Leith, I imagine yester- 
day, I sent a case directed to you at the English Opera House, London, 
the contents of which I beg you will do me the kindness to present to 
Mrs. Mathews, with my respectful compliments, and best wishes that 

* Lord Blessington bad settled to accompany my husband and Charles to' Strat- 
ford ; but unfortunately, on the day fixed for their departure, his lordship was taken 
ill; and Mr. Mathews having pledged himself to be upon the spot on the 2d of April, 
was obliged to proceed without his noble friend.— A. M. 

t The names o( tb.e landlord and waiter in the comedy ot " John Bull."— A. M. 



178 KBMOUIS OF 

it may alford her some tittle gratification in times of anxious separation 
from the original. From all I can learn, it has given universal satisfac- 
tion to the Edinburgh amateurs; and has been spoken of in the most 
flattering terms by sdl the papers. 1 wish most sincerely it may please 
in London, where there is at this time one sent for Somerset House 
exhibition, provided it arrived in time for its admittance, of which I am 
doubtful, from the intelligence I had to-day from Leith, of my case 
containing the busts having been twelve days at sea. 

I shall be much interested to hear Mrs. Mathews's opinion of the 
Jikeness. In the mean time, believe me to be, 

Dear sir, yours very sincerely, 

SA.MUKL JOBKPH. 

It will gratify Mr. Joseph to know that this excellent bust 
is still amongst the most prized of my possessions. 



TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 
Millfield Cottage, Highgate HiU* 

DsAB Mat., 

I have already written this day to our friend Willy, from whom I re- 
ceived a letter this morning, giving me the information that he had 
just had a note from you, stating you had a purchaser for the picture, 
at a hundred guineas; and, in my reply, I had authorized him to con- 
clude tlie bargain with Mi% Stephenson, who has certsunly got a very 
fine picture at by no means an unreasonable price. Nasmith feels 
himself greatly indebted for your most friendly and active attention to 
Jiis interest, and begs me to express his warm acknowledgment there- 
upon. You and Willy Thompson, therefore, will proceed to let the 
painting be immediately sent home to Mr. Stephenson, who will remit 
the money directed to the old gentleman. No. 47, York Place, Edin- 
burgh. 

I have had several accounts of your great and decided success this 
season. I had no previous doubt of it whatever. I thought it on 
perusal, as much as I read, by far the most taking of all your Enter- 
tainments; it had more reality of life about it, and abounded in pictures 
of character and nature, drawn with gi'eat dramatic skill. The por- 
trait of the Fat WeUhman is worthy to be placed alongside my Unck 
Toby, and will be remembered as a favourite, and original, with other 
comic ancT striking worthies of British invention. 

That you have not received the punch is not my fault, but that of 
George Montgomery, who, although one of the kindest fellows in the 
United Kingdom, is proverbially the most indolent and forgetful. I 
have, however, this morning rung a roaring peal of monition in his 
ears, tvhich shall not be suffered to die away till the punch is 
despatched. 

* Afterwards ealled Ivy Cottage, Kentish Town.— A. M. 



CHASLB8 JIATHKW8. 179 

Mrs. Terry f as you will haye heaid, has added another little female 
to my family stock. God he]p me! Nothing can be doing better 
than both she and the little one. I think the mother promises to be 
strong'er on her recovery than ever I have yet known her. She sends 
her very affectionate reg^ards to Mis. Mathews, and regrets she will 
not see her this summer. The most beautiful weather which we are 
now enjoying brings Milliield Cottage often and strongly to our re- 
membrance. You must, cottage and a% be, looking lovely. So the 
theatres wanted to diddle you I The sooner they diddle themselves 
the better. It is a profession not worth the keeping. 

The octavo edition of the subsequent novels is not yet published, 
but soon will be. " Nigel " is nearly ready, and will delight you. By 
the by, your name is incidentally mentioned in a most admirable intro- 
ductory epistle, in a discourse between the Author of Waverley and his 
friend Captain Clutterbuck. The former g^ves a romancing account of 
discovering, through the means of the ghost of Mr. Warburton's ser- 
vant, Betty Barnes, of play-hearing memory, the fragments of all flie 
old dmmas once in that collector's possession, and, upon the surprise 
of his auditor, exclaims, "'Upon my soul it's true!' as my friend 
Mathews says, • what will you lay it's a lie?' " 'Tis from these frag- 
ments the mottoes to the chapters are supplied. 

Mrs. Terry will set about your view of the castle from her father's 
picture, as soon as she is about again. Little Wotty will return with 
me in June. Adieu! If there be any thing I can do for you, write 
and instruct me. 

Believe me, dear Mathews, 

Very cordially and truly yours, 

DlirilL TXRRT. 

29th April, 1822, 14 South Charlotte St, Edinburgh. 



The uniform results of this season's " At Home" proved 
that Mr. Mathews's name was rising with each fresh occasion; 
yet he was not satisfied; so tender was his conscience, that 
he always regarded his precipitancy in the compact with Mr. 
Arnold as a crime against his family. It certainly was a great 
mistake; and so far a culpable error, that he proceeded in the 
business without the knowledge of his best friends, who knew 
his merits too well to have estimated them at his own modest 
price. This mistake was, however, like every other he com- 
mitted, the result of an ardent temperament, relying more 
upon others than himself: quick, confiding, and sudden in his 
resolves, sincere and liberal in his own motives, he^ was trust- 
ing, to a weakness, in those of others. Yet, in looking back 
upon the numerous instances of this generous infirmity, 
(which, I own with deep compunction, too much annoyed me 
at the time,) it is no small consolation to me, after more than 



1 80 miioiiai or 

two years'* constant investigation of his character and conduct, 
to be unable to detect in his whole life a single blot upon his 
integrity, or any defect, beyond what may be called a foible 
in his disposition. In relation to that well-known, and too 
much dwelt upon, ** irritability" of temperament, which his 
death too well accounted for and excused, it may be said that, 
with every outward appearance of good, nay, robust health 
(after his twenty-fifth year, till which period he had every 
symptom of a consumptive habit,) and with really a powerful 
frame, he was in a state of almost continuous bodily suffering 
from one cause or another, for the most part inexplicable to 
medical noen. In winter his rest was painfully disturbed at 
night by an irritation on the skin, though without eruption, 
which allowed him no sleep for weeks together, during a 
frost; he also suffered from a mysterious disorder in his 
tongue^ which for ye?urs equally puzzled the faculty, and 
which, with all their precautionary efforts, "would come 
when it would come.'^ When we remember the many severe 
accidents which befell him, and their consequences, — that one 
in particular, which ever after kept him in a state of perpetual 
pain, — without enumerating any of those occasional and petty- 
ills that " flesh is heir to," or the vast call upon his mental 
resources and bodily strength in his profession, the surprise 
at his liability to nervous excitement will cease. 

But I wander from my first intention, which was, to ex- 
plain the compunctious visitings which ever and anon caused 
him to brood over some plan for retrieving his circumstances, 
and for atoning to his family and himself for what he had 
done. America was suggested. But such a venture seemed 
to me nothing short of the risk of life itself, and I steadily re- 
fused my consent to his taking the voyage, as, indeed, I had 
done several years before, when the ** winter of his discon- 
tent" at Covent Garden made him turn with eagernsss to that 
land of hope. Fortunately for Mr. Mathews's wishes, he be- 
came, at this time, intimately acquainted with Mr. Price, the 
proprietor of the New York and other principal theatres in 
America. Mr. Price's manner and arguments ultimately in- 
spired me with so much confidence in the safety and success 
of the experiment,' and gave me so complete a reliance on his 
candour as well as judgment, that I relaxed gradually from my 
first rigid refusal, especially moved as I was, by his pledging 
himself to accompany my husband through ' flood and field ' 
in his own country. This last consideration won me totally 

* These pages were written in the autamti of ^837. 



CHABLKS MATHEWS. 181 

from my previous objections and fears, and the matter was 
settled so far as it could be, without the necessary consent of 
his bond-holder. A visit to America at this time seemed to 
be as favourable to Mr. Arnold's interest as to those of Mr. 
Mathews, for the next season's <* At Home " threatened to be 
at a stand-still for want of a subject. It was proposed, there- 
fore, by my husband, to Mr. Arnold, to leave his ground at 
the English Opera fallow for one year, and to return the next; 
ivith materials collected in America for a plentiful harvest. 
For Mr. Arnold's consent to this reciprocal advantage, he of- 
fered to give him an additional season when the present term 
of enffagement' should have expired! This did not strike 
Mr. Arnold as sufficient inducement for the risk he con- 
sidered that he underwent in resigning Mr. Mathews to 
such an experiment, as the voyage and the climate to which 
he purposed to expose himself; and finally, my husband 
agreed to an eighth season^ in addition to the first term, and 
two thousand pounds, besides, in money/ which sum was to 
be paid to Mr. Arnold, by several instalments, during my hus- 
band's absence. This was a fearful bargain; and I remember 
thinking it almost as imprudent as the former. However, my 
poor husband was sanguine in the extreme; and I endeavoured 
to be satisfied, and to '^ hope for the best," the usual phrase 
resorted to when we feel sure of the worst. In fact, I could 
not but consider such an exorbitant purchase of twelvemonths 
liberty as fatal to the end proposed, namely, that of realizing 
a larger sum by the experiment than he could gain in London. 
This great responsibility considered, it appeared highly im- 
probable that he could benefit by his toil and risk, farSier than 
in seeing a new race of human beings, from whom to glean 
new characters for his next ** At Home;" and so it proved. 
My liusband, by concurring events, though brilliantly success- 
ful when he did afct, lost part of his average receipts by this 
voyage; and the first sum he forwarded to England was to 
meet the first instalment due to Mr. Arnold. 

All, however, was finally resolved upon; and in June, on 
the last night of the season, he took leave of the London pub- 
lic^ in the following address. 



Ladies and Gentlemen— My task of the eveninj^ heing finished, it 
now only remains for roo to bid yon farewell. This is the last time 
for many months to come, that I shall have the hononr and pleasure of 
appearing before you. I would fain make yon merry at parting, but i 

VOL. !.•— 16 



182 MBMOISB OF 

feel it impoBBibleto leave euch kind friends, even for a time, witfaoat a 
senBation here that prohibits an attempt at a mirthful leave-taking. 
That I may not therefore throw the same cloud over you which at 
this moment overshadows me, I will merely entreat that you will not 
forget me in my absence, and believe that though the Atlantic must 
part us, it is utterly impossible that J can ever fwget how deeply I am 
indebted to your flattering and unwearied patronage; I trust to be 
enabled to bring back a new budget for your amusement, and all my 
powers of observation shall be rouse j to their utmost to collect such 
materials in my travels as shall prove that I have not absented myself 
from your smiles in vain. 

As soon as the fact of Mr. Mathews's approaching depar- 
ture was known, he was gratified by many flattering expres- 
sions of strong interest and regard. Amongst these he received 
the following note from his schoolfellow and early friend, Mr. 
EUiston. 



TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

^ratford Place, June 8th, 1822. 
Mt dear Sui, 

Do me the favour to let me have a small private box, on one of tlie 
evenings of your performance in the ensuing week. I wish to liave my 
impression of your talents lefl fully on my mind before your departure ; 
and you will bear with you to America my ardent wishes for your 
prosperity and safe return. 

Yours, my dear Sir, very sincerely, 

R. W. ElXISTON. 



TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Bemers* Street, June, Sdth 1822. 
Mt 0BAK Mathkws, 

The want of opporttinity to assure you, with a plausible pretence 
for entering on so suspicious a subject (for such assurances are either 
very worthless or very valuable,) of my regard and respect for you has 
for many months pressed more heavily on my patience than I fear a 
sin would, upon my conscience: I therefore leave you to imagine from 
my past anxiety with what satisfaction I seize the present occasion of 
expressing to you my regret that our adverse destmiee should have 
aiffiirded me so few opportunities of cultivating your friendship. As it 
will be long before we can meet again, J have less hesitation than I 
otherwise might have in declaring to you without the restraint of ce- 



OHARLM MATHEWS. 189 

remony, whose laBgoafe tUieerUy disowns, my oordial rofud and 
esteem for your character. While I offer you in plain honesty the 
jast tribote (if yon think so hnmble a tribute worth aoceptanoe,) I ber 
you will not take into the account my admiration of your extraordi- 
nary talents, in the avowal of which my single voice could not swell 
one note higher the loud and general chorus of praise that attends upon 
you ; but I request you to beUeve that 1 am proud and gratified in ac* 
knowledging the sentiments of i|ttachment which the noble and ezceL 
lent qaalities of your heart and mind have excited in me; and in me* 
morial of their truth, I beg leave to request your, acceptance of the ac- 
companying picture, which may derive, in your opinion, that value 
from the artist's genius which the subject is incapable of bestowing. 

I am too well aware of my own tendency to prolixity to follow my 
own wishes by prolonging my letter, and as I prefer even the cold Ian* 
guage of courtesy to that which may be construed as adulatory, I will 
relieve you from farther tediousness, trusting your own warmth of 
heart with the credit due to my assertion, that your success and hap- 
piness in our own or more distant countries is equally interesting to 
me, and that 

I am, dear Mathews, your futhful friend, 

W. C. M^CBXAST. 

A fine painting by Jackson, now in the Garrick Club, of 
Mr. Macready in the dying scene of Henry IV, accompanied 
this most gratifying and vsdued letter. 



TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Brighton. 
Deas Mathiws, 

You have no occasion for your friendly fear that I must have been 
** first knocked doum and then up, by a fnu or a cab,** since I neither 
called a second time at Ivy Cottage, nor availed myself of the box you 
were so kind as to reserve for us. In fact, I knew nothing of the latter 
friendly arrangement, as I was compelled to leave London on Friday, 
and did not receive your letter, which was sent after me, until yester- 
day. Best thanks, nevertheless, for your kind intentions; and you may 
well suppose that I would gladly have seen you *• At Hdme," both 
theatrically and domestically, if I could. The mistranslation you men- 
tion is absurd enough; but one might easily find twenty worse cases in 
our highways and byways; for the common people have a strange pro« 
pensity to adopt foreign words to their own familiar notions, parlica- 
larly in the signs of shops and public-houses. VAiguiUe et Fil (the 
needle and thread,) after being corrupted, perhaps in France, into 
Vdisk et Fils, has been faithfully imported by our haberdashers as the 
" JEagle and Child** Eveiy one knows the perversion of Boulogne 
mouth; and the arms of one of the city companies, suspended from an 
inn &^ Hounslow with the motto of << God encompasses us,** procured. 



A 



184 MBMOIRS OF 

for the house the name of the Goat and Compassefly-^a singular oon-^ 
junction^ which is now actudly figured on the sign board in heu of 
the orig^al arms. I have told you (have I not?) of Mrs. Lennox's 
strange blunder in translating from the French an account of the siegre 
of Namur, which is equalled, if not surpassed, by one of those hacks 
employed by Cave to do into English Du Halde's Description of China, 
most Hibernically fixing an important occurrence to the twenty-first 
day of the new moon, having confounded ttie French words 'neuve and 
nmvieme. 

I should not, perhaps, intrude the opinion,, but since you ask me 

how I like yoiir friend ^ as a companion, I must frankly answer 

not over much. He is ready and fluent; but it seemed to me to be a 
quickness of words rather than ideas. Whatever subject was started, 
he appeared to think it necessary to be always eloquent; in which, as 
well as in some other respects, he reminded me of "that great man, • 
Mr. Prig, the auctioneer, whose manner was so invariably fine, that he 
had as much to say upon a ribband as upon a Raphael.*' 

Your receiving the thanks and applauses of , for not know- 
ing what you ought to have known touching his benefit, reminds me 
of an exploit of my own, when I was a boy at school, and was asked 
the Latin for the word cowardice. Having forgotten it, I ventured to 
say that the Romans had none; which was fortunately deemed a ban- 
motf and I got praises and a laugh for not knowing my lesson. 

So you really have serious thoughts of crossing the Atlantic, and 
picking Brother Jonathan's pocket of his dollars, after you have thrown 
him into fits of laughter; and you speak of the project as calmly as if 
you were about to fly from a country where you had been unhappy 
and unsuccessful, and from people who did not appreciate you as you 
deserve. Why, you Mammonite! what is to become of ua in your ab- 
sence? You will be making a fortune at our expense, not that of th^ 
Yankees;, and as to any pleasure in the trip, lay not that flattering unc^ 
tion to your soul. The voyage, like all other voyages, must be a mo- 
notonous, objectless, occupationless, idealess nuisance; and how limited 
must be the pleasure of land travelling, even in the finest country in 

I the world, where there are no human, or at least no civilized associa- 

1 tions-^nothing to connect the past with the present! What are rocks, 
forests, after your first stare of admiration,, where there are no ruins, 
no local traditions, no historical records to lift them out of their mate- 
riality, by associating them with the great names and g^eat achieve- 
ments of past ages? You remember what Johnson says about the 
plains of Marathon and the ruins of lona. You may get stimulants to 
patriotism and piety in many other places than these (of the Old world;) 

\ but what elevating recollections can.you conjure up in a new country? 

\ Johnson has given his opinion on this very subject (and I say ditto to 
i the Doctor) — for when some one asked ** Is not America worth see- 

li^ing?" he replied, "Yes, sir; but not worth going to see!" That you 
wul make it worth your while firumciaUy 1 don't doubt— that it will 
answer your expectations in any other respect, I do doubt; that you 
would do much better to remain quietly where you are, I am quite 
sure. My wish may be father to the thought, but that does not invali- 
date it. I and mine to thee and thine. Ever yours, 

HOBATIO Smith,^ 



CHAfiLfift JtATflEWS. 166 

P. 8.— I ttw our witty friend Dubob in London, who told me an 
anecdote in which you fibred. W^— (so said the wag) pr^ied 
you to act for his benefit in the after-piece at Covent Gaiden, which 
you said you would willingly have done, but that you were engaged 
that night to perform in the after-piece at the English Opera-House, 
and could not cut yourself in half. ** I don't know that," replied. 
W— -^ " for I haye often seen you act in iwopieet$»^* la thb tme^ 
or is it one of Dubois's own children^ 



% 

TO C. MATHKWS, ESQ. 

43, Bryanstone Square^ 
Mr DXAB BUTfltfews, 4th July, 1822. 

Tou said, and it was kindly said, that you would dine with me before 
you left the countiy. Let me ojfer you Monday in the week after the 
next, at half-past six o'clock. 

« It was too delicate a subject to say much upon to Mrs. Mathews, 
but when you do go, she cannot find so safe and certain a medium of 
corresponding wi& you as through me; nor can you, on the other side 
the Atlantic, find a better mode than sending yours to her under cover 
to me. We shall find better time and place for the arrangement of 
these measures than the present. 

Mr. Charles Mathews is to do me the kindness to accompany you to 
dinner. I be^ my best compliments to your amiable wife. Believe 
me, dear Sir, yours always, 

F. Fbxslivo.* 

Previously to his ffoing to America, Mr. Mathews was 
once more commanded to revisit Carlton House, and perform 
his " Youthful Days,'* where the same attentions as before, 
and the same gratifying results followed, nay, the same rooms 

fnot the dust and broom) were prepared for him. This per- 
brmance, like the former, was also to a sdect party* 

Between the acts, the King conversed with Mr. Mathews 
as on the previous occasion, and commented with great 
judgment upon all that he had done. He told htm, however, 
that he thought his imitation of Curran the least successful of 
any he did. This at first surprised and disappointed Mr. 
Mathews, until he recollected and suggested to his Majesty 
that his imitation was given in Mr. Curran*s public manner, 
which was widely different from him at other times. The 
King observed, " True; I never heard him in public. I have 
only known him in private life/' Mr. Mathews then gave a 

* Aftsfwaids Sir Fhweia Freeliaf.— Ar M. 
16* 



186 MBMOIItS OF 

specimen of Cunran in society; at which the King was de» 
lighted, and exclaimed, " 0, excellent! excellent, indeed! I 
am glad I objected to what you first did; for it has drawn for- 
ward the proof that your observation and powers are unerring. 
Your imitation is perfectr— pe//cc^" 

The King then talked of Mr* Kemble, and said, *' Your 
Kembte is excellent, whether on or off the stage. I used to 
fancy my own imitation of him very true. I had a great re- 
gard for Kemble; he was my very good friend. I'll suffer no 
one, to speak a word against Kemble.'' #rhe King then re- 
marked upon Mr. Kemble' s correct pronunciation of the Eng- 
lish language, and the natural horror he felt at any distortion 
of it.. This led to my husband's relating a story of the tra- 
gedian's correcting a servant, one, night, at Lord North's. 
The gentlemen staying later over their wine than usual, a foot- 
man informed Mr. Kemble that " the carriage was waiting, 
and that Mrs. Kemble had desired him to say she /tad got the 
rheumatizJ^ After a minute's pause, Kemble tnrned to the 
man, and, deliberately taking a pinch of snuff, said,— <^ Tell 
Mrs. Kemble that I'll come; and another time, sir, do yon say 
tism.^* The King laughed loudly at this anecdote, and ob- 
served, ** O, it is 80 like him! I can relate a story of the 
same kind, which will prove that he could not abstain from 
such corrections, whether it was a servant or a prince who 
offended his nice ear. One evening, after he had dined with 
me, perceiving, in the course of conversation, that Kemble 
carried his finger round his snuff-box, evidently in distress at 
its emptiness, I held out my own, silently inviting him to par- 
take of its contents, when he exclaimed, * Is it possible! Does 
a prince offer his box to a poor player?' I replied, * Yes; and 
if you will take a pinch from it you will much obleege me.' 
Kemble paused for a moment, then bowed stiffly, and, dipping 
his finger and thumb into the box, replied, ' I accept your 
Royal Highness's offer with gratitude; but — if you can ex- 
tend your royal jaws so wide, pray, another time, say 
oblige,^ And I did so ever after, 1 assure you. Oh, I'm 
under vast obligations to my friend Kemblei"* 

* i remember another inBtance of the same kind. When Mr. Kem- 
ble acted in York as "a star,** staying in the house of Tate Wilkin- 
son, Mr. Mathews called there on some pretence, for the sake of being 
near the great actor. On entering the room, Mr. Kemble was sitting- 
at the farther end- of it, seemingly absorbed in reading. Mrs. Wilkin- 
son, a broad Yorkshire vfomtM^ inquired of Mr. Mathews as he entered^, 
whether he did not find the streets bad to walk in, telling him that 
Mr. Kemble had been suti^and had assured: her they were very flippy. 



CHABLES MATHEWS. 197 

At the close of the evening, the Prince graciously took 
leave of my husband with much kindness of manner, and ex* 
pressing a wish that his approaching voyage might prove 
safe and prosperous. 

It is, I believe, perfectly well known that Mr. Mathews ne- 
ver accepted pecuniary advantage for any exercise of his ta- 
lents induced by friendly solicitation in private, or as a mat- 
ter of courtesy in the society of persons of rank. If he had 
chosen thus to let himself out ^ he might long ago have retired 
upon a fortune so obtained; but his gentlemanlike pride and 
independent spirit precluded his receiving any remuneration 
for his talents, except in the way- of his profession. One iu' 
stance of royal munificence (not to be rejected by a subject,) 
however, has fallen in my way ,— -the only one that has escaped 
destruction from the iponthly sacrifice made by my husband. 
This is so agreeably expressed, and so characteristic of the 
royal kindness from which it enamated, that I cannot resist 
inserting it here. 



TO C. WLATHEWS, ESQ. 

Mr. Robt. Gray begs leave to inform Mr. Mathews that he has re- 
ceived the King^s commands for issuing one hundred guineas from the 
privy parse, in token of the pleasure his Majesty has derived from Mr. 
Mathews's superior excellency in the line of his profession; which sum 
will be most readily paid by Mr. Gray upon hie being favoured with 
Mr. Mathews's receipt for the amount. 

Duchy of Cornwall, Somerset place, 
9th July, 1822. 

At the back of a printed copy of the prospectus of the de- 
sign for the erection of the Shakspeare monument,* appears 

Mr. Kemble, evidently ear-wounded by the word, slightly shook his 
head, without any other movement, and, as if unconscious that his 
correction was audible, muttered, ** tfJipper y— «Kj?p«ry— »Zip^ry."— 
A. M. 

* To which the following list of its supporters was added. 

Patron. 
His Most Gracious Majesty. 

President. 
His Royal Highness the Duke of Yorla 



188 MBMOIliSOV 

the followiBg pithy communication from Mr. Bunn, the late 
lessee of Dniry Lane Theatre, addressed to Mr. Mathews. 



Vice Presidentg. 
His Grace the Duke of Bedferd. 
His Grace the Duke X)f Devonshire. 
His Grace the Duke of Wellington. 
The Most Noble the Marquis of Lansdowne. 
The Right Honourable the Earl of Aberdeen. 
The Right Honourable the Earl of Dwtmonth. 
The Right Honourable Earl Grey. 
The Right Honourable Earl Spencer. 
The Right Honourable the Earl of Btessington. 
The Right Honourable the Earl of Elgin. 
The Right Honourable the Earl of Egremont* 
The Right Honourable the Earl of Warrington. 
The Right Honourable the Earl of Whitworth. 
The Right Honourable the Earl of Aylesbury. 

' London Committee, 
Right Honourable Sir Charles Long, G.C.B. 
Sir George Beaumont, Bart. 
Sir Walter Scott, Bart. 
B. W. Proctor,* Esq. 
Sir Thomas Lawrence, P. R. A. 
Francis Freeling, Esq. 
Washington Irving, Esq. 
S. T. Coleridge, Esq. 

Suh-CommiUee, 
Mr. Charles Kemble. 
Mr. Fawcett. 
Mr. Macready. 
Mr. Terry. 
Mr. Young. 
Mr. Mathews. 

. Stratford Committee, 
Sir Grey Ringworth, Bart. 
Re?. James Davenport, D.D. 

• Barry Cornwall— A. M. 



CHAn|.EB MATHSWfl. ,189 



Dear Mat, 

IVlr. Kean, on declining to become one of the committee for the lau*. 
dable undertaking described at the back hereof, made the following 
remark to me: — " I will build him a monument myself, by acting his 
characters," 

Yours, 



Birmingham, July 27th, 1822. 



A. Bonn. 



Rev. John Ellis. 
Captain Saunders^ 
William Oakes Hart, Ebq. 
Robert Bell Wheeler, Esq. 

Treasurer, Rowland Stephenson, Esq. Banker. 

General Secretary, Mr. Mathews. 

Secretary for the county of Warwick, Mr. Bunn. 

Secretary for the toion of Stratford, R. B^ Wheeler,. Csq^ 



190 HSMflRSOF 



CHAPTER XIII. 



Mr. Mathews's Departure for New York. — His Letters relating- his 
Adventures during his Absence from Home. — The Voyage. — Cabin 
Passengers. — Squally Weather. — The Yellow Fever in New York. — 
Arrival at Bristol, in the United States. — Excessive Heat. — Arrival 
in Philadelphia.— Eiizabethtown. — Independent Landlords. — A Hot- 
tentot Adonis. — An American Boniface. — Port Wine. — Rudeness of 
the Lower Orders of Americans. — Hospitality of the Higher Or- 
ders. — Arrival at Baltimore. — Mr. Mathews's Debut on the American 
Stage. — His Reception. — American Audiences. — Letter from Mr. 
Young to Mr. Mathews : Elliston's Management. — Mr. Mathews's 
Letters from America resumed. — Difference of the Time between 
England and America. — An American Party. — A Yankee Election. 
— Theatrical Success. 

In August, Mr. Price accompanied us to Liverpool, whence 
he and my husband were to take their passage to New York. 
I will pass over all the hopes and fears of this parting. The 
travellers sailed, and Charles and I returned slowly and pen- 
sively back to town, to await with intense anxiety the first 
letter announcing Mr. Mathews's escape from the perils I so 
' dreaded to think upon. During the interim I had not been 
allowed to read a newspaper, The first intelligence, there- 
fore, of my husband came from his own hand. 

I shall leave to his letters (with some of the contemporary 
critical notices) the relation of his adventures during his ab- 
sence, without interrupting them with any comment of my 
own, unless when absolutely required. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Hoboken, near New York, Sept. 6tb, 1822. 
I have the pleasure of announcing to you my safe arrival in New 
York harbour last night, ailer a most delightful passage' of thirty .five 



CHABIKS MATHEWS. 191 

I 
days. Daring the whole time I wu not even qoabnish for one mo- 
ment. So fiur from the most distant approximation to siciiness, the ef- 
feet of the sea air produced only the meet fierce and unconquerable 
craving after food. In short, hanger was my only disease. We had 
eleven cabin passengers,-*only one remale, the captain^s wife; an old 
colonel in the Army of *69, a regular built Methodist, whether preach- 
er or not we could not discover; five young Americans, who had been 
sent by their relatives to improve themselves abroad, and who had 
been in Paris, Italy, and England, and of coarse furnished ample ma- 
terials for pleasant conversation; a Yorkshire cloth-dealer ; and a 
strange compound mixture of gentleman and blackguard, whose ori- 
gin, connexions, and profession remained a mystery to the last, but 
wrhose constant anxiety seemed to proceed from the dread of being one 
moment sober, his unremitting labour to keep himself equally intoxi- 
cated, and who was never better than in a state of sober tipsiness,— > 
yet the most violent feeling which ho excited was pity ; for he was 
never offensive or troublesome, and submitted with the greatest good 
humour to the perpetual tricks we played him. The Colonel, a mix- 
lure of Longbow and Prolix, was a butt — the Metiiodist & victim. 
These, with cards, backgammon, chess, and reading, filled up our time 
very agreeably. The weather was delightful during the whole passage, 
not more than about two days' rain, and never of long duration. We 
had two squalls only, of about half an hour each ; one accompanied by 
a thunder-storm and tremendous lightning, which gave me a tolerable 
specimen of what a gale might be; for a regular gale it was not al- 
lowed to be by those who had crossed the AUantic before. However, 
it was quite sufficient to satisfy my ambition. The weather was in- 
tensely hot during the latter part of the passage, and only admitted of 
dressing-gowns. I enjoyed invariable health and spirits; and was 
never better in health in my life than I am at this moment We were 
within three hundred miles of New York on the twenty-seventh day ; 
and had the wind been fair, we might easily have accomplished the 
passage in two days more, which, at this time of the year, would have 
been accounted a quick passage. We were, however, becalmed three 
or four days in succession, and were eight days in performing it So 
much for my voyage and safe arrival. And now, my dearest wife, I 
am arrived at a painful period, for I cannot conceal from you that from 
the moment of my arrival in the bay, I have suffered a' dreadful re- 
verse of the cheerfulness I had hitherto enjoyed. This, however, has 
arisen chiefly, indeed entirely, on your account Of course you must 
have heard, long before this will reach you, the news which, when first 
communicated to me, shocked and appalled me — that the yellow fever 
had made' its appearance in New York.* The intelligence was ab- 
ruptly conveyed to us by a fisherman, who came alongside in the bay, 
with the most ignorant and shameful exaggerations. You may ima- 
gine my sensations — I cannot describe them ; but quick as lightning I 
thought of the effect the account of this calamity would have upon 
you. If, within twenty miles of the spot, we should hear the most ab- 
surd reports of facts so easily ascertained, how naturally would they 
be magnified at the distance of three thousand ! Then, again, the idea 

* This I had not heard, thanks to the watchful kindness of some friends, who 
had contrived, with the connivance of my servants, to keep every newspaper and 
otter reports of tte calamity from my kBowled|e«~A. M. 



19:^ MEMOIRS o^ 

of your hearing it a month at least before I cdiiid have an opportunity 
of gvnng yon any consolation on the sabject, agitated and distressed 
me beyond measure. These were my first and most painiiil impres- 
sions. For my own part, I am now as completely satisfied that no 
danger exists, as I am that you are iree from it at Highgate, or that 
the pens I am writing with are a great torment. For God*s sake^ 
my dearest wife, calm your agitation if you have not heard the truth; 
though even that I am sensible will make you wretched. Receive this 
assurance from me, that on my most sacred word of honour, the dan- 
ger is past; after six weeks' sickness and alarm, the Board of Health 
reported yesterday only two cases, both doubtful, and these in a popu- 
lation of one hundred and thirty thousand souls. This is the third vi- 
sitation in nineteen years. The disease is confined to one part of the 
city, called the infected district; and no one case has occurred out of 
those bounds. The magistrates have caused all the inhabitants of this 
district to remove and shut up their houses; and fences have been 
erected across the streets to prevent all communication. By this means 
the progress of the fever has been stopped ; and though a great panic 
has been struck, and numbers have fled, yet I understand, from every 
person I have seen, that in those parts of the city which are declared 
healthy, business goes on as cheerfully as before, and no alarm is felt 
The Board of Health publish reports daily. Price went on shore last 
.night; Iremained on board; and all but three of us followed Price's exam- 
ple. They cfLme to us again this morning, and declared all danger past. 
However, I resolved not to enter the city until all the inhabitants are 
again settled and perfect health restored. I am laughed at for my 
fears; but I owe it to you and dear Charles to avoid all possibility of 
risk. This morning, therefore, I crossed the river in a stejEimboat, to 
the most romantic and beautiful village, whence 1 date this^ and luck- 
ily found a lodging in a detached house. I then went back to the ves- 
sel, and here George and I are snug from all alarm and danger.* We 
have an arm of the sea, about four miles across, between us and the 
most healthy part of New York, and seven from the diseased district. 
The theatre opened on Monday ; but I rather think I shall go to Bos- 
ton or Philadelphia, and defer my performance here ; for every other 
town in the United States is free from disease. As I must despatch 
this to-morrow, I cannot possibly speak decisively until my next let- 
ter, which will leave this on the 16th ; but be assured that no power 
or persuasion shall induce me to go near !New York until I can go with 
that kind of confidence that would indace you to give me your con- 
sent. Pray be cautious to shut your ears against all reports, — mine 
is Gazette authority; beware of newspapers. Tlie fisherman reported 
that one hundred and forty had died in twenty-four hours, and that no 
one had O'ecovered who had sickened ; and he lives only twenty-five 
miles from the city. Here, from the bills of mortality, and the official 
returns of those who dare not deceive, I have ascertained, that in six 
weeks only eighty persons have died out of one hundred and thirteen 
thousand, and not fifty of them of the fever, and that numbers have 
recovered who had been infected. The first frosty night entirely era- 
dicates it, which is pretty sure to occur in September, and it never 
makes its appearance after that month. 

C. Mathewi. 

« ** George,** hisservaat-^A. M. 



CHARLES MATHSW8. 193 

TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Philadelphia, Sept. 12th, 1822. 

I have the pleasure to inform you, that I have made an arrangement 
by mrhich I avoid New York altogether until November, and thereby 
keep entirely clear of the remotest possibility of danger. All other 
parts of the United States are healthy. On Sunday last I received a 
summons from Price, to follow him to Bristol, seventy miles from New 
York. I arrived there on Monday evening, and found him at Cooper's 
house,* where 1 was made very welcome. He is away until next Sa- 
turday; but Mrs. Cooper and Mrs. Price made me very comfortable. 
They are both very charming women. Cooper's house is after ray 
own heart, delightfully situated on the banks of the Delaware. If I 
were not a salamander I should, for once, confess that the sun could 
be hot enough for me. The Americans, " unto the manner born," are 
astonished at my bearing the climate so well. The thermometer is to- 
day ninety degrees, and not a puff of air. They are all panting; but I 
am not at all distressed, excepting in the night, and then I suffer. It 
is not possible to bear the least covering. The musquitoes have not 
yet attacked me, therefore I think I shall escape, as I do at home, with 
your enemies the gnats. Price came dow^n this morning mad. He de- 
clared that two millions of musquitoes had kept him awake all night. 
We arrived here on Wednesday, per steamboat, twenty miles in two 
hours and a half. The manager of the theatre had sent an offer to 
me, and I therefore came over here to meet him, as the conveyance is 
30 pleasant. A new and beautifal theatre is nearly finished here, in 
place of the old one destroyed by fire. 1 have made an engagement 
to play at Baltimore, under tfte same manager. In a few days I shall 
commence, but to-morrow return to Bristol, to spend a few days with 
Cooper previously to my Journey. Baltimore is a hundred and twenty 
nules hence. 1 shall ^ able to announce my arrival, and farther par- 
ticulars, by the next packet. Hitherto I am so much in amazement 
lost, that 1 dare no^ trust myself to give an opinion of the people, or 
venture to say whether I like or dislike them. It appears to me, tiiat 
the lower ordersmust necessarily prevent a European from being com- 
fortable, if he has not made up his mind very resolutely to look on, 
laugh, and tho'oughly despise. If this be the effect of a republican 
form of government, give me a monarch, even if he be a despot. For 
a specimen- — I had taken a jaunt in a steamboat with a fellow-passen- 
ger to Ne<v Brunswick; but, a wretched inn, an independent landlord, 
who too^ a chair and sat down while we were at breakfast, with his 
hat oDi hospital beds, &c. drove us away on Sunday morning to EUzop 
betb'town, fifteen miles on our road back to Hoboken. There are no 
post-chaises here, nor any mode of travelling but steam or stage- 
poaches, excepting occasionally an innkeeper happens to have a car- 
riage. This was the case at Brunswick, and we were forwarded to 
Elizabeth-town. When we drove up to the door, no soul came out to 
greet us, though the landlord and waiter were sitting in the hall 

* Mr. Cooper the American tragedian, with wbom we bad bad such friendly in* 
timacy at Liverfiool in 1804.— A. M. 
VOL, I. — 17 



104 MSKOUtS Of , 

cheek by jowl, see-sawing^ upon chairs—a &Tourite mode here. We 
entered the house and passed them. At length we ascertained which 
was mine host. He snook us both by the hand, and said .to each, 
••How d'ye do? I have seen you before?" — "Can we have beds 
here?" — " I guess you can." At night I was stretched on a wretched 
straw mattress, but was awoke at four o*«lock, before daylight, by mine 
host, who said he had a letter for me. You may judge of my amaze- 
ment, for I was confident when I went to bed that the fellow did not 
know my name; however, he had guessed, and found me out. The let- 
ter proved to be from Price, who had sent a carriage to Brunswick for 
me, having heard that I was there. The driver came on in the mail to 
Clizabeth-town, and, on anival, Boniface would call me up. 

When I got up I agreed to go to Price, in the machine in which I 
came, which had rested there all night. When 1 was ready, the driver 
said to the one who had been despatched for me, " Will you go inside 
or out?*' and the fellow, with a segar in his mouth, actually hesitated 
whether he should sit by my side or the driver's. In short, all the 
Whites of the ord^r are born blackguards, and the Blacks, scent per 
cent, above them in Veing genieely — a favourite word here. The driver 
took up a book that I Hd laid down on the seat, and began to read in 
it, without the least symptom of apology. There is not the slightest 
show of civility with them; a bow or a touch of the hat 1 have not seen 
once, or heard the words " thank ye " once used upon payment. As 
to the higher order, for there are but two, what I can gather from a 
party with whom 1 dined yeslerfl^ is, that they differ but little from 
the English in either manner or cus\Qms. They are natui-al, easy, and 
polite; and you will not dislike them from hearing that they are most 
an:zious to show me great attention. About twelve of the first people 
in Philadelphia gave me a splendid dinner yesteixlay on my arrival, 
though I had left my letters of introduciJon at New York. 

C.Mathews. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Baltimore, ftept 28, 1822. 

I arrived here on Saturday morning last, and made my debut on the 
American stage on Monday, Sept. 23, with the "Trip to Xaris." No- 
thing could be more enthusiastic and cheering than my reception. I 
was a little embarcaesed at first, as I always am, at great ap^ause ; it 
affected me, and with difficulty I made my exordium. The first song, 
you know, is not calculated for great cflect; and deep attention w^s all 
my repayment for some minutes after my commencement. When I 
came to the ballad-singer and his pupil, * London now is out of Towi,* 
which is their own national air, I looked upon my business as done in 
America. They roared and screeched as if they had never heard any 
thing comical before ; and I don't think they have been glutted in that 
waj. • 

I discovered the never-to-be mistaken token of pocket handkerchiefs 
crammed into the mouths of many of the pittites. I had only to hold 



OHARtES MATHBWS. 195 

Up my crooked finger when I wanted them to laas^b, and they obeyed 
nay call. I was most agreeably turprised, indeed, at finding them an 
audience of infinitely more intelligence and quickness than I had ex- 
pected, fiartley had shrugged his shoulders at the idea of their taking 
the jokes. One of the London papers said I should be lost here; and 
most people supposed that I should find them dull; and so they are in 
private; I suspect — tarnation heavy and grave, but not so in the theatre. 
The neatest and best points were never better appreciated, even in Lon- 
don ; and I am quite certain from the efibcts, that the French language 
is much more generally understood here than in England. They have 
a much larger proportion of French people, for the size of their towns, 
than we have, and every bit of broken Qnglish is a sure hit, 

I repeated the *• Trip to Paris " on the second night; and, last night, 
'* The Country Cousins" went gloriously. The whole lower circle was 
crammed; but only those who could go in 'coaches could attend of 
course. The first night there were eight hundred dollars in the house, 
and my share came to 50Z. sterling. In my next, I shall be able to 
tell you the results of my seven nights' engagement, which is an ex- 
{Krimental one. The three great towns, Boston, Philadelphia, and New 
York, are the marts where I am to make my money. In the mean 
time, we will not object to 50/. per night; which sum Price offered me 
certain, and I was advised to refuse. The imperial and important 
fact I have ascertained, — that they can taste and feel my humour, and 
that I have made a great hit. The papers, which are very numerous 
here, and have taken me up with a high hand, will send my fame be- 
fore me through the States. I was very anxious and doubtful, and looked 
upon the first night here to be one one of the most important in my 
theatrical life. It is over, and well over; and I have no doubt, from 
its efiects, that my utmost hopes will be realized. Wood, the mana- 
ger, is quite a gentleman, and him only have I yet seen. I had only 
one letter to Baltimore; and the person to whom it is addressed is not 
at home. Price I have lefl at Bristol ; but will send your letter to 
him. You see I have followed your example in the size of my sheet, 
though I hardly hope to fill it. • 

I rejoice as the hours Hy that you are nearer getting my first letter. 
The most serious part of the appalling news of the fever was the effect 
I feared the first report might havq upon you, and the distressing sus- 
pense of perhaps three or four weeks, in which you would be kept. 
I hope, by the end of next week, my letter will have reached you; and 
from that time the communication will be more regularly kept up. 

C. Mathews. 



TO C. MATHEWS. ESQ, 

Dear Mathkws, 

I indite a few lines to you, sitting in your breakfast room, having 
made, or rather being now in the act of making, a morning call upon 
Nancy. I despair of being able to send you news ; you have so many 
and such various acquaintances, that I suppose you are regularly sup- 
plied with intelligence on all subjects, moral, religious, political, and 



196 MEMOIRS or 

theatrical. This letter, theirefore, will icrve for little else bnt to shovr 
you that I have net forgotten you in your absence, and, moreover, to 
fhlfil the promise I made to you when we parted. From wbateTer 
source you have gleaned your theatrical news, it is a text upon whicli 
you can bear to hear more than one person preach ; and so, here I go. 
You have heard, or you have not heard, but in either case you shall 
now learn, that Elliston has abandoned the cheap and nasty system, 
and adopted the liberal one ! and that the new proprietors of Covent 
Garden are now trying the experiment which iailed with Elliston, and, 
of course, is failing with them.- In a word, Drury.Lane is playing to 
•enormous houses, and Covent Garden to empty benches. It is lamen- 
table to witness one folly treading on the heel of another, to the de- 
struction of so fine a property, which cost so much money to establish, 
and talent to uphold. 

To you, however, I need nut dilate on the mischievous consequences 
of breaking up an old established company. So, a truce to fartlier 
comment, which I will leave you to make. But, for a few facts. Thus 
the matter stands. Drury Lane has got Miss Stephens, Listen, Bra- 
ham, Kean, Dowton,Mundcn,' Terry, Madame Vestris, Cooper, Young, 
Elliston, Harley, D'Egville's pupils j Mr. and Mrs. Noble, late Lupino, 
Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Byrne. Covent Garden parted with Listen, Ste- 
phens, and Young, to save 142. a week, economy being the order of 
the day; and they have engaged, by way of economy, Bartley at 162. 
per week, Miss Fatten, at 181, per week, Mr. T. P. Cooke, at 12Z. per 
week, Mr. Evans, at 6/. or 9i. per week, — making a total of 522. per 
toeek. The poor dressers are reduced in their allowance»<ioo candles 
instead of four — &c. &.c. By such miserable shifts, making the poor- 
est part of the community smart the most, the new concern hope to save 
a fortune. I am sure they ought; for I think they should be devilishly 
well paid for all the uncomfortable twinges it must cost them to pinch 
and squeeze so niggardly, so wretchedly, as they do ! Drury Lane 
gives 30/. a week to Miss Stephens, and 10/. per night more, if she 
sings more than thrice in a week. Liston, I don*t know, but I believe 
firmly 40/. per week. Your humble servant engaged for thirty nights 
at 20/. per night, and my benefit; ten nights, which I am now in the 
course of playing; ten more in January; ten more afler Easter holi- 
days. So, my affairs go on, thank God, very well. Adieu, dear Ma- 
thews ! Take care of your health, and all will do well. 

God bless you! Yours, very truly, • 

C. M. YouHO. 

Remember me to Mr. Price and Cooper. You are not to conclude 
that I have not, and do not, sympathize with you, because I don't touch 
on an infernal subject. But I do trust and hope all will end well and 
brilliantly yet 

N. B. — 1 have just planted a tree in your grounds, which goes by my 
name henceforward. It is placed so as to hide an odious house in the 
high road, which you will not now be enabled to see, it being out of 
nghi/ 



CHARLBS lUTHBWB. 197 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Baltimore, Oct 4tb, 1823. 

On or about this day I am flatteriug myself with your having received 
your first letter. I am still in the rudest health, and have not felt one 
moment's weakness!, indisposition, ache, or pain, since my arrival. The 
excessive heat is now abated, and blankets are put on the beds. By- 
the-by, I never told you that Sir Astley Cooper performed his promise; 
I am perfectly restored, and confident of a radical cure having oeen ef- 
fected.* Mr. and Mrs. Price arrived here yesterday on a visit. He has 
been to New York, where the actors are playing away in spite of the 
fever. Indeed they treat it very lightly here. It is an unforeseen and 
unavoidable calamity, and under the circumstances it was lucky that I 
did not lose more time, as tliis is almost the only place in which I could 
act with credit, until I had made an impression there. On all hands it 
is agreed that, although great difference of opinion has existed about 
all the other London stars, as to their talents, there is only one about 
me. I am sure I shall be well received, judging from this audience. 
I don't know an instance of a point failing which I considered to be 
really good myself. They have a quick and nice perception of cha- 
racter, and seize instantaneously on a little natural touch of look or 
manner, quite unconnected with an intended point. I am quite satis- 
fied of past effects; and have ever}" reasonable confidence in my pros- 
pects. It is a very curious reflection, and one to whi^h it is difficult 
to reconcile myself, but whenever I think of you (and it is not unfre- 
qiiently that I do, you may suppose,) I am obliged to make a calcula- 
tion of the difference of the time between England and America, 
created by the degrees of longitude. This would have been still more 
difficult had I not been regularly initiated into it day after day, during 
our voyage. We had a chronometer with us, and 1 never altered my 
watch; SO' that every day, keeping my time in England, and marking 
the progress, when about half our voyage was completed, the sun, 
which was twelve with us, was half past two with you; and so progres- 
sively until a difference of five hours was marked on our arrival on the 
American coast. This has been a constant subject of interesting con- 
jecture with me. At 12 o*clock, for instance, in my mind^s eye, I see 
Charley arriving at Highgate t6 dinner, and kissing his anxious mother^ 
for then it is five with you. I am now writing in beautiful sunshine, 
and you are reading by candle-light, and Charley drawing, and perhaps 
£^ping, and talking of bed; and just as you are retiring to bed, I am 
beginning to dress for the performance; and, by the time I g^ to bed^ 
1 see Charley getting up. Now you may amuse yourselves with the 
same " thick-coming fancies.'' 

The people here are very anxious to be civil to me, in private as well 
as pubHc. I went to a party last night — between forty and fifty, a 
grand display to show what could be done. I felt myself quite re« 
markable from a curious cause, for I was the only person literally of the 

* A local complaint, of wbidi I do not now remember tbe natan.— A. VL 
17* 



198 MEMOIRS OF 

party that was not in boots.* There were no ladies! though mine host 
was a family man; but I am told that this would not have made any 
difference. Still I will not make any remarks (like Fillet) af^er three 
weeks' knowledge of the people. Many things are very odd, — the 
lower orders unendurable. Still, however, I hear, « Ah ! youUl find it 
very different in New York.*' The gentlemen are good, and so they 
are every where; and if Blackey was sweet, he is a good fellow too. 
I have not met with a white waiter, and (barring the mtuk) I am glad. 
<§f it: for they are educated to be insolent. Two articles I may truly 
say I have never tasted until I arrived in this country, — Madeira and 
melons. Port — Oh, Day! Oil, Martin! Mais arretez, jfcfwi^ur Pt/fe/Zf 

C. Mathews. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS, 

Baltimore, Otct, 13th, 1822. 

Here I am still, and still kept in suspense with respect to New 
York. The fever is gradually subsiding, but perfect confidence will 
not be established until a frost: and this is so thoroughly ascertained to 
be the destroyer of the infection, that the inhabitants will immediately 
return to the proscribed districts. I have not finished my engagement 
here, as we were obliged to close the theatre on account of an election 
— ^a scene of disorder and tumult not inferior to our most noisy West- 
minster's. Indeed it has very much hurt my effects at the theatre^ 
for it has occasioned much drunkenness and noise, and of course inat- 
tention; and, added to pouring rain, has hurt the receipts. My benefit 
is next Monday, and I shall decidedly have a bumper; after that I shall 
go to Philadelphia to meet the Prices, who left this place yesterday. 
I cannot possibly make any calculation of my future plans until I have 
seen their theatrical capital, where I am led to expect immense suc- 
cess. This is one of the towns tliat I should have reserved for myself 
hereafter, but I have every reason to believe that my present trip will 
not interfere with an after-visit, as I am most especially invited to re- 
turn and take the Assembly Rooms; there are so many persons here 
who will not go into a theatre, that would not object to a room. As 
to my success, it fully equals the most brilliant of my efforts. 

Qn Tuesday letters arrived here from England ; and Price had one 

* He did not anticipate how soon this would become the fiishion in England also: 
boots (and black bandkercbiefii,) even at tbe Opera— A. M. 

t Mnuieur PiUet, it may be recollected, wrote a book upon England a few years 
ago, after a brief and partial knowledge of tbe manners and customs of its inhabi- 
tants; and, amongst other perversions, having one day seen a lady, on some occa- 
sion, disgrace herself and her sex by drinking a large quantity of brandy, affected 
to believe that «U English ladies did the same. Thus imitating Voltaire's fkmous 
traveller; who, when finding at the first ion he rested at in Alsace, a drunken 
landlord an4 a red-haired landlady, wrote down among his numorandm, " All men 
of Alsace aie drunkards, and all women ted'hairedl * Mr. Mathews, in one of his 
** At Homes,** satirized this work of Mnmeur. PHUt^ in the character of a French 
Itctonr Oft BogUsh puumen and castoDis.^A. M. 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 190 

from Miller. I need not say to yuu what were my sensations apon 
findingr there was not one from you. Newspapers, &c., all from Miller, 
and remembrances from him to me, and not one word about you, but, 
that he was afraid you would hear there had been an American vessel, 
called the Liverpool, lost, and that you were «< wretchedly low already." 
However, it is my fate : I was never yet from home that some myste- 
rious causes did not keep me from the knowledge of those who are so 
dear to me. Perhaps a day or two will clear it up, and I must hope 
for the best. I am cheered in some degree by the feeling that by this 
time my letters will be in regular course of arrival. £uropeans, I find, 
invariably bear this climate better than the natives, and even in the 
sickly places are not generally subject to disease. Nothing can exceed 
the kindness and attention I have received here. Letters are totally 
unnecessary, as 1 had cards lefl. the first three days from several of the 
principal inhabitants. Dr. Patisson has been particularly attentive, 
and drives me out in the country quite in my. own way ; and I have 
all sorts of invitations, which I cannot accept. The country is beauti- 
ful about this place, and I have very hiuch enjoyed my leisure time. 
Let roe hear that you are cheerful, if not happy ; for be assured, my 
greatest earthly desire is to establish the comibrt and independence of 
you and my dear Charles. ' 

C. Mathews. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Philadelphia, Oct, 19tb, 1822. 

I am going back to Baltimore^ to-day, and thence to-morrow to 
Washington, where 1 perform by myself two nights ; then return to 
Philadelphia, and stay till I go to New York, which we have every 
reason to hope will be open by the 1st of November, My benefit at 
Baltimore produced 1000 dollars, a large sound, but really a large 
house too, about 2302. sterling ; — a greater house by 100 dollars than 
Cooke or Kean had. They will give me 100/. still, weekly, for three 
weeks—what is called, out of the fire, for, under the calamitous cir- 
cumstances under which 1 have been knocked about, it is most lucky 
indeed to have such a resource ; the Philadelphia theatre has not yet 
risen from its ashes, and will not be finished until December. I have 
found from various causes, besides the approach of 6/uf«, that a horse 
is absolutely necessary ; and 1 have purchased one,, and mean to ride 
every day. This, I am sure, you will be glad to. hear.. The compli- 
ment paid me at Baltimore, which under all circumstances was one of 
the greatest ever received, has satisfied me of'the actual enthusiasm of 
the Americans towards me. Price, and Wood, the Philadbiphia ma- 
nager, have offered me 50/. per night certain for twenty nights, each, 
which I have refused, having no doubt that I can and shall get 1001. 
I am more and more certain of complete success. The effect upon the 
audience at my benefit was certainly more rapturous than any thing 
that ever occurred. . 

C. Mathiwb. 



200 MSMOIBSOF 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Philadelphia, Oct Slst, 1822. 

If I have suffered anxiety on your account, my relief has afforded 
me joy in proportion. 1 never experienced so delightful a sensation as 
when [ opened your packet, and saw your derfr hand, and the •* All's 
well." 1 have never been so long without hearing from you before ; it 
is now a month at least since I received your first letter. Up to thq 
last moment 1 was doomed to suspense; my old letter luck attended 
me. You have not sent me Lord Blessington's address abroad. I have 
heen in one continued state of good health since I have been here, al- 
though surrounded with horrors. This has been the most sickly sea- 
son known here for twenty years. It is now safely over, and New 
York declared healthy. The frost has commenced, and the inhabitants 
are returning; but Baltimore was every jot as bad as New York, though 
the inhabitants did not fly, but forty and forty-five died weekly of yel- 
low fever while I was there, and 1 never knew it till a few days pre- 
viously to my quitting. It was certainly confined to the Wapping of 
the city, and was called Bilious Fever. So unwholesome was the air 
in some places, that George caught the ague and fever at Washington 
in a few hours, and after my return I was told that scarcely one of 
the theatrical corps had escaped during the season. I verily believe, if 
I had not had a horse I should have been ill there too. I rode the 
journey, thirty-six miles, and back. I went on my own account. The 
greatest house ever known there before was 380 dollars. I had 550, 
and crowds went away. I played a second night, and, under peculiar 
disadvantages, got 350; a very small theatre. This made 900 collars 
in two nights. 444 dollars are 100/. sterling. This has shown me 
what I can do alone. Indeed, I have peremptorily refused to go to 
any of the managers, excepting in the three great towns; though I am 
inundated with letters, and have been obliged to act, for the people de- 
manded it; and 1 have not repented. I have acted Monsieur Tonson 
with prodigious effect. 

My next I expect will give you an account of a splash, for of New 
York I am most sanguine. I am off today on horseback. Lovely 
weather, all sunshine, and in high spirits. 1 unll take care of myself^ 
rely upon it. A thousand thanks for your assurances of affection; be 
assured of the hourly increase of mine* Lovo to Charley. 

C^ Mathews. 



CBABLBS KATHEWS. 201 



CHAPTER XIV. 



New York. — The Weatlier in America. — ^Republican Radeness. — The 
Yellow Fever. — Alarming Mortality. — Mr. Mathews's appearance 
on the New York Stage. — His enthusiastic Reception. — Hospitality 
of the higher Classes. — Society of New York. — A sore Point with 
the Americans. — ^A Fanatic. — Mr. Mathews one of the Causes of 
the Yellow Fever. — Severity of the winter in America. 

It will have been seen in the foregoing chapter that the let- 
ters from America of Mr. Mathews were, in fact, a journal of 
his Transatlantic tour. I now resume them at his second ar- 
rival at New York. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

New York, Nov. rih, 1822. 

Here I am at last; and, thank God, health and confidence are 
restored here. This is really a delightful city, with as much bustle 
as London or Paris; but bearing a greater resemblance to Doublin in 
many particulars than to the former. The want of handsome equip- 
ages and well-dressed persons is particularly striking to an Englishman. 
At present it is a scene of the greatest possible noise and confusion. 
I believe I explained to you that there was a part of the city only that 
had been declared infected. From this part the whole of the inhabi- 
tants fled. Imagine the effect of .the Strand from Bedford Street, all 
Charing Cross, Cockspur Street, Haymarket, and so on, across to 
Covent Garden, being entirely depopulated; and then these persons all 
returning on a sudden to their dwellings; their furniture, which had 
been taken to different country dwellings, and to distant parts of the 
city, all being brought back. You may then fancy what I am now 
witnessing. The bustle is very cheering to the natives, as it proclaims 
the return of health and business; but it is very distressing to me,, for 
the noise is over-powering. I arrived here on Saturday evening last^ 
after a three-days' ride from Philadelphia, ninety miles, which 1 per- 
formed with ease in half an hour less than the given time, as I found 



202 MEMOIRS OF 

Price's dinner ready in that time after my arrival. This month is par- 
ticularly delightful here: it is what is called their Indian summer. 
Very seldom is a cloud to be seen, and no fogs. For the last ten days 
it has been all sunshine, and a perfectly clear sky; and you know what 
9. Messing that is for me. The nights, to be sure, are Cold. When 
the really hard weather sets in, which they say is much more severe 
than ours, I shall suffer, for here all are wood fires, and to these I never 
can be reconciled. You have been in Paris only in summer, and there- 
fore you do not know this horror. The want of cheerfulness and 
civility is striking, and the egregious folly of the middle and lower 
orders in their fancied independence, is calculated to produce a smile of 
thorough contempt rather than anger. It consists in studied sullen- 
ness, the determination never to be civil or apparently kind to a fellow- 
creature, and not to bow, or say thank ye, to a person they know to be 
their superior, for they affect not lo believe in it. The upper orders 
(for there are upper orders, and must be, though it is not allowed here) 
either like it, or are compelled to submit to it. I cannot quite make 
up my mind which is the real case. The manager of a theatre tells 
me that it is not iii his power to induce the lamplighter or carpenter, 
when he walks into the green-room before ladies, to take off his hat; 
and this is allowed; and must be submitted to, they tell me. No 
carriages are closed here in summer, (nor in winter, I should think,) 
and the driver will smoke a segar, and a lady dares not ask him to 
desist though tlie smoke blinds her, because the odds are, that he will 
say he has a right to smoke, and every man must do as he likes in an 
independent state. A few days before I left Baltimore I travelled in a 
stage-coach a short distance. The coachman, an awkward, dirty, cada- 
verous-looking hound, that would be tiiought too shabby for a stable- 
boy in England, turned round to tiie passengers (for the driving-seat is 
a part of the coach, a^?d not an elevated box as with us) and said, "Has 
any body got any tobacco, for I'm out?" — *«I chew,tsir," said a 
passenger. "Give me a bit, will you! — Thank'ye, GeneraL** — 
"Judge,* will you have a quid. I got plenty now.'* — A facti 1 have 
seen this General since in company, and, " barring " the quid, really a 
gentleman by education and travel, fit for any society. I ventured to 
ask him, how he could endure such familiarity ? and added, that persons 
of his rank appeared to me to cherish and encourage what is distinctly 
offensive to foreigners. He replied— *♦ All such men have votes." 

I need not say what a feast it was to me to receive two large packets 
the moment I arrived on Sunday night. I am quite delighted with the 
plan of your journal; it is a happy thought, and I am very grateful to 
you for your kind anxiety to amuse me. Pray continue on the same 
plan. Price has offered to ensure 751. per night, an advance of 25/. 
This looks well; but still I take my chance of my shares, better or 
worse. Price, and Mrs. Price too, beg all sort of kind things may be 
said to you in return for yours to them. 

If you see Miller, tell him I have got a lodging on the English plan 
at New York. I told him I never would b^rd, if I tiarvedf but he 
assured me I miut Tell him I never have, and never will. I am in- 
formed, tliat out of a population of a hundred and twenty thousand, I 

* Judge Jobnion, of Orleanf, and a member of the Gongrem— A. M. 



CHABLES MATHEWS. 203 

am the onlf person who has got a lod^ng^ to himself. In short, the 
only person who can be alone if he wishes it; and I do wish it, and never 
enjoyed pleasure so luxuriously as here. God bless and preserve you 
and dear Charles, for the sake of him who loves you more and more as 
time goes on. Ever, ever affectionately yours, 

C. MlTHiirs. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

New York, Nov. 15th, 1822. 

1 have had the pleasure of receiving a few pages more of your 
journal; and I am more than delighted at the cheerful tone of it, and 
find that "the first fit of blues'* is not recorded until the middle of 
September. I am now familiarized to the subject, and understand the 
mysteries and peculiarities of the yellow fever, which only a residence 
on the spot can possibly make one acquainted with. The impression 
that we Europeans have of its contagious qualities is, that it is like the 
plague. Now the fact is, that out of one hundred and twenty tliousand 
inhabitants, (to be sure a great proportion fled,) only twenty-eight 
died. You may remember that I gave you an account of a poor victim 
in the ship, of whom we made sport, who was constantly in a state of 
intoxication. He was panic-struck about the fever; and when I got 
the only bed that was vacant at Hoboken, on the opposite shore, he 
begged hard to be taken into the same house. When I fled to Bristol, 
I sent Gebrge to him to say he might have my bed. He lived only 
three weeks; he had, it is true, undermined his constitution. They 
swear here that it was not the fever; but if it was not, he died of fright. 
From that hour America has been to me a large hospital; and all con- 
versation a mere medical report. I had been in Baltimore more than a 
fortnight before I found that the yellow fever existed there stronger 
than in New York, and with more fatal consequences; forty-five, forty, 
and thirty-five deaths occurring in three succeeding weeks. What 
think you of this? Was it not enough to appal me? One-half of the 
actors were ill of ague, which they brougiit from Washington; so that 
I was surrounded by "horrors and distraction.'* It really was melan- 
choly. Had poor Charley been here, he could not have survived, or 
any body of such constitution. Thanks to a good one, and a rigid 
adherence to my plan of diet, I lay like Manly on the wreck of the 
Apollo, and saw my comrades dying around me. " What could induce 
you to come here. Sir, during our sickness?'* was consoling to hear; 
but this assailed me on every side. The simple fact was, that the 
newspapers which do and will govern every thing, announced the 
yellow fever at New York with exaggeration, but artfully concealed 
the disease at Baltimore under the title of " bilious malignant," which 
did not prevent strangers from visiting them. It was marvellous that 
with this drawback, my theatrical success was so great. It would have 
been double, doubtless, but for the sickness. The loss has been great 
to me; but I have esca|)ed, thank God! and have never had one mo- 
ment's illness since I arrived. No language, however, can describe to' 



204 nicoiRs OF 

yoa the wretched effect of the regular report of relation, frieikb^ ficc 
at Washington. I inquired for Mr. Law, a nephew of Lord Ellen* 
borough, to whom I had a letter. Knocked at the door, — •• Oh/ my 
ffuuter'a dead/** Inquired for Mr. Paterson, to whom' I had a letter 
from Washington Irving, — •• Out of iown*^ Engaged to dine with 
Mrs. Paterson, in his absence,^xcuse stated, the "aiaier dead/** 
*' General Ridgley*s compliments to Mr. Mathews-^honour of his com- 
pany to dinner on Friday." Friday arrives, — " General Ridgley*8 com- 
plimentst — Mrry, but the death of his daughter prevrnte,** &c. On my 
return from Wa8hingt9n, I actually went, letter in hand, to Mr. Pater- 
son, — «* Oh/ Sir, my matter died last night/" I will close here. 
You will understand what I have felt. 'Tis now over; hut be satisfied 
of this, that this disease never existed in July, August, or September, 
and from this month the climate is very healthy. The present month 
is particularly delicious, — warm nights and Italian days. The sun is 
now shining with splendour and brightness, without a cloud, and no 
heat. 

Now to turn to the bright part of the picture. I have made my ap- 
pearance here, and have made a prodigious hit. Price has just shown 
himself a capital politician. You know how I fought against appear- 
ing in the regular drama, and had determined, up to the time 7 saw 
him in Baltimore, that I would not be moved from my fixed resolve. 
The Baltimore audience, however, were noisy, and they drove me from 
my tabic, and I took to the drama in despair; for I was out of heart, 
out of humour, and out of pocket. So I acted Duberly* and the " Polly 
Packet,** — Solomon Chindy^i and ^* Diligence," Monsieur Tonson. I 
think I told you I had acted with great effect, — certainly one of my 
very best efforts in or out of the legitimate line. Well, Price saw me 
act Goldfinch and Tonson one night, and came round and said, "Those, 
Sir, are the two parts you open in at New York; they have seen no- 
thing like your Goldfinch^X Sir, and it must be so.** I gave way; for, 
to say truth, I had doubts that all American audiences were like Bal- 
timore; and, in that case, I had long secretly determined to em- 
bark at New York, and sneak home again. Nothing, however, 
can be more <complete than the contrast, — nothing more brilliant 
and decisive than my success. I opened to the greatest stock 
house ever known, — much greater than that of Cooke or Kean. Near- 
ly 1,800 dollars ! My reception was more than rapturous; /never 
recollect any thing more joyous in my life. They infused me with 
, fun ; I was in tip-top spirits ; and the songs were hailed with shouts. 
The Tonson was equal in effect to the most successful of my former 
personations; and at the dropping of the curtain, huzzas cheered my 
efforts. This was an important night, as you say, and I am sorry that 
it was not the second communication, as you anticipated ; but I am 
content. The whole tone of my future proceedings will be taken from 
this night. This is the London of America; and I was forced to play 
at Doncastcr^rst. All the places were takerl for my benefit. There- 
fore, Price calculated cleverly, that to be^in the entertainments until 
my second engagement, would be throwing them away. I have my 
benefit on the eighth night, — then make a fresh engagement with all 

• " Lord DHberly in the ** H«ir-at-Law." 
t In " Who wants a Guinea.**— -A. M« 
} In " The Road to Ruin.**— A. M. 



cHAHLBs nmcBwa. 205 

vpy no^elCy. Now we have had 1600 doUarf to •*Tho Heir-at-Law,** 
aivd MOond night of 2bn«0f». Relj upoa it, the basinesi is done, and 
xay expedition will be completely lacceMfbL Of the lost of time w» 
daost not think. ' 

Liove to dear GharloB; and say how I rejoice that he hai obtained 
tbe Dolphin Classics. I beg that he may be indulged to his wish in 
msieh pnrsmts, dariig my absence. God bless jfon both, prays daily 
your tra]jr affecttooate 

C. Matskwbi 



TO MR. MILLERv 

New York^ Norv l5th, 1822. 
Dear Miller, 

In happier times I now address you. Here we are — confidence re- 
stored — ^fever gopc — infected district once more partly inhabited. I 
firmly believe you know nothing of the horrors of the yellow fever by 
newspaper report ; for it appears, as far as I have read, to have created 
little sensation or interest in England, and up to the 27th of Septem- 
ber, I am happy to find the news had not reached Highgate. My 
greatest unhappiness was tbe anticipation of the probable effect of the 
calamity on my family. I wrote to jrou in a great hurry, and informed 
you that I bad taken up my quarters at Hoboken, where I remained 
one nights You have not been here at tbe time of such a misery; and 
therefore you have not been an eye-witness of the more than childish 
weakness of the natives respecting this scourge^ Every individual is 
as sore upon the subject as the ■■ arc about dirt; It is not conta- 
gious, he swears : and yet he makes every creature perform quaran^ 
tine that comes from the infected city. 1 thought myself secure at 
Hoboken ; I was tdd I was the only lodger. A young man presented 
himself at tea, argued against contagion, and, with most dramatic 
eflTect upon me, added, ^ For instance, I was the only person who 
Caught it of my mother, who died of it" — ^**What, then I you have 
had it?'*-^"Oh, yes! Just recovered firom it; and am staying here 
for five days, that I may swear I have left New York so long, or they 
will not let me into Philadelphia!*' I ran away next day to Bristol; 
gave my berth to a poor fellow-passenger in the William Thompson, 
and Englishman. He diecl in three weeks ; bat it was " not yellow fe« 
ver." Mr. Simpson was nek, — Price swears it was pleurisy. Now, I 
am here, it is confessed that it was the yellow fever. Mr. Wood en- 
gaged me for Baltimore. — " Our city is healthy ; the fewest deaths."— 
During three weeks' residence there were thirty-three deaths weekly. 
One week there were forty-five^ — by *• bUiousfewrl" The press ma- 
naged it there; here they are not so daring. They proclaim it; thou- 
sands fied, and one part of the city was totally depopulated ; barrien 
were erected to prevent all intercourse; and now they tell you that 
only tiiree htmdred died. Why ?— ^because tbe inhabitants did not re* 
main, and place their faith in the dedaimers for no contagion. Dr* 
Paterson, of Baltimore, told me that the disease there was decidedly 
yellow fever. Hovoven I thaak God^ I hay« never beea mcIt, as the/ 
votv I.— 18 



S06 ' mMonui or 

otll it, once; ind it is really wonderfhl that, rarroanded by rach hor- 
ron, I bad 1000 dolkn at my benefit In Orleans fiye hundred died 
in a fortni{fht; and in one of the newspapers to-day, I read—'' Onr 
latest accounts represent that the yellow fever continued to assail the 
inhabitants. Out of fourteen hundred, not four hundred souls re- 
inain.*'^— No governor, council, police, or post-office. If you get a let* 
ter from an American, however, I am sure he will say that the accounts 
have been exaggerated. 

I opened to nearly 1800 dollars ; and am keeping np to 1200 and 
1400, though the inhabitants are not yet all returned. I am delighted 
with the audience. My reception was rapturous; and I argue greatly 
of the result God bless you. Remember me kindly Jto Mrs. Miller. 
Ycu may say to those who inquire after me, that I am in high health 
and spirits. 

Yours, very sincerely, 

C. Mathsws. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

New York, Nov. 23d, 1822. 

I have BO frequently written in high-flowing terms of my success in 
my tours, that I have almost exhausted every term of surprise or ad- 
miration ; but this is the most extraordinary hit I haVe ever made* 
Last night I had my first benefit and I shall always think it the great- 
est compliment ever paid me. The torrents of rain which fell during 
the whole day (and we in EIngland don't know what rain is) would 
have totally destroyed the house in any town in which I have ever been. I 
had to wait for a hackney coach until the time I ought to have been 
on the stage; but walking was out of the question, as nothing short of 
drowning appeared inevitable. It was thought by all that it would in- 
jure the house very materially, as scarcely any private carriages are' 
kept here. When I went in, to my great surprise as well as delight. 
Price said, ** Well, Sir, here they are. Your house is full. This Is the 
greatest compliment ever paid to an actor in New York. I don't be- 
lieve that there is any other man that would have had such a house as 
this on such a night*' There were 1800 dollars; which is nearly as 
much as the house will hold. The rain must have done some injury ; 
else it would have overflowed instead of being full ; and I believe that 
is all the difference. No enthusiasm ever was greater. Price has 
shown his judgment greatly in this engagement. I told you in my 
last the origin of my taking to the drama. The entertainments were 
asked for every day at the box-office, and the cry you mutt give them, 
. or the houses will fall off; and on the sixth night, a wet night too, we 
had 1400 dollars to €M4fineh^ the second time, and Tonson^ the third 
time. Price justly said, '* Should we not be fools to throw away our 
strength, when they come in this way to very weakness 7*' Well, I 
must do one of them for my own night On Wednesday I start with 
the ** Trip to Paris." The eventfiil period of which you were so anxious 
to hear is arrived; it is prosperous beyond our hopes. I look upon the 
temainder of my work as a settled point All other towns will take 



CHABLB8 MATHEWS. 209 

their tone from this, as in EngrUmd from Londoxi ; and the curioeity to 
see me is such, that Cooper and Phillips, the only stars ezceptinr 
Booth, say that they fiiil because the people are hoarding up their doU 
lars to see me. I send you a copy of a few lines in the newspaper of 

Wednesday. 

** A very handsome compliment has been paid to Mathews, such as 
cannot be soon forgotten by him. We learn that a party of gentlemen 
have chartered the steamboat The Fly, to bring them down from Al- 
bany (two hundred miles) to his benefit, to-morrow evening; thus 
making a journey, to and fro, of four hundred miles, to be gratified in 
witnessing his powers for one evening." 

Another unsought puff caught my eye : 

** The proprietors of the Brooklyn boat inform the public, that the 
steam- vessels, Fulton and Active, will, on the occasion of Mr. Ma- 
thews's benefit, start from Brooklyn at half-past five, and remain to 
carry the passengers back after the play." 

• 

These boats never cross the ferry after five on other occasions. Does 
not this look well 7 This morning I read— 

«* Dr. Hosack informs the medical students that, in consequence of 
the tempest last night, which compelled him to postpone his lectures," 

&rC. 

I now send the receipts of the eight nights ; and I think, and Price 
says he is sure of it, the next will keep up to the mark. 

DOLLARS.. 

Road to Ruin— Tonson .... - 1700 

Poor Gentleman — Sleepwalker .... 962 

Heir-at-Law— .Tonson ...... 1401 

Who Wanto a Guinea?— Killing No Murder - 1178 

Henry IV.— Lying Valet 1214 

Road to Ruin— Tonson 1420 

Beaux Stratagem— Actor of AJi Work - • 1287 

Wild Oats— Do. Do. - .... 1800 

Let this suffice until W9 meet Be satisfied, though,. yoa. Qndentand 
it, and the dollars may dsozle you too much (444 dollars are 100^ ob- 
,ierv«.) I have received above 800i. fi>r my eight nights! I This is sn- 
perior to any thing I ever did out of London. I have gained 35<, per 
Bight by shwlog. 

C. Matbxws. 



SOS KKXOIRS OF 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

New York. Nov. 30th, 1822, 

I commenced a second engagement on Wednesday last, with the 
^ Trip to Paris," to the best house X have yet played too, being .up- 
wards of 1800 dollars, — some few more than my benefit. Truth to 
say, I was sorry for it. Th^ theatre is qnite as larg^ as that of Co' 
vent-Qarden ;[ and the difference between is^ Gd, \)qx^3 and 79.^ with 
the receipts I have hitherto sent you, will make this apparent. It was 
too full to obtain the sort of silent attention that my " Table-Talk *' 
requires. The countenance and varieties of its expression were ne- 
cessarily lost to a large proportion of the audience; and I therefore felt 
the want of powers to produce my usual effects, 1 do not speak so 
much of the consequence on this night, as the evident effects of the 
report that the auditors then present made of it to others wl^. yr,ere 
not there the second night. »» The Polly Packet" fell off to 10(10 dol- 
ors; and f found a coldness in the audience during the Table acts 
each night, that was very apposite tq tl\e ejects produce4 upon them 
by my acting. The drams^iic parts, thiril act of each, were as eflfeqtive 
as they have been elsewhere. My Frenchman is the most relished 
here ; and I should imagine that a far greater proportion of Americans 
visit France than of English. A phrase of brriken English is a cer- 
-tain roar ; and Tonson^ Talma^ Jeu Singe^ and Peremptoire, are ex- 
tolled, and certainly appreciated and understood to perfection^ Ji/ly 
^* At Home^" indefinable in its title, and unexplained in its character, 
raised an expectation that I fear was not to be satisfied by mojrtal 
powers. Yet it was not a failure. The upper orders highly admire 
it; but the other ranks of persons appear at a loss how to designate it. 
" It will Nse, be assured^ as it is better understood," say my friends. 
"The Youthful Days" did rise, and went admirably. On the third 
night I performed "The Mail Coach Adventures," and "Tonson" 
again. The house is nearly all taken again for my second benefit; 
and Price is yet sanguine as ever about a third engagement, after my 
return from Boston, where I go on quitting this place. 

In tjie meah time, the attentions p^id to me m private are hig'hly 
gratifying. An ambassador from St. James.*s could not bye more hand- 
soniely received. In point of complin>ents paid to an actor of reputa- 
tion, they are far beyond our own country. I^etters of recommenda- 
tion, a^e unnecessary. Generals, commodores, (adnairals here,) judges^ 
barristers, and merchants, have left their cards for me. Judge Irving» 
a brother of Washington Irving, called, and introduced himself. Had 
I time and inclination, I might get into a round of visiting in the very 
highest society, which is much more desirable and infinitely more po- 
lished than the English in general are willing to believe. Tlie climate, 
'fiom its sudden and severe changes, is very trying; but I have unifonti* 
ly enjoyed good health, and am insensible to the effects of tbe^ climate. 
I am as ekeevful and contented as I can be^when absent from all I 
hold dear. That God may preserve you both in. health and happuieas 
is the daily prayer of your ever truly affectionate 

C. MATHXVSi. 



CHAKLK8 MAinXWS. 2Q9 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

New York, Dec. 7i\ 1822. . 

The eold is intense, and I am told it is nothing to what may be ex- 
' pected; We have already had snow enough to spoil one or two of my 
houses. However, an indifferent house will yield me nearly 501 steir- 
ling. My own entertainments do not hit here so well as at Baltimore; 
the general belief is, that they are too local for Americans, who have 
not visited Europe, to understand. This would, however, have equally 
applied at Baltimore. The tiruth is, the theatre is too lara^e for the 
effects. Price has shown himself an admii*able politician. IJad I com- 
menced with my entertainment, I am convinced my attraction after- 
wards would not have been what it is now? and my feelings are by no 
means hurt that here they think me an actor, — " a very natural actor, 
and the only comedian that has ever been seen in America that was not 
extravagant." The word mimic has never been flung in my teeth; 
and without songs or imitations, or any of those extra aids, which even 
in Edinburgh 1 required, I can draw a house. That Goldftruh and 
Ibnson. are good for 1500 dollars is a bet nolo (when I return.) 

I finish my second engagement here on Friday next, to a great house 
lathis is already settled,) and then, 1 believe, go to Boston. I am- very 
much pleased with the society of New York, and gradually like it bet- 
ter. I have seen nothing but the upper ranks lately, and they are very 
delightful people. The woman with whom I lodge is the widow of 
an Englishman, and therefore knows all our habits. The servants are 
negroes, and therefore I have no dealings with the sulky-looking Yan- 
kee. I do not even buy my own gloves, — the shopkeepers are so very 
angry when you purchase any thing of them. 

If you ever see the Bartleys, who are engaged, F hear, at Covent- 
Garden, pray say to them how much I am delighted with Dr. Hosack 
and his family; they are the real sterling goods, and I am quite at home 
with them. They ask me to entertain me — ^to afford me quiet repose 
after my labours. " My children, you must not talk to Mr. Mathews; 
he talks too much in public to be disposed to answer all your questions.*' 
Xhis is rare, and I value it. 

C. Mathkws. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

New York» Dec. 15th, 1822. 

The great pleasure 1 fe!t in receiving your letters was much damped 
by the melancholy tone of expression i*especting my situation. It b 
eurious enough that on the 9th of October I dreamed about you, or had 
a sect of visbn of your being very unhappy, or ill, or that somedihig 
Tery distressing had happened; but the effect vour expression of coiU^* 
tenance produced on me (when silently youMhook your head la tfyou 

18* 



210 xzMCXks or 

dreaded to iDform me of tlie worst,) was such, that I could scaiceljr 
speak at breakfast, I was so wretchedly out of spirits. Price laughed, 
but Mrs. Price felt very kindly for me; and, knowing that 1 had not 
then heard from home, sympathized with me. I requested her to 
make a memorandum of the date, and I find it was the evening when 
Elizabeth had fir&t so abruptly mentioned the yellow fever to you.* 

I was nearly a fortnight in Baltimore before I discovered that the 
yellow fever was raging in one part of that city, fort Qnysteifious as it is, 
^t is cert^n that the infection, is always con^ned to districts. I first 
discovered it by Wood, the manager, twice refusing to show me a pact 
of the town I was curious to see. He refused, peremptorily to walk 
that way; and then I said* **-Well, I supppse you won*t prevent my 
walking there alone. There is a turn in the river in that part sp beau- 
tifully romantic, that I will have a walk there." ** For Qod*s sak^ 
don't go near it!" he cried; and then the murder was out. '*It is not 
healthy," and so on. The same pains \yere taken to keep the neii^s 
from me that, in a more friendly way, was practised towards you. Dr. 
PatersOn, a Scotsman, with whom I was intima1;e at Baltimore, saidthaifc 
he had watched me narrowly — a,nd, Ending from my health and habits, 
that I was not a subject for it, believing also (rmly that the disease 
was not infectious, and that it was certainly pon^ned to a part of the 
pity, a mile and a half from that part in which [ livedj he thought it 
better to keep the fact from me a^ long as possible, as. fear i^lone wiU 
sometimes occasion disease. . 

The fplly and weakness of people here about the feycr can nardly 
be described. An Irishman will as willingly confess that Dublin is ^ 
4ui:y place, as an American that the yellow fpver is of natiye origin,. — 
it is a sore point; it is next to an affront, even to Price, to say it is con,- 
tagious. Nay, the humbug is kept up for e^ect even in letters written 
to England. Price was sent for post-haste to New York. He met mp 
afterwards at PhUadelphia, three days after his time. I received a let- 
ter informing me that Simpsonf was ill of the pleurisy. On his arrival, 
I said, •* Well, has Simpson got over the fever .^''-r" Who said he had 
the fever, sir? It is not true, sir." Nothing could annoy him so 
much* Not forty .eight hours after, Mrs. Price said, ** I am astonished, 
Mr. Price, you should join in that absurd deception that the fever is 
not infectious?*' — **I do say so still," said het and in anu^nguarded 
moment, in h^at of argument, said afterwards, to my great triumph, 
<< Was I not almost two days by Simpson*s bedside, who had it bad as 
man could, and did I catch it?" Yet does he write to Miller that it 
has been greatly exaggerated f The company were all cautioned to 
read pleurisy for fever. It was marvellous that the people could be 
induced to go to the theatre. 1 aufTprcd ho];ribly by it, as you may- 
imagine; but I may, without vanity, say that I was the only person now 
living who could have brought houses during the palamity. You can 
have no notion of the wretchedness of the scene and its asaociationsi 
cjr the coolness with which it is treated here. They die at twelve 
p'plock on Tuesday, and in twenty-four hours afterwai^ tiiey are bu^* 

^ My maid, who could not iwiit ^epoHng me for tbe eontents of ber matter^ 
flnt letter, as sIm delivered it, by revea^nf Her j^^vious knowted^ resj^Uof tli^ 
fever*— A. M. 

t Ifr* »rtcs-8 partav.-A, M^ 



CHABI.B8 MATHSWS. 311 

ried; and all sensation appears to cease with the friends of the paitie*. 
Twice I knocked at doors with letters of Washington Irving in my 
hand,— "Mr. Paterson at home?** — "I guess he died last night!" 

" Mr. at home?*' — the same answer. Ten people at Baltimore 

said angrily to me, ♦• Who told you Robert Paterson died of yellow fe- 
ver?*' I .could have said — the physician who attended him, who laughs 
at your self-deception, but dares not avow it. '* 1 hope you will come 
to Washington: our city is quite Healthy ,* said several. I went; George 
was attacked witli fever and ague the moment he arrived there. It 
was the most unhealthy of all the United States. Can you conceive 
such folly ? An English surgeon, who introduced himself to me, ag^n 
was the exposer. ** Take my advice, sir, and don't stay here long." 
This was on the second night of my performance. On the morning 
after, for the first time, I felt queer. It was nervousness, I now know. 
Mr. Burke accompanied me in the Adolphus line. I went to George*s 
bedside at nine in the morning. Such a spectacle! <* Have you cour- 
age to be moved ! " — *• Oh ! yes, sir." ** Can we get a private carriage, 
Mr. Burke?" (There are no post-chaises here, or horses on the road.) 
— « Yes." " To take us thirty-six miles to Baltimore?"—** Yes; but 
it will delay you an hour, perhaps two." " Never mind; 1 feel that if 
1 stay half an hour in this place I shall be very ill, — at any rate I shall 
fancy it. I am shivering now, and the thermometer is above 80; I 
must entreat you, as you are well, that you will humour me. No. third 
night, if you please. Tell those people who are wailing my answer 
from Georgetown I am gone — settle my bills — wrap George up in a 
blanket — and get away from this place as soon as you can— I am off!"- 
and away I went. I ran for about a quarter of a mile, till I saw the 
Capitol behind me. 

Nothing can be more healthy than this city is now. Once more let 
me assure you that that scourge, the yellow fever, occurs only in the 
middle of summer, and that only in unusually hot seasons. I therefore 
do not imagine that there is any cause for apprehension, as I shall leave 
the countiy before the approach of hot weather, wliich never sets in 
till June. I have dwelt so much upon feverish subjects, that I have 
hardly room to give you any theatrical information; but I can truly, 
though briefly, say, that 1 am pursuing a career of great success. The 
actual crowding has dim.inished, — that of course must be expected; 
but I have hitherto exceeded in receipts all the stars that have gone 
before me, and my second l^enefit produced 1200 dollars. Do not sup- 
pose this is falling off. It was as great as the first. Consider a second 
advertised night, withi n a fortnight of the first I am hurrying off from 
Boston, in consequence of circumstances too tedious to mention. The 
probabilities are, that I play there next week. God bless you both; 
my darlings! Pray keep up your spirits: and believe me, when I tell 
YOU that I am as cheerful, contented, and happy as I can be, so jar re* 
inored from you both. Accept, my dearest wife, the renewed as- 
funnces of my steady and unalterable affection. 

% C. MjLTHxwa* 



.'212 XEMOIBB OF 

TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

New York, Dec. 18tb, 1822. 

The Packet of the first of October, from Liverpool, is not yet anivedy 
though she has sailed forty-nine clays. You may judge from the 
average what a lucky passage ours was. My success here has drawn 
down the vengeance of a fanatic, who is popular in his way. He 
preached a sermon, called *• The Pestilence — a. Punishment for Public 
8ins{*' in which he points out the causes of the late scourge to the city; 
and he ** happens to know " them all — ^the theatre, and me in particu- 
lar. By a most amusing anachronism, he makes out that my drawing 
crowds together in November was one of the causes of a pestilence 
which conmienced in July. Take his own words, as published by 
himself. 

•« What, I pray you, are we to think of the state of society amopg us, 
when at the very moment that God*s pestilence was the heaviest upon 
us, we are credibly told, in one of our public gazettes, tliat the non- 
appearance of a celebrated comedian upon our stage, in consequence 
of our calamity, has cast as much gloom over our city as the fever 
itself! Must not we conclude, that the spirit of dissipation, is deeply 
rooted among us, when we find at this very time (when our inhabitants 
are called more solemnly than ever they were before to consider their 
\mys and humble themselves before God,) the theatre, — that school of 
Satan! — that nursery for hell? — is overflowing, night>af^er night, with 
our citizens, to witness the mimicries of an actor, whom God Almighty 
has $eni here at this very time in his wrath, as a man better qualified, 
by all accounts, than any other in the world to dissipate every, serious 
reflection, and harden men in folly and sin? If such be our spirit as a 
community, have we not deserved God*s chastisements? Can we not 
find in this thirst after dissipation a fruitful cause of our la.ts calamity ^ 
Shall not God be avenged on such a.city? '* 

But I am not the only cause: he points out others.. The second 
cause is the inordinate appetite for gsun, which has pervaded almost all 
classes of the community. 

''The God of heaven has shown, this season,. how he«an blast the 
god whom so many in our city worship — 1 mean Mammon. Merchants, 
mechanics, and tradesmen,. have too generally been striving with each 
other who can most rapidly acquire fortunes, without much regard as to 
the manner in which they, obtained .them. Yery few have honoured God 
as they ought vf'iih their tuUtance^ (oh, oh!) Look at iht form of . 
God*s late judgment. The pestilence was sent upon the theatre of 
our commercial life; it covered the business part of our city; it sucked 
the very heart's core of our commercial wealth. Now, my hearers, if 
I luid no other evidence, this alone would be to my mind conckuU» 
proof, that something is radically, wrong in the system of bunness in 
this city."* 

This wretched raver is only twenty-five years of a^. : 

1 think 1 told you in my last, that I would not act in Boston on the 
nine terms as at Baltimore wodihere, aharing after expenses; and^ 



Chaicli, New fork, Nov. 1711^ ] 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 21S 

therefore, demanded a certainty of SOL sterling^ per night, whiob« after 
much unwillingness, tbey granted, and I open there next Monday. 

The shortest day will have passed over before this will leave New 
YcH-k, and then we have something pleasant in perspective. The dajrs 
are longer here than in Europe ; for it is not dark now till five o'clock. I 
have heard most furious accounts of the severity of the winter, which 
is much more terrific than ours, ezceptin|f that the sun seldom forsakes 
the sufiTerers. However, hitherto it has been mild enough, — scarcely 
any snow, and not enough bad weather to prevent my riding above 
four or five times. I will thank you, the moment this arrives, to order of 
Stultz one blue coat. They charge 40 dollars for a coat here. It is a 
very, very dear country,- Mrs. Mathews. 

C. Matbiws. 



CHAPTER XV. 



Mr. Mathews's Reply to the Rev. Paschal N. Strong. — Letters to Mrs, 
Mathews; Reception at Boston of Mr. Mathews; Winter in America; 
A Black Preacher. — Letter from Mr. Mathews to Mrs. Rolls; Yellow 
Fever in America; American Society; the Lower Orders. — Letters 
to Mrs. Mathews; Inclemency of the Climate at Boston; American 
Frolics; Manners of the Upper Ranks.-^" A Portrait of Mathews.'' 

It appears that Mr. Mathews could not, on the publication 
of the sermon quoted in the foregoing letter, resist something 
like a reply to it before he left America. With a desira, 
therefore, to alarm the reverend gentleman, by an affected 
intention of making him a prominent feature in his next 
English Entertainment, the following letter was writtei;i at 
the last moment, when Mr. Mathews's mind was occupi^ in 
preparations for his approaching voyage home* 



TO THE REV. FASCHAJL N, STRONG, 

New York, 1823. 
Sir, 

Ingratitude, being, in my estimation, a crime most heinomi and moat 
hate^I, 1 cannot quit the shores of America without expressing my grate- 
ful sense of services which you have gratuitously rendered. 

Other professors in ** that school of Satan, that nursertf of helir as 
you most appropriately style the theatre, have been, ex neceBoUate, 
content to have their merits promulgated throngh the medium »f tho 



214 MEMOIRS OF 

fttUie papers; but mine yoa have gradoasly vouchiafed to blazon from 
the pulpit. 

Yott have, as appears in your recently published sermon, declared 
me to be (what humility telU me I only am in yout partial and pre- 
judiced estimation) ** an actor whom God Almighty sent here as a 
man better qualified than any other in the world, to dissipate every se- 
rious reflection." 

What man! what woman! what child! could resist the effects of 
such a description, coming from such a quarter ? particularly, as you, 
at the same time, assured the laughter-loving inhabitants of this city, 
that the punishment incident to such a " thirst afler dissipation '' had 
been already inflicted by ^* their lat^calamity,'* the pestilence, ** voracious 
in its thirst of prey /" and you might have added, thirsty in its hunger 
for drink. 'No wonder that the theatre has since been crowded, the 
manager enriched, and the most sanguine expectations of him whom 
you have, perhaps improperly, elevated to the rank of the avenging^ 
angel so beautifully described by Addison, completely realized ! For 
eaoi and all of these results accept, reverend sir, my cordial and grate- 
ful thanks. Nor deem me too avaricious of your favours, if I venture 
to solicit more. As you have expressly averred, in the sermon before 
me, that " God burnt the theatre of New York^ to rebuke the devotees 
of pleasure there resident^** permit me, your humble avenging angels 
to inquire, by whom and for what purpose the cathedrals at Rouen and 
.Venice were recently destroyed by fire, and in a manner which more 
.especially implicated the hand of Providence? But beware, moat re- 
verend sir, I conjure you, lest your doctrines of special dispensations 
^furnish arguments and arms to the scoffer and atheist. 

One other request, and I have done. You appear too well acquainted 
with my peculiarities and propensities not to be aware that, when I 
travel abroad, I am always anxious to collect something original and 
funny wherewith to entertain my friends and patrons •♦ At Home." 
Now, sir, so little do the American people, in general, differ from their 

nnt stock whom it is my object to amuse, that I have as yet scarce- 
^ . rocured any thing in which these qualities are united, except your 
aforesaid sermon ; you will, therefore, infinitely oblige me, if you will, 
on Sunday next, preach another on the subject of my angelic attri- 
butes; in which case, you may rely on my being a most attentive au- 
ditor. I hope to have thQ opportunity of studying the peculiarities of 
your style and action. The gracefiilness and Christian charity, humi- 
lity and universal benevolence, which doubtless beam in your expres- 
sive countenance, will enable me to produce a picture of prodigious 
effect, of which, all who know the original will acknowledge the like- 
ness to be Strong! 

I have, sir, the hononr to be, most gratefully, your obliged, angelic, 
yellow-fever-producing friend, 

C. Mathews. 



CHASXS lUTHSWS. 815 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

fioctoa, Dec. 28th, 18S9. 

X arrived here in health and safety on Tuesday, after a " teagfos pas. 
aig,'* when I thought I never sboold get to Providence. I was ad- 
vised by Price to go by water, as the most pleasant and convenient, on 
account of my baggage, and that the average passage was about thirty 
or forty hours. I had a horror of two hundred and forty miles by 
land, with the weather so severe as it is here now, and therefore deci- 
dedly preferred it. But the wind was contrary, and we were from 
"Fhursday morning, nine o*clock, until Monday evening, before we got 
to Providence, where I landed, and proceeded forty miles by land, and 
grot there time enough to be too late, for I was advertised to appear on 
Monday evening. Great was the disappointment thereof^ for numbers 
came sixteen miles to see me; but 1 could not possibly arrive till Tues- 
day, though Phillips had cold beef ready for me, and waited dinner on 
Sunday. On my arrival t found a note from Manners, now British 
consul at Boston, with whom I dined on Chrtstmas-day, in a real Eng- 
lish style. This is a day not universally observed in this country, 
either as to public worship, or private jollifications. As it was the 26th^ 
in the morning with you, before we had left the dinner-table, we drank 
dear Charley's health, and many happy returns of the day. 

On Tuesday night I made my appearance here in Goldfinch and 
Tonson — the reception great, and I was confirmed in my opinion that 
Morhleu is my best part. They huzzaed when the curtain fell. To 
accommodate the disappointed, who could not get in^ the play and 
farce were encored^ and repeated last night with equal effect. As I 
have 501, per night certain, I have not inquired the receipts; but the 
theatre was crammed. It will not bold quite a thousand dollars, but it 
was full. This is the place where they were so capricious to Kean, and 
where he refused to act to a bad house, which was the cause of his 
quitting America ; as he never acted afler. It was for this reason I 
preferred a certainty. You may recollect the circumstance of places 
being sold by auction; the same thing occurred on Thursday. No 
money is taken at the doors ; and, as in Paris, tickets are issued only 
for the number the theatre will hold. The proprietors bind the nla- 
nager down not to sell one more than the stipulated number. On 
great occasions, (of which only four have occurred, Cooke, Phillips,* 
Kean, and myself,) people speculate in buying up tickets. It is mob- 
bing work to purchase them. So that the elbowing and overflowing 
symptoms are displayed of a morning instead of an evening. People 
who dislike this ceremony as much as I (remember, " make room for 
this lady to come out !t) employ porters, &c. — brawny fellows — chaiN 

♦ Mr. Thomas Phillips, the popular singer, now nn able lecturer upon music. 
Mr. Phillips was the first singer of a scientific character that had ever been beard 
in America, where he was as prodigious a favourite as he had been previously in 
London and Dublin.— A. M. 

t Mr. Mathews felt excessive terror when in a crowd. At the time when Mas* 
ter Betty drew such immense houses, in 1804, my husband and I, eager to gain ad- 
mittance on some particular night, and unable to obtain seats previously, agreed 
to take our chance at the entrance of the theatre, with the public. We accord- 
in^y established oarselves there at an early hour. During the aecumulation of 



214 MBHOIIUI OF 

public papers; but mine yon have gfracionily voachaafed to blazon from 
the palpit. 

Yott have, as appears in yoar recently published sermon, declared 
me to be (what hamility telb me I only am in your partial and pre- 
judiced estimation) ^ an actor whom God Almighty sent here as a 
man better qualified than any other in the world, to dissipate every se- 
rious reflection." 

What man! what woman! what child! could resist the efifects of 
«uch a description, coming from such a quarter 7 particularly, as yoUv 
at the same time, assured the laughter-loving inhabitants of this city, 
that the punishment incident to such a " thirst afler dissipation '' had 
been already inflicted by ** their late^calamity," the pestilence,** voracious 
in its thirst of prey /" and you might have added, thirsty in its hunger 
for drink, J^o wonder that the theatre has since been crowded, the 
manager enriched, and the most sanguine expectations of him whom 
you have, perhaps improperly, elevated to the rank of the avenging 
angel so beautifully described by Addison, completely realized I For 
each and all of these results accept, reverend sir, my cordial and grate- 
ful thanks. Nor deem me too avaricious of your favours, if I venture 
to solicit more. As you have expressly averred, in the sermon before 
me, that ** God burnt the theatre of New York, to rebuke the devotees 
of pleasure there resident,''* permit me, your humble avenging angel» 
to inquire, by whom and for what purpose the cathedrals at Rouen and 
.Venice were recently destroyed by fire, and in a manner which more 
especially implicated the hand of Providence? But beware, most re- 
verend sir, I conjure you, lest your doctrines of special dispensations 
^furnish arguments and arms to the scoffer and atheist. 

One other request, and I have done. You appear too well acquainted 
with my peculiarities and propensities not to be aware that, when I 
travel abroad, I am always anxious to collect something original and 
funny wherewith to entertain my friends and patrons ** At Home." 
Now, sir, so little do the American people, in general, differ from their 
parent stock whom it is my object to amuse, that I have as yet scarce- 
ly procured any thing in which these qualities are united, except your 
aforesaid sermon ; you will, therefore, infinitely oblige me, if you will, 
on Sunday next, preach another on the subject of my angelic attri- 
butes; in which case, you may rely on my being a most attentive au- 
ditor. I hope to have thQ opportunity of studying the peculiarities of 
your style and action. The gracefulness and Christian charity, humi- 
lity and universal benevolence, which doubtless beam in your expres- 
sive countenance, will enable me to produce a picture of prodigious 
effect, of which, all who know the original will acknowledge the like- 
ness to be Strong! 

I have, sir, the honour to be, most gratefully, your obliged, angelic, 
jellow-fever-producing friend, 

C. Matbeits. 



CHARLSa lUTBSWS. 215 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 



fiortoD, Dec. 28th, 1839. 

I arrived here in health and safety on Toesday, after a " teagos pas- 
810,'* when I thought I never sboald get to Providence. I was ad- 
vised by Price to go by water, as the most pleasant and convenient, on 
account of my baggage, and that the average passage was about thirty 
or forty hours. I had a horror of two hundred and forty miles by 
land, with the weather so severe as it is here now, and therefore deci- 
dedly preferred it. But the wind was contrary, and we were from 
Thursday morning, nine o'clock, until Monday evening, before we got 
to Providence, where I landed, and proceeded forty miles by land, and 
got there time enough to be too late, for I was advertised to appear on 
Monday evening. Great was the disappointment thereof^ for numbers 
came sixteen miles to see me ; but t could not possibly arrive till Tues- 
day, though Phillips had cold beef ready for me, and waited dinner on 
Sanday. On my arrival t found a note from Manners, now British 
consul at Boston, with whom 1 dined on Christmas-day, in a real Eng- 
lish style. This is a day not universally observed in this country, 
either as to public worship, or private jollifications. As it was the 36th^ 
in the morning with you, before we had left the dinner-table, we drank 
dear Charley's health, and many happy returns of the day. 

On Tuesday night I made my appearance here in Gol^nch and 
Tonaon — the reception great, and I was con6rmed in my opinion that 
Morhleu is my best part. They huzzaed when the curtain fell. To 
accommodate the disappointed, who could not get in, the play and 
farce were encored^ and repeated last night with equal effect. As I 
have 501, per night certain, I have not inquired the receipts ; but the 
theatre was crammed. It will not bold quite a thousand dollars, but it 
was full. This is the place where they were so capricious to Kean, and 
where he refused to act to a bad house, which was the cause of his 
quitting America ; as he never acted after. It was for this reason I 
preferred a certainty. You may recollect the circumstance of places 
being sold by auction; the same thing occurred on Thursday. No 
money is taken at the doors ; and, as in Paris, tickets are issued only 
for the number the theatre will hold. The proprietors bind the ma- 
nager down not to sell one more than the stipulated number. On 
great occasions, (of which only four have occurred, Cooke, Phillips,* 
Kean, and myself,) people speculate in buying up tickets. It is mob- 
bing work to purchase them. So that the elbowing and overflowing 
symptoms are displayed of a morning instead of an evening. People 
who dislike this ceremony as much as I (remember, " make room for 
this lady to come out !t) employ porters, &.c* — brawny fellows — chalt- 

«■ 

* Mr. Thomas Phillips, the popular singer, now on able lecturer upon music. 
Mr. Phillips was the first singer of a scientific character that had ever been heard 
in America, where he was as prodigious a favourite as lie had been previously in 
London and Dublin. —A. M. 

t Mr. Mathews felt excessive terror when in a crowd. At the time when Mas* 
ter Betty drew such immense houses, in 1804> my husband and I, eager to gain ad- 
mittance on some particular night, and unable to obtain seats previously, agreed 
to take our chance at the entrance of the theatre, with the public. We accord- 
ingly established ourselves there at an early hour. During the accumulation of 



^18 HKMOIRS OF 

«« What is the owner's name? "— " William ThompwnV' 

* Have you some lady on board ?** — " Yes.** 

••What is her naraeV"— " Afrs. ThompsonP* 

" Diable !" was roared througrh the trumpet, to the great amusemenC 
of our crew. He then consented to come near enough to us for the 
letter to be thrown on board which I had written to you. A weight 
was attached to it ; but alas ! the marksman failed. The mate under- 
took to throw it clean into the French vessel; but it fell short a yard 
or two, and my long, laborious, clever^ and very entertaining letter met 
a watery gravel 

I arrived at New York after a very pleasant passage of thirty-five 
days, on the 5th of September. I presume you have heard from my 
wife of the unfortunate circumstances under which I landed. I have 
seen accounts in the English papers of the yellow fever in America, 
and of course they have reached you in Paris. I will flatter myself, 
though I am not entitled to your thoughts, that you felt for my situa- 
tion. Nothing could be more appalling than the intelligence as first 
communicated to me by two fishermen, about a hundred miles firom 
New York, " What news ?"— »» Yellow fever at New York, I guess." 
— »» Fatal ?" — »* I reckon it is," — " Many deaths ?"— "One hundred and 
forty every twenty -four hours, I suppose." — " Have the inhabitants re- 
mained ?" — "Fifty thousand, or somewheres therea ways, have quit right 
away." — The number of deaths was an exaggeration; but we found 
quite enough of the intelligence true to induce me to give up all 
thoughts of going on shore in the city. 

As we approached the harbour, the desolating effects of the pesti- 
lence were too apparent to render the fisherman's tale doubtful. The 
quays of the city are very commodious : and, as I have since seen 
them, greatly calculated to impress a stranger with notions of wealth, 
extended commerce, bustle, and activity^ Imagine the effect of a sab- 
bath-like silence in such a situation to those who could contrast its pre- 
sent quiet with its former life. Imagine (though we have no quays to 
allow the comparison,) but, suppose irom the Thames, or one of the 
bridges, that you could look at the banks of the river, and into the 
streets, thence to the Strand, and that no one inhabitant was to bo seen 
between Westminster and Blackfriars; you may then form some no- 
Uon of the melancholy scene that presented itself to my eyes, with all 
its distressing associations. Pompeii could not be more awfully still; 
for one quarter of the oity was, by general command, depopulated. 
This was called the infected district. I fled for safety and for succour, 
to Baltimore, where I made my d^but about three weeks after my ar- 
rival. This was commencing operations at Doncaster, instead of 
making the impression in London. I spent nearly ten days before I 
discovered that the fever raged there also, and more fatally; but it was 
cautiously concealed from strangers, and passed under another nanie 
—the fatal visiter had an alias. I will not attempt to enter into the' 
causes of this disgusting fact, but be assured of its truth. While 
the magistracy and Board of Health of New York proclaimed the ra- 
vages of the disease, and warned strangers from approaching their 
shores, the Baltimorians received strangers with open arms, and 
proclaimed that their city was healthy ! Nay, the press of the two 
cities entered into a kind of party controversy, and twitted each 
other with the pestilence, as if it were a political error, for which 
the government ought to be rendered kccountable. Notwithstanding 
this calamity, I opened to a great house. The second and third were 



OHARLKS MATHBW8. 919 

equally good ; but they fell oif. How is this 7 At length, pride and good 
feeling towards me (added to my reading in a Baltimore paper weekly re- 
port of deaths— * Palsy, 1; ague, 4; bilious malignant fever, 46 ;*) brought 
farther truth. I was congratulated on my 1000 dollar benefit. Prodigious! 
wider all circumstances, — coming at such a time. •* How V* — ** Why, 
sir, our epidemic." — '* Oh, oh i I begin to perceive. But why don't 
you call it by its proper name?*' Mi,rk one answer — ** Ah, the New 
York people ean afford to lose their trade for one year. Baltimore has 
•offered too much; wo canH afford to drive away merchants and 
strangers at this time of the year." I leave your imagination to fill up 
the rest of the canvass; you can fully understand what were my sen. 
sations when I discovered the dreadful truth. 

My success at New York was triumphant; during sixteen nights, 
great houses; from 1200 to 1800 dollars nightly; a most joyous audi- 
ence; and the attentions paid me in private have been equally flatter- 
ing. The upper orders of society are very pleasing, and infinitely 
more polished than it is the fashion to believe in Europe. They have 
less fun than the grave English ; not a very quick perception of hu- 
mour, and are apparently dead to the fascinations of punning. Their 
gravity almost amounts to melancholy; and, therefore, it is hopeless 
to expect sport in fishing for character. I have thrown many lines into 
their calm unruffled streams, and have not been negligent in attending 
■to the nicety of my baits, but I have not caught any thing. I should 
have been delighted at a bite, but I have not even been solaced by a 
nibble. However,! have not thrown away my hooks in despair; my 
rods are not yet laid by for the season. 

As to the lower orders, I know not where they are to be found. I 
know no bait that will tempt them from their lurking-places. The 
servants, waiters, porters, &c., are nearly all "niggars;" the hackney- 
coachmen, nearly all Irish or Scotch, There are apparently no poor— 
certainly no beggars. The American is too proud and independent to 
accept a menial situation. He will not be called servant, nor allow 
that he has a master. As to liberty and independence, " rare words,'* 
I am convinced that it is only productive of one- very apparent effect, 
which is, to render the rich and educated, slaves to their inferiors ; at 
least, to their absurd notions. I dare say you have, amongst others 
of my friends, wondered why. I should go to America. It was an ir- 
resistible impulse. If I am to believe a clergyman of the Dutch Re- 
formed Church, who has been preaching at me because I perform to 
fuller bouees than he does, I could not possibly avoid it, as I was sent 
here for a special purpose. This gentleman undertakes to point out 
the causes of the late calamity, and pretends to have discovered the 
sins that have excited the vengeance of the Great Creator. I have 
been here about a fortnight, and shall remain three weeks longer ; then 
to New York, and thence to Philadelphia. If you should be inclined 
to treat a poor fellow with a letter, which will be doubly dear to him 
from its journeying three thousand miles, why so— it will be well re- 
ceived. How difficult it is to fiincy the situation of those who are 
dear to us, at such a distance ! Well, well.! I must hope and hope, 
and look forward to that delicious moment when I may pop upon you 
all once more. I see you all now, I do. Oh, how I should like to open 
a door slily this afternoon, and say, ** Ah!'* to those dear little roarers 
that were wont to be such an audience at Briton Ferry ! God bless 
them all! and you, my dear Mr. and Mrs. Rolls, and Mrs. Barnet, and 



)tM KSKOIM OF 

Murs Sherrat Remember me kindly to every body; and be awared, 
that though I have been silent, you have always been present to nay 
sweetest recolleetions, and that I am, and always shall be, meet f raAe- 
fiilly, and sineerely yours, 

C. MiL-niBwa. 
Thermometer two degrees below zero^ 



TO MBS.- MATHEWS. 

Boston, Jan. |3th, 1823, 
alias, Frozen Regions. 

If you can hold a pen, dare to go from one room to another, or to 
open your mouth without the fear of your woi;d8 being frozen up-4f 
you can exert any of your energies, then pity me as I envy you in 
such a case. This is the most trying climato that I ever imagined. 
In short, all you have read of Russia will apply to it. The water jug, 
ftom which I had taken water to wash my hands, at four o'clock, was 
frozen at seven so hard, that I could not break it. I bear it as well as 
can be expected ; that is to say, I have not had the slightest symptom 
of cold. I have gone through my work with health and strength; but 
I cannot go out, for I am afraid to walk, and have no desire to try their 
sleighing— for sUishing and killing are synonymous terms with me. 
I have once or twice experienced the sensation in their hacks here, 
which are taken off their wheels and placed upon runnefs, as they call 
them, for, not one pair of wheels is to be seen in the town. Indeed, 
they could not possibly get through the accumulation of snow. These 
people are all happy, and as merry as Americans can affect to be; that 
Tcxes me, who can only make myself happy by anticipating a thaw, 
and death to their mad frolics in their sleighs. They whisk along at about 
the rate of twelves miles an hour, and in open carriages like the half 
of a boat. So fond are they of the sport, that it is common for parties 
to go out at night ten or fifteen miles to adjacent villages, dance there, 
and then return in these open sleighs. Funny people ! they declare 
it is right arnest fun. I" believe it is all they enjoy; so rest them 
merry! 

The society here (the upper ranks«~l have literally had no intercourse 
with any other) is quite delightful. Washington Irving's letters here 
afforded two or three delightful days. At two houses in particular, 1 
will boldly say, that in no part of the world where I have travelled, 
have I seen ** the thing done in better style," as they say in England, 
aa to dinners, servants, furniture, literary conversation, &c. It is im- 
possible, however prejudiced a man may be, to leave one of the houses 
of the first people here, or at New York, and make such remarks as 
■ did. A man might with equal justice speak of Irish manners 

generally from the specimens of it among Dublin shopkeepers. Talk* 
ing^of Irish manners puts me in mind of English Manners. H&is 
Cmsul here, and as I met him wherever I went in old times, of course 
we have plenty to say to each other. He has a very pleasant family, 
and is a great solace to me during this miserable weather. 

The **Trip to Paris" made an immense hit here, and places for the 



CHiUtLEB MATHBWS. 29> 

Mcaad niffht of it, to-morrow, were fold by auction yesterday, at from 
IS to 17 dollars for the first choice. This is the place where Kean 
loet himself. He had first complimented them in a speech, and called 
the city the literary emporium of the New World, and afterwards got 
drunk, and would not play to a thin house. I have beat Kean here in 
receipts. 

C. Mathkws.. 



TO a«lS. MATHEWS. 

Boston, Jan. 20tb, 1823: 

I shall complete my engagement, having renewed for four nights, 
on Wednesday next ; which will make sixteen nights at 50/. a night, 
or 800/. I never had such a compliment paid me as in this place. 
Two or three of the nights would have ruined any other theatrical 
speculation cither in America or elsewhere, — the tremendous falls of 
snow and sheet ice almost rendering it impossible to walk. Yet on 
some of these nights people came from Salem^ in open sleighs (sixteen 
miles!) and we have not had one indifferent house. It is very com- 
mon to close the theatre at New York in the months of January and 
February ; this I have found out since T arrived. I therefore don*t 
play there under a certainty now. I act six nights before I go to Phi- 
ladelphia, at ,50/. a night. There I have most delightful quarters. A 
little scrap has just been put into my hands, from a newspaper, in 
which I am introduced. li is in a letter written by one of the profes- 
sors of Cambridge College here, on the subject of a mermaid. A dra- 
gon had been exhibited here, which, with your mermaid, he puts down 
as impositions ; but concludes the article thus : 

" I know but one natural production from abroad that can maintain 
its standing, and which can be viewed, examined, and reviewed again 
and again with increased satisfaction, and wonder, and that is Mathews, 
He is BO far out of the common course of ordinary crealures, that he 
is absolutely and literally speaking a Lu8U8 Naturae or test of Na- 
ture." 

C. Mathews.. 



TO> MRS. MATHEWS; 

fioston, Jan^ dStfa, 1823. 

Here I am still at Boston. This is my last night. . I wish you could^ 
see me play Monsieur Tonson ; it is certainly the very best thing I 
ever did. It is such a favourite here, that I am pressed to take it for 
my benefit. In this place so many persons will not go to a theatre, 
who still wish to see me, that I am invited to give a night in a concert 
haU, which I am told will be greatly attended. No clergyman darcu 

19* 



204 HEMOIRS OP 

foa the wzetohed eflTect of the regular report of relation, friends^ Sec. 
at Washington. I inquired for Mr. Law, a nephew of Lord Ellen* 
borough, to whom I had a letter. Knocked at the door, — *' Oh/ my 
maater*8 ckad/** Inquired for Mr. Paterson, to whom' I had a letter 
from Washington Irving, — " Oat of town,** Engaged to dine with 
Mrs. Paterson, in his absence, — excuse stated, the '*8ister dead/** 
" General Ridgley^s compliments to Mr. Mathews-*-honour of his com- 
pany to dinner on Friday." Friday arrives, — " General Ridgky*8 com- 
pliments, — sorry, but t/ie deat/i of /lis daugkier prevents,** &c. On my 
return from Washington, I actually went, letter in hand, to Mr. Pater- 
son,-^" OA/ Sir, my master died last nig/U/** I will close here. 
You will understand what I have felt. 'Tis now over; but be satisfied 
of this, that this disease never existed in July, August, or September, 
and from this month the climate is very healthy. The present month 
is particularly delicious, — warm nights and Italian days. The sun is 
now shining with splendour and brightness, without a cloud, and no 
heat. 

Now to turn to the bright part of the picture. I have made my ap- 
pearance here, and have made a prodigious hit. Price has just shown 
himself a capital politician. You know how I fought against appear- 
ing in the regular drama, and had determined, up to the time! saw 
him in Baltimore, that I would not be moved from my fixed resolve. 
The Baltimore audience, however, were noisy^ and they drove me from 
my tabic, and I took to the drama in despair; for I was out of heart, 
out of humour, and out of pocket. So I acted Duberly* and the " Polly 
Packet^** — Solomon Gun^y^\ and ^^ Diligence,** Monsieur Tonson. I 
think I told you I had acted with great effect, — certainly one of my 
very best efForts in or out of the legitimate line. Well, Price saw me 
act Goldfinch and Tonson one night, and came round and said, ^* Those, 
Sir, are the two parts you open in at New York; they have seen no- 
thing like your Goldfinch^X Sir, and it must be so." I gave way; for, 
to say truth, I had doubts that all American audiences were like Hal- 
timore; and, in that case, I had long seeretly determined to em- 
bark at New York, and sneak home again. Nothing, however, 
can be more -complete than the contrast, — nothing more brilliant 
and decisive than my success. I opened to the greatest stock 
house ever known, — much greater than that of Cooke or Kean. Near- 
ly 1,800 dollars ! My reception was more than rapturous; /never 
recollect any thing more joyous in my life. They infused me v?ith 
, fun ; I was in tip-top spirits ; and the songs were hailed with shouts. 
The Tonson was equal in effect to the most successful of my former 
personations; and at the dropping of the curtain, huzzas cheered my 
efforts. This was an important night, as you say, and I am sorry that 
it was not the second communication, as you anticipated ; but I am 
content. The whole tone of my future proceedings will be taken from 
this night. This is the London of America; and [ was forced to play 
atDoncastcr^rs^ All the places were takert for my benefit. There- 
fore, Price csLlculated cleverly, that to he\ix\ the entertainments until 
my second engagement, would be throwing them away. I have my 
benefit on the eighth night, — then make a fresh engagement with all 

■ " Lord Diiberly in the *' HeiP4t-Law." 
t In " Who wants a Guinea."— A. M« 
% In ** The Road to Rain.*'— A. M. 



CHAKLSS MATHKWS. 30B 

ny novelty. Now we have had 1600 doUari to ••The Heir-at-Lav,** 
am Beoond nigfat of Tmson, Rely upon it, the basinefs is done, and 
mj expedition will be comj^etely Buecefusful. Of the Iom of time w» 
most not think. ' 

Love to dear Charles; and say how I rejoice that he has obtained 
the Dolphin Classics. 1 beg that he may be indulged to his wish in 
fRMh parsuits, dariag my absenee. God bless yoa both, prays daily 
your truly afTectionate 

C. MATSEWSk 



to MR. MILLERv 

New Yotki Now l5th, 1822. 
Dbar Miller, 

In happier times I now address you. Here We are — confidenee re- 
• stored — fever gope — infected district once more partly inhabited. I 
firmly believe you know nothing of the horrors of the yellow fever by 
newspaper report ; for it appears, as far as I have read, to have created 
little sensation or interest in England, and up to the 27th of Septem- 
ber, 1 am happy to find the news had not reached Highgate. My 
greatest unhappiness was the anticipation of the probable effect of the 
calamity on ray family. I wrote to you m a great hurry, and informed 
you that I had taken up my quarters at Hoboken, where I remained 
one nights You have not been here at the time of such a misery; and 
therefore you have not been an eye-witness of the more than childish 
weakness of the natives respecting this scourgev Every individual is 
as sore upon the subject as the » aro about dirt; It is not conta- 
gious, he swears : and 3ret he makes every creature perform quaran- 
tine that comes from the infected city. 1 thought myself secure at 
Hoboken ; I was told I was the only lodger. A young man presented 
himself at tea, argued against contagion, and, with most dramatic 
effect upon me, added, ** For instance, I was the only person who 
caught it of my mother, who died of it.'* — ^**What, then I you have 
had it?"-^"Oh, yes! Just recovered firom it; and am staying here 
for five days, that I may swear I have left New York so long, or they 
will not let me into Philadelphia!" I ran away next day to Bristol; 
gave my berth to a poor fellow.passenger in the William Thompson^ 
and Englishman. He dieci in three weeks ; bnt it was " not yellow fe« 
ver." Mr. Simpson was sici.— Price swears it was pleurisy. Now, I 
am here, it is confessed that it was the yellow fever. Mr. Wood en- 
gaged me for Baltimore. — »*Our city is healthy; the fewest deaths."— 
During three weeks' residence there were thirty-three deaths weekly. 
.One week there were forty-five^ — ^by " bilious fever !" The press ma- 
naged it there; here they are not so daring. They prodalM it; thou- 
sands fied, and one part of the city was totally depopulated ; barriers 
were erected to prevent all intercourse; and now they tell you that 
only three hundred died. Why ?— <i>because the inhabitants did not re* 
main, and place their faitii in the dedaimers for no contagion. Br. 
Paterson, of Baltimore, told me that the disease there was decidedly 
yellow fever. Hoover, I thank GkKi» I havt never been neh^ as they 
VOL. I. — 18 



224 loiions oc- 



CHAPTER XVI. 



Interview at Boston between Mr. Mathews and an old friend of his Fa- 
ther.— Letter from that Gentleman to Mt. Mathews. — Letters to Mrs. 
Mathews; Travelling in the United Slates; Anecdote; Recovery of 
the lost Brooch; Intense Cold; Dialogue between Mr. Price and Mr. 
Mathews; Action for Libel against an Editor at Boston. — Portrait of 
Kemble in Caio. — Lord Blessington. — Sir Thomas Lawrence; an 
agreeable Surprise. 

While my husband was at Boston, an old friend of his 
father introduced himself to him. He was a dissenting minis- 
ter, and one of those who enforced their opinions by the 
mildness and liberality of their language and manner. Such 
a one, with all my husband's early distaste of the unwashed 
part of the community, he received with more than common 
respect and attention; and a very long and interesting interview 
took place. A few days after, Mr. Mathews being on the 
eve of his departure for New York, the following interesting 
and amiable letter was delivered to him from Mr. Sabine, the 
clergyman alluded to, and much I. regret that I do not possess 
a copy of the answer to it: 



TO, C. MATHEWS, ESQ.. 

Boston, N. E., Elliot Street,. 
Feb. 1st, 1823. 
Mr DEAR Sir, 

The half-hour'A conversation with which you favoured me the other 
day, has brought so many »» things of other days" to my mind, that I 
cannot persuade myself to dismiss you and them without tendering 
again my best wishes for your happiness and {>ro8perity. I have Uken 
the liberty also to send you a sermon, preached by me, on the last 
State thanksgiving-day. I have so dune for two reaaons: first, yoa. 



cHASLBs turmttwB. 225 

will rdeeive it on Sunday, — perhaps yon will be |frave enough to give 
a aermon a reading on such a day, especially as it is one sent yon by 
a ooontryman ; and then, there is something in it directly on the sab- 
ject to which we alluded when we eonverseaonthe New England chap 
racter. In this particular, New England people and English Dissenters 
are much alike. 

"The theatre has never received, and perhaps will never receive much 
support from them. The views and feelidgs of your good old lather 
(now in a happier world,) are too well known to you to render it ne- 
cessary for m^ to add another word on that head. The patronage, how- 
ever, which you have enjoyed in this grave city, must prove to yoa 
that there are many so far' weaned from the prejudices aud habits of 
the old folks, as to relish the wit and mirth of the English stage. Yet, 
still I am under a persuasion, that a noore moral and sober age is too 
&st advancing upon us to admit of theatrical success in this region, I 
should not wonder if Boston Theatre, before the lapse of seven years, 
were in the hands of the religious community,, and converted into a 
church. Would it fill you with any regret should you hear, a few 
years hence, when mellowing into age, that your countryman was 
calling them to repentance and to tears, on that very spot on which you 
in younger days made so many laugh, and forget almost that they 
were immortal 7 And how delighted should I be to hear that you had 
withdrawn so much wit and talent from the focus of public amusement 
— fitf your quota I am sure you have amply rendered — and directed them, • 
even at your term of life, to a more moral purpose. I am not, my dear 
sir, dealing out censur^, I am rather as a Christian asking the residue 
of your powers to be engaged in a service which will repay you, and 
the world too, a thousand fold beyond all that has been rendered hither- 
to in the former course. A man of your turn cannot fall back upon 
himself, and feast on private life ; you must, to old age, be a public 
man. I would that that taste for public beneflt should at length be con- 
. secrated to religion and the immortal interests of men« Will you not 
be persuaded again to visit the Holy Land, and review the records of 
apostolic acts, to allow yourself to be charmed with the astonishing ef- 
fects produced by the powers of a singrte disciple of our Saviour, who 
at one exhibition of his talents (endued with power from on high, it is 
true) captivated three thousand, and made them 'his stated attendants, 
which Mr. Mathews has never yet done, but much like which he may 
do, if he can address by the same rule and speak the same thing. 

When I began this scrawl I had not measured out this drill, but, as 
it has gone so you will take it, as coming out of the rightplaoe, 9, good 
and honest heart. What I intended to have said was this :—>If you 
should be disposed to hear a sermon, and should be able to reach Boyl- 
ston Hall in the afternoon, you may hear a preacher somewhat after 
the fashion of your good old-fashioned father, whose memory I revere, 
and whom I should gladly serve in the person of his son. May a gra- 
cious Providence preserve you from all evili^ and in due time restore 
you to your country and to your family, and add to you every other 
blessing for both worlds! prays, my dear sir. 

Yours respectfuJly and affectionately, 

Jahks Sabine. 



226 MBMonurov 



TO MRS. MATHKWS. 

New York, Feb. 7tb, 1823. 

' Here I am once more in New York, at my old qaarters, comfortably 
lodged. I l^efl Boston on Sand^y, and' arrived here yesterday, two hun- 
dred and forty miles. Thermometer eight degrees below zero ! Most 
fortunately, a gentleman (really a gentleman,) and his wife,* a colonel, 
and navat officer, had hired a coach to themselves. I was invited to 
join the party. Chartering a stage-coach here is the only imitation the 
Americans have of posting. It means merely, that you keep out all 
passengers by paying for the whole coach, and stop When and where 
you like. No language cen convey to you the horrors of travelling 
in this country. Though their winters are like Siberia, because their 
summers are like the East Indies, they only provide themselves against 
heat. I don^ believe there is a carriage in the country covered all over 
so as to keep out the air. All descriptions of carriages are open in 
summer, and they have only temporary covering for winter. No pa- 
nels fike ours. It is impossible, therefore, to be warm. The houses, 
generally speaking, are of the same description. I slept in a bed on 
the road without even posts for curtains, — a regular hospital bed ; but 
not so good as those in St. George's Hospital. There was no fire- 
place in the room. When I arose in the morning I was obliged to 
call one of our party to button my waistcoat, my fingers were com- 
pletely frost-bitten. With all this the atmosphere is delightfully cheer- 
ing; an Italian sky, and days without even a cloud. You know how 
valuable this is to me, and when. I can be in actton I bear the climate 
well. The wretched rlnglish who have been lured here, and have not 
the means of getting back, are pictures of misery and despair. The 
second and third year is sure to make inroads on their constitution. 
They all bear the first summer and winter well. I am much delighted 
to find Klliston has been so attentive to you. 

I enclose you a bill for 2000^ sterling, which I wish to be sent to 
Rowland Sttjphenson'the moment you receive it.. I wrote you by the 
Ist February packet to apprize you of the note to Arnold for 1200Z. 
being due in March.t It is to be taken out of the sum enclosed. I 
send this directed to Mr. Freeling; and, by the time I get your ac- 
knowledgment of it, I shall be thinking of moving towards Europe. 
God bless you and my dear boy. 

C. Mathkws. 

* Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Elliot of Boston.— A, M. 

t It will be remembered that Mr. Mathe we had enfiaged to pay Mr. Arnold 90QOA 
besidofl an additional season, for his permission to visit America.—A. M. 



CHABUS XATHEWS. 227 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 



Philadelphia, Feb. 17th» 1823. 

You must not feel yourself neglected, hurt, or jealous of my long 
eonununication to Smith, if this letter is short or dull, for it is only two 
days since I sent you off a large packet. I have made a great hit here, 
and my anxieties are all over. This is the last large city in which I 
shall actj and therefore I have no fidget left about first appearances. It 
was very lucky for me that Price lent me ** Monsieur Tonson*' to read 
during our passage. It has been a great bit for me in the drama; and 
the drama has been my main stay. Any thing like a tour with my 
own entertainment would have been impossible, I want a word 
stronger than that to express it There are many reasons for this, but 
the first, like Apollo Belvi*s, is enough. There is no regular convey- 
ance for luggagCf^and the proprietors of coaches will not be answera- 
ble for the loss of any article whatever. There are no stage-wagons, 
and almost all traffic is carried on by steam-boats; and in the winter 
months their rivers are entirely frozen up, so as to prevent navigation. 
In every place I have visited disappointment has been experienced, 
which but for the drama would have been fatal. At Baltimore my 
" Polly Packet " scene was a week afler the lime. At Boston the peo- 
ple were dismissed afler assembling about the doors, fur neither I nor 
my baggage had come, and I went by water with them to make all 
sure. We were too late. I shipped off all the machinery and dresses 
belonging to my own work, to go round by sea (the only way) on the 
1st of February, to New York, — played there on 7th, — not arrived! 
In each night^s bill the "Packet Diligence; a Christmas at Brighton,'* 
advertised for the next. The drama was perforce substituted, and I 
was compelled to study fheoi Jarvie^ in which I made a hit. When I 
lefl, they had not arrived, and we have only just heard of their safety. 
Now, they must be shipped to this place, so that a month has elapsed 
since their departure. Had I determined not to act, this would have 
been ruin. There is no help for it, but I luckily have not suffered. It 
was curious that a few days only before the arrival of your bit of scar- 
let silk, I had purchased a crape dress of nearly that colour, one of the 
most beautiful things I ever saw, and that I am sure you will like for 
a winter dress, one of white, and one of a. pearl quakerish colour, quite 
to your taste ; and also two scarfs, I think they are called. I wilh con- 
sult Mrs. Price about the shawls. Carved combs are scarce in Phila- 
delphia, but I will attend to this commission in New York. 

I must give you a little anecdote, in general circulation here, which 
is rather amusing, more as a picture lot the fancy to realize than a 
story of point. It is told as an instance of my " wonderful powers." 
There is a physician here of the name of Chapman, to whom I had a 
letter from Washington Irving. I saw him in September last, and had 
him instantly, and indulged in imitating him. When I went through 

in October, I gave this imitation at a party here; for like P s at 

Liverpool, every body knew him, and it was equally droll. A gentle- 
man present not only laughed then, but when he went home he laughed 
again at the recollection so immoderately, that hi« wife really thought 



228 MMdiRS OF 

he had an hysteric fit. In perfect alarm, she sent the servant off for 
their physician. He was from home ; and the servant thinking his 
master dying, did not stop till he found a doctor. Just as the patient 
was recovering from the effects of the counterfeit doctor, in came the 
real Dr. Chapman; and when the patient beard the sound of his voice, 
,)ie was off again^ and was actually very near being bled while in his 
second fit. — A firat! 

C. Mathews. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

New York> Feb. 15th, 1823. 

I am delighted to hear of the attentions you receive. Your last but 
one, dated December 28th, made me uneasy, as I perceived, through- 
out, symptoms of an unquiet mind; and you dwelt much upon the 

— ' — '- and . I do not think there is any deceit about such 

people. Why do you look for sincerity? You never liked either of 
these persons, and surely you must suppose they have found it out be- 
fore now. The world, generally speaking, is made up of such ac- 
quaintances as these, and I cannot think they are peculiar to me. 
Your reflection upon what Dr. Hooper said is somewhat more serious? 
and I think his observations wercj at all events, useless! The time to 
give you such a caution would be when 1 am projecting another tour. 
I am certain you feel too much confidence in my affection to allow it to 
be shaken by dreams. Distance only tends to rivet that genuine love 
that 1 have always cherished for you. I never really loved any other 
woman; and your image is as dear to me as it is constantly before me, 
waking or sleeping. The most ardent and enthusiastic lover could not 
be more sincere in his devotion to his "mistress's eyebrow " than I am 
to thine, when I gaze on it nightly and implore God to bless you! I 
only live at this distance by the perspective view of my happiness in 
dwelling again with you; and the prospect of a day arriving, when there 
cannot be a necessity for even a temporary separation. In the present 
instance, your duty to our dear boy was paramount. Your conscience 
dictated to you the path to take in your ** divided duty;" and you did 
for the best. You present to me my^hild improved by your guardian- 
ship; and place firm reliance on finding your husband with his affec- 
tion for you unshaken by any otiier attraction, and rather confijmed 
than diminished by absence. By the by, I must relate to you a cir- 
cumstance tliat occurred with respect to the eye on which I so often 
dwell. I had called on a gentleman in Philadelphia, who had said 
"Your brooch is loose;" and I had replaced it with safety. I walked 
from his house to a distance of half a mile or more, to the house of 
another friend, to whom 1 had a letter. No sooner had I entered, than, 
on looking in the glass to put my hair in trim, I missed the brooch. 
My behaviour during my short stay was (apparently, I dare say) so 
absurd that my company was not desirable. Such agitation about a 
trifle, I have no doubt, excited their laughter. To me the Um of that 



CHARLES XATHEWi; 229 

«2f e which conveys tome the image of *<her I lore," was iitepAraMe. It 
was a serioos cahmaitj, and would hare destroyed my peace and com- 
fort. I lef^ the house in a state of alarm and agitation, feeling that if 
I did not again find the lost article, I should be superstitious, and be- 
lieve some misfortune had befallen you. I walked slowly; luckily it 
was not in a much frequented part of the city, and in a part unpaved. 
I retraced my steps, and looked, and looked, but without hope! At 
last, I remembered a particular part of a street where I had crossed, 
from a curious bill on a lamp-post, which was headed ** Twenty Dol- 
lars Reward!" I returned^ and close by the post lay thfe darling ob- 
ject of my search, after it had been lost at least twenty minutes. You 
may fancy my self-cong^tulations on my good fortune. 

I give Arnold great credit for his " ideas," which nobody else could 
have thought of,-*-*< keeping a journal, and dwelling upon such cha- 
racters as I may think likely to be effective," is an admirable thought. 
What a pity I had not done it before, — perhaps the «* Youthful Days " 
might have been effective, and the *< Scotchwoman " popular. The 
"opinion "that it should be my own real adventures is a most inge- 
nious and admirable thought. Seriously though, every thing Smith 
suggests, to the minutest atom, has occurred to me: and the « Dili- 
gence'* plan appears to me the only chance I have of character or fun. 
You might as well look for either in a Quaker's meeting, as among the 
people here. Yet materials I can find. As to Congress, the only con- 
dition I have is to go four hundred miles through the snow. They 
close on the third of Ifarch; and all the orators of the globe would not 
induce me to go so far at this time of the year. Eighty miles I must 
go^ to Philadelphia, next Wednesday; but no farther till the winter 
disappears. You seem to have had a touch in England, thougli you 
don't mention it in your December letter; but " I see by the papers " 
there had been lots of skating and drowning in the Parks, before the 
latter end of that month. 

- Remember me most kindly to my very dear old friend, Sir John 
Can*, and say how much flattered I am by his kind recollections. His 
letter to you, I find, shows I am to blame in living out of town. The 
<*Siberi Paradise," is a hint What would he do in this country?* 
Tell him from me to comfort himself by comparison; one week here 
would make him long for his Asiatic, Gothic, or Salamander retreat. 
On the road from Boston here, I slept at an inn; when I arose my fin- 
gers and nose were completely frost-bitten. I applied the former to 
the latter. Each was insensible to the touch of the other. Never did 
I witness such a want of feeling in members of the same family. 

We must now be satisfied; it is in vain to lament. The fever— the 
fever was ruin to my hopes! I am well. Had I got the money before 
the contagion broke out, you might have received the assets without 
poor me; now I hope you will get me safe, and not wUkoui mone^. 
But the vanity of the English actors has overrated the means of this 
country as to theatricals. New York is the only great town, and at 
this season of the year it is common to close it for two months; for 
the people can't eet to the play. The actors from England, who are 
regularly engageo, are told that their engagementis subjectto that de- 

* Sir John Canr bad a ffeat araad of mM«>-A. M . 
VOL. I.— 20 



280 HMKOBfOr 

doctiaki, if a itfvwe Winter^ tnd titeti «t all etenlii tii^only get half 
nlaries during Jariuaiy aed Fcbmafj* Nehhcr Phill^M nor Baiiley 
eter told me Uiis. 

The following pithy dialogue took place between Price and myself, 
which will let you into my mture plans:— *<Well> sir, what think you 
of Boston?"— ** Why, the success was most unprecedented; that is^ they 
did all they could; they made serenteen good houses for Boston. But 
what is it? They stare with wonder at a suocession of houses avera- 
ging 750 dollars. This doea not, with their shamefiil charge, give me 
SOL per night"— ."But I do!"— '« True; but you lose by me." — 
"That's my business."— «« Are you wdling to do m, still?"— ** To 
take my chance, I am."— ** Well, it comes to this, if I sm not insured 
50/. sterling, lUl go back, Til go back directly."— *< Then I will bind 
myself to give it you for as many nights as you can act." — •* I>one!" 
And it is done; and well ibr me, be assured, lie then proposed four 
nights here in my way to Philadelphia. I opened to 800 doUan. 
« Great! immense! O, sir, we have not seen such a house since you 
left us!" That would not give me SOL nor any thing like it. The 
second, TOO; last night, not 400,— a faH of deep snow, from morning' 
till night, and the wind enough to blow the carriages over. Had I not 
been here, tlie theatre would have been closed! 

Your advice about Mr. Freeling* comes rather late. I have occa- 
sionally acted upon it, and shall do so now invariably. He is a real 
good fellow; and 1 have told him what I think of him. An encomium 
of his upon me, to a gentleman here, that he never expected to meet 
my eye^ by accident got into print. An extract from his letler was 
published by an editor to whom I brought a letter from Washington 
Irving. He heard it read, it seems, and, with a good intention, 
betrayed a private communication. No person suffered by it; but it 
was not carted, 

I have already, I believe, explained to you the nteeigUy of my 
acting. I owe much to OMfinth^'^-evtry thing to 7bru«n, which has 
been my sheet-anchor. But the legitimate drama is in this city my 
main stay* I have studied the BaUUe JatvUg and I am sure that the 
London people never saw me act Their want of encouragement 
paralysed my powers. It was a treat to me to be allowed to exhibit 
myself as I wish. Here they say it was the BaiUit of the Novelist I 
fek that it was; and I am more pleased than they imagine. 

Tour advice came^ like other hints, rather behind time. As to not 
being persuaded into opening in Qoldfinehf if 1 had not^ my occupation 
would have been gone. All is for the best Price is an excellent 
judge. 1 have avoided the ** Table-talk " as a pestilence this trip* I 
should have been frozen,— in a twofold way. 

Hie papers nay inform you that I have brought an action against an 
editor at Boston ibr a libeL I came out of the charges wiUi glory, 
leaving my calumniator with the chaiacter of a poltroon as well «b a 
liar. I have left him d ia Jbrcf/f but to pay more, I have no doubt. 



* Tbs lateffir Amncis Viaettaff. a gaDttemaft beloved by all who liad tlie bappineta 
ofknowijithim.-A.M. **^ 

t This is an alloaioii to an action, ia 1817, broagbt by a Mr. Fbrd Ibr defknia- 
lioa, wbsn tlie plaiMiff was awartsd Is. iuMfsa^A. M. 



CHAKLB8 UATBMWn. 231 

Ood preseire thee, my dearest wife; love to dear Charley. Yours un- 
alterably, and with tiie sineereit affection, 

C. Mathbws. 



TO MRS« MATHEWS. 

New York, Feb. 20th, 1823. 

I have the pleasure of announcing another arrival, which supplies 
Journal from November 29tli, to December 4th, by Amity. The 
Bfanhattan, which is in the river, wilt, I expect, complete my missing 
pages, tliough it is not quite bo interesting to hear what happened in 
November some days after the arrival of intelligence 'of Christmas 
festivities. 

The and ■• ■ are, as they should be, uppermost in your 

thoughts, and excite pleasing sensations in me. I wish •— ^-~ could 
be banished from your recollections. You have before twitted me 
with the picture. I am disposed to enter into your feelings as far as 
regards the man, I grant I have been deceived. I ani perfectly 
wilting to cede to you that you have a quicker perception of the mind, 
principles, and plans of such a person; but greater minds than mine 
bave been imposed upon. It would puzzle Sie ingenuity of yourself 
and others who have been imposed upon, to persuade the " Great Un- 
known" that the god is a dninkard. I willingly admit my credulity; 
but I cannot repent what has been 'done by all collectors. The arts 
would be checked, artists would be pinched, and much mischief might 
arise from a sullen determination in a colleetcN* of portraits or historical 
works of art, if the originals were refused to engravers to exercise their 
skill upon. I certainly never dreamed of making money ^y eng^ving 
from any original in my gallery; therefore I am not injured. It is done 
every day. Lord Blessington has allowed the most valuable theatrical 
portrait I know to be removed at great risk for such a purpose. I did 
not think of any consequences; and if I have erred, I still think it was 
on the right side. I do not think you would have refused such an 

application from any one but , or some person that you think 

ill of. You have qualified yotir scolding by an affectionate and kind 
termination; and do not suppose that you have excited any other 
feeling than grief that you should allow your mind to be irritated by the 
littleness or bad qualities of persons who have done nothing to deserve 
your love. 

X am on the wing to-morrow for Philadelphia. Price goes with me 
eighty -six miles in a sleigh. The country is too much glazed to admit 
of wheels; so we skate all the way, for the carriages run on immense 
skates. We are well provided with buffalo-skins, moccasins, and other- 
Wowskl and Yarico coverings unknown in our milder regions. Tell 
Sir John I am writing in a tub of hot water, with two black servants 
attending, each in a vapour bath, with their arms extended through 
flannel apertures, wiping my nose with hot flannels, to prevent the 
breath freezing. By the time you receive this,' a young summer (for 



MElieiRS OF 

# 

there ia no spring here,) wiU compel me to abandon my cloth coat and 
pantaloons. Still I am right welU and in high sacoest. 

A rascally libeller at Boston, who lives, like Snake, only by tt\e in- 
famy of his character, has, as I told you in my last, chosen to assert 
that my entertainments are full of obscenity, and have been scouted 
from the stage. For this I have, after calling him a black-hearted 
monster, liar,«nd libeller, before his face and three hundred others, 
and pledging myself to chastise him personally if he would wait the 
conclusion of the performance (which he declined,) brought an action 
against him. I am resolved to pursue it It has been the means of 
elevating m« higher than I stood before. 

C. Mathews. 



The allusion to a picture, in the foregoing letter, lent to be 
engraved, and Mr. Mathews's liberal remarks upon the faci- 
lity ;that ought to be afforded to the arts by private collectors, 
induces me to explain his observation about Lord Blessing- 
ton. 

Sir Thomas Lawrence's magnificent portrait of Kemble in 
Cato, was painted for the Earl of Blessington; and after it 
had been exhibited at Somerset House, it was hung up in St. 
James's Square, where, whenever my husband's eye rested 
upon it, Lord Blessington smiled, and made some good-hu- 
moured observation upon his evident admiration and longing 
for it. One day his lordship remarked: — " If that picture, 
Mathews, represented any actor but my old friend Kemble, 
you should have it; but I think I can do better than give you 
so large a painting as that, which would occupy too much 
room in your gallery. I will make you a present of a reduced 
copy of it, and you shall choose yoiir own artist for the pur- 
pose, and I will pay him a hundred guineas for his labour. 

This kind and liberal intention was to be put in execution 
at the end of a term. Sir Thomas Lawrence had been already 
granted permission to engrave it, and it was this circumstance 
that Mr. Mathews alluded to, when he spoke of Lord Bles- 
sington allowing the most valuable theatrical portrait he knew 
of to be removed, &c. When my husband returned from 
America, and for a long time afterwards, he evinced great 
anxiety for his copy; but Sir Thomas Lawrence still retained 
the original. He was apprised by Lord Blessington of his 
promise (though not of the pecuniary part of it) to Mr. Ma- 
thewsi He was urged, however, in vain; and it seemed as if 
he never again intended to part with the picture: Mr. Ma^ 



CBAUJM 1UTHSW8. 23d 

thews was dissatisfied, indeed anmrj and something like a 
coolness seemed to ensae. Sir Thomas, indeed, was as po- 
lite as^ver to him, and kind in his manner; but this did not 
atone for his apparent want of feeling for my husband's hob- 
by. At last, Mr. Mathews gave up all hope, though not dl 
thought, of the coveted Cato. One day, Sir Thomas, meet- 
ing my husband at their dub, said to him, ^^ Do me the fa- 
vour of calling upon me the first leisure morning you have. I 
w.ant«to explain and apologize to you for so long preventing 
your getting a copy of my Caio. I am now in haste. When 
inrill you give me a quarter of an hour?" My husband was 
too ready to hear any explanation that might possibly lead to 
the accomplishment of his wishes, and agreed to call in Rus- 
sell Square the next day. When he arrived, he found Sir 
Thomas in his painting-room, who thus addressed him: — 
** My dear Mathews, I will not ask your opinion of my delay 
in resigning the picture. / know you must have been very 
angry with me; and now I will throw myself upon your ge- 
nerosity, by owning the taruth, which, indeed, I can no longer 
withhold, or wish to keep secret. From the moment I heard 
of your desire to have a copy from this picture, I retained it 
for the sole purpose of preventing your intention; and I will 
thank you not to ask me why, untu I am able to explain my 
reasons." Mr. Mathews being about to reply to this (as he 
thought,) improper confession. Sir Thomas hurriedly added, 
•• And now let me show you my last work." He then drew 
forward a picture, and exhibited to the delighted eyes of his 
visiter a beautiful Calo of smaller size, but Sifuc- simile of 
Lord Blessington's. " My dear Mathews, will you now for- 
give me? Here is my reason for keeping the large picture so 
long. I desired long ago to make you a present of a painting 
for your collection; and the moment I heard of your admira- 
tion and desire to possess a copy of the Calo 9 a portrait of our 
mutual friend, John Kemble, I determined that I would make 
it for you myself. Want of leisure for some time delayed the 
execution of my wishes; but at last, I have completed the 
task, all but a few touches; and I am happy in thinking that 
I have gratified you." Thus was Sir Thomas's :* illiberal" 
conduct explained; and, once more, had my husband occa- 
sion to observe upon the impropriety of guessing and judging 
of motives, without evidence. Soon after this, Sir Thomas 
again dined with us; and I believe felt that he had been ^ cruel 
to be kind ' to my husband in keeping his intentions so long 
a mystery, from the wish to give him an agreeable surprise; 
and taking a friend of ours with him byk to town, he told 



234 1UM0IB& or 

# 
him he meant to paint a portrait of me as another present to 
Mr. Mathews, if I would sit immediately for it. I need no 
say that this offer was accepted with delight by my husband 
By an appointment we called upon him a few days after, to 
make the arrangement, but Sir Thomas was iU, Alas! our 
next inquiry was answered by closed windows— f Aw great 
man was dead! 

The picture of Cato was, after some reasonable demur, de- 
livered to Mr. Mathews without purchase^ by Sir Thomas's 
executors, on his word of honour that it was painted for him 
by the illustrious artist as a present. This picture is in the 
collection of the Garrick Club. 



CHAPTER XVII. 



Letter from Mr. Mathews to Mr. James Smith ; the American Cbaxae' 
ter; Inordinate Love of Petty Titles; Yankee Conversation; Inde- 
pendent Landlords; Conversation with an American Boniface; a 
Black Methodist ; Negro Songs. — Letters to Mrs. Mathews ; Fever 
at Baltimore. — Account of Mr. Mathews's Perfonnance at Philadel- 

■ . phia.— rLetters to Mrs* Mathews; Joseph Bonaparte ; Terrific Storm; 

* 'American Atmosphere; a Curer of Lameness; the Hudson River ; 

' . a AVater&ll ; Anecdote; Preparations for Return to England. 

The following letter to his friend, Mr. James Smith, gives 
a lively* view of what my husband had observed in his Ame- 
rican tour: 



My DKAii Smith, 



TO JAMES SMITH, ESQ. 

Philadelphia, Feb. 23rd, 1823. 



I imagine by this time yott begin to be a little impatient, and per- 
haps anxious to hear from me, though I must suppose you have made 
every allowance for my apparent neglect You have doubtless heard 
of the calamitous circumstances under which I landed in this country, 
and you will readily believe that it was a most nnpropitious time to 
extract any thing like fun or humour from the natives, even had thejr 



CUARLSS MATHBWS. 235 

% 
poBsessed as mach as the Irish. America was, at the time of my ar- 
rival, a huge hospital, and conversation a mere medical report. My 
'* commercial speculations" have been completely deranged, and though 
not destroyed, very materially injured. It was not till the frost set in, 
that I could discover even a smile on any of the naturally saturnine 
grave visages of the natives. You may suppose that I was not much 
disposed to mirth myself, or to draw it from others, during such a visi- 
tation. This has naturally tended to delay me in those observations 
which I should otherwise have immediately commenced, on the habits 
and peculiarities of the Americans. At the same time it is my belief, 
that had I arrived after a successful war, and during rejoicings for 
peace, instead of days of mourning and sickness, I should not have 
discovered much more of merriment of character,, humour, or any one 
ingredient of which I was in search, and which is now, in fact, the 
chief motive of my longer stay in the country* 

It will require all your ingenuity, all your fancy (and more than ever 
1 possessed,) to find real mateiials in this country for a humorous en^ 
tertainment. There is such a universal sameness of manner and cha- 
racter, so uniform a style of walking and looking, of dressing and think- 
ing, that I really think I knew as much of them in October as I know 
of them now in February. The real unadulterated natives are only 
one remove from the Quakers: they never joke themselves, and they 
cannot see it in others. They would stare at you as a white wonder^ 
and be perfectly amazed how any man under a hundred years of age, 
could possibly have collected so many good jokes» for they would be 
utterly incredulous that a man could utter his own wit. As they have 
never seen such people, they are not obliged to believe that they ezp 
ist. If I excelled in narrative, and were a lecturer, allowed to be oc- 
casionally g^ve, I could find infinite variety of materials to dwell 
upon, and rather amusing too^ but.aa I feel perfect conviction tliat I 
am never amusing without I assume the manner of another, I know 
not how to suggest matter for comic effects, out of mere observatioiy. 
I should be very much inclined to remove many prejudices that exist 
between the two countries, and most anxious to do justice to the upper 
orders of people. They ai'e well informed, polite, hospitable, unaf- 
fected. I can truly say, that 1 have never experienced more attentions 
in my own country. 1 do not believe, at least, I cannot discover, that 
they differ at all from the polished people of the same rank in Eng- 
land. They do not certainly approach to the ease and finish of our 
upper ranks. I should feel equally disposed to spburge, to flagellate, 
to score to the back-bone, all the middling and lower orders. They 
are as infinitely beneath the notions that Europeans entertain of them, 
as their superiors are above them. Not merely sullen and cold, but 
studiously rude. This I have no hesitation in saying. The stage- 
driver says, "Yes, «>," and ** no, .^»V," to the ostler, but to a question 
from a person who has a clean neckcloth, he instantly draws up, and» 
in the most repulsive manner, answers, "No," **ay,*' or ** very well." 
The upper orders are literally slaves to the lower. The poorest people 
in the country will submit to exist in the most miserable manner, with 
their families, rather than any one of them should be degraded by ser- 
vitude. The consequence is, that all the menial situations ai*e filled by- 
negroes (niggers,) and Irish and Scotch. This constitutes the great 
difficulty in picking up anecdote, character, or any thing that would be 



Memoirs qv 

called peculklrity, in Ireland or Scotland; even in dialect, the same dis- 
appointment follows the attempt. All tliat is attributed by foreigners 
to the English appears to belong to the Americans, but with exagge- 
rations— reserve, coldness, monotony, &c. The gravity of the upper 
orders, which is by no means displeasing, becomes perfect unkindness 
(to make use of no stronger expression) in the middling orders; for 
though [ have used the term lower, I hardly know who they are, where 
they are, or how they exist. They appear to me to be too proud even 
to be seen. Not one American have I yet seen waiting at table, or in 
any situation where he might run the risk of being called servant. 
This is common-place to you, I am aware, but I mean to assure you 
that the tourists have not exaggerated it; they are all within the mark. 
You will from this perceive what difficulty I have to discover cha- 
racter or peculiarities. If 1 enter into conversation with a coachman, 
he is Irish; if a fellow brings me a note, he is Scotch. If I call a por. 
ter, he is a negro. I can't come at the American without I go to 
porter-houses, and that I cannot condescend to do. There are no 
phrases, no intonations, and no instances of bad pronunciation, false 
grammar, or incorrect English, that I cannot trace to be of Englisii 
origin. Yorkshire, Somersetshire, and, above all, f ^ondon, iiave sup- 
plied them njost copiously. Here arises another difficulty. The im- 
pression would be, that there is no novelty in this — this has been done 
before — these are English characters. A Week in Ireland would sup- 
ply more drollery than twelve months here. Then again, all pei-sona 
are dressed alike, nobody well-dressed, no one shabby. The jtidge, 
tlie barrister, the shop-keeper, the President, the member of Congress, 
the mechanic, the servant, without the slightest variation. Even in 
the courts of justice there is no distinction of ranks. The judge in the 
shabby blue coat and striped waistcoat, that the tipstaff wearsv Now, 
I feel perfectly satisfied that my audience would yawn at this deserip* 
Hon of the people, »even if it could boast of the recommendation of 
-novelty. The Yankee is a term given by all the inhabitants of the 
other parts of the United States, to those of the east exclusively. The 
larger cities boast of superiority in every respect, and speak of the 
Rhode Islander, and the Massachusetts-man, exactly as the English 
speak of ail Americans, and have a contempt for a Yankee. 

I have just come frofn Boston in the latter State, and certainly [ 
have discovered more of cliaracter there than in the cities of New York, 
Baltimorci or Philadelphia, Where the language, generalfy, is better 
spoken than in London, or any part of England. I quite agree with 
you in your remarks, that a journal is necessary on a tour, but I doubt 
its use in America.* '•The court of justice " is dulness itself. The 
Quakers* meeting would be a better subject, if the Quakers talked as 
much as the counsellors; and this again would be Westminster Hall on 
an uninteresting day, without wigs. The "travellers" I have acted 
upon. But there is no '* travelled room '' at an inn. All travellers of 
every description are shown into the same room, and silence reigns 
amidst the smoke of cigars. The only notions 1 have had (droil to 
Say) t>, a coach scene, **d bt diligence.'* Some of the summer dresses 
would be new to the English. Negro women dressed like Quakers 

* Rii*own'extraordi nary memory rendered a journal uiineoeasary; his memo- 
randa were to be found only on tbe '* written tablets of ttie brain.**— A. M. 



CHARLSfl KATHEW8. 887 

— ^veiy common h^re. A yeiy fat negro, with whom I met, driving 
a stage-coach (which are almost as peculiar as the French,) and urging 
hia horses by different tunes on a fiddle, white he ingeniously fastened 
the reins itound his neck. This would give an opportunity for the only 
costume which difiers from that of our own country, the summer dress. 
With respect to songs, I really fear that I shall hardly be able to sug- 
^^t subjects. The only striking subject for a patter>song* is the 
inordinate lore of title; a remarkable instance of the weakness and in- 
connstency of these simple republicans. Though the honour of 
knigfhthood bestowed on their IVesident, even if he were a Washing- 
ton, would rouse the country into a civil war, they are more ridicu- 
lously ostentatious of the petty titles that are recognized than any peo- 
ple under the sun. There is not any regular military establishment; 
a militia is kept up by occasional drilFing^, &«.; and, in case of war, 
this is their only effecUve force. The officers, therefore, are composed 
of all ranks of persons; and whether they have actually served or not, 
whether retired, or in present exercise, they tenaciously exact their 
titles. On every road, even at the meanest pothouse, it is common to 
call out, « Major, bring me a glass of toddy!*' ** Captain Obis, three 
segars, and change for a dollar!'' <* Why are we so long changing 
horses, colonel?" This was addretsed to our coachman — A ract! 
" Why, Achilles is gone to get one of the horses shod, but the major 
is a good hand, he'll soon dap four shoes on."— ^ Othello, run to cap- 
tain Smith's for a pound of cheese. 

I heard at New York — " Colonel Hunter, your bread is by no means 
so good as that you baked at the beginning of the year."— *< Sheriff, 
your health." — " Judge, a glass of wine." — " Counsellor, allow me to 
send you some beef." They are chiefly remarkable for accenting the 
wrong syllable, in (engtn£, genutnef , enquiry. Located is in general 
use; approbaled, uliimated, &c.) « Admire," is to have an inclination 
to do anything, as, ** 1 should admire to skate to-day. "t ** Ugly, means 
ilUempered. " It is a pity such a pretty woman should be so ugli/,** 
If they speak of a "plain woman " they say she is awful, " Clever " 
is good-natured; as, " He's a eUver fellow, but a damned fool. " * * Con- 
siderable, in the general sense, but not as an adverb; as, "He is connderO' 
ble rich." ** Guess" is always used in cases where no doubt exists :»- 
" I guess I have a headach." " Servants " are called heips. " Slick " 
is nice, "A slick potato." "He did it sliekee" (cleverly;) and, 
^* slick right away." "My wife died x/icA; right away;", that is, she 
went off pleasantly but suddenly. " That is a little too damned bad;" 
" a little grain of water." " Progress," used as a verb; as, " I guess 
our western States jorogress very fast;" t. e. improve. ** Admirable is 
generally said. The particle to is very generally used (not by learned 
persons) after a verb; as, "I guess it's a fine day. Will you take a 
walk?" " I should admire /o," or, " I have no occasion /o." " When 
were you to Boston ?" " Have you been out in the rain ?" — " Yes, but 
I had not ought /o." 

The following dialogue was furnished me by an ear-witness, who 

• A pauer-smg meaDt one of those for which he was lo celebrated, witb^ spUk- 
iw between every verse.— A. M. 
t All the expressions with the () are uskd at the bar and in tho pulpit, 
t Admire n used im the same sense in ourcounty of Suffolk.— A. M. 



998 MfiKOUUB OF 

knew my desire to collect:--" Any thing new to-day, Mr. B.?" — I 
guess I have not heard any thing." -^^ How's your lady?*'-*-" Nicely. 
She /progresses fiist under Doctor A. She comes on slick, and grows 
quite fleshy."-^" How's Miss Sabrina?"— " She's quite good (well.) 
She's 9ifmne grtW."— " I think she is, tliough she's rather awful." — ^•* I 
never saw her ugly in my life, and if she had but a pretty face, she'd 
be complete! Heal!" — " Have you taken her to the theayter yet?" — 
" I hadn't ought to."— « Why ?" ^ I guess I can't afford it"— « Is not 
Mathews a favonVe of yours?" — "Not by no manner of means. I 
wish he'd Jake himself off." — •* I reckon he'll take us off when he's at 
home in his own country again." — ♦* He won't dare to. We would not 
suffer that there." — " He's a smart fellow" (applied to any talent;) 
" but I like a steady actor, as gives us time to admire him, and find out 
his beauties." 

They use the word raued for boms or erecting a building: — " Where 
were you raised?" — " In Virginia." — " I guess you have considerable 
hogs and niggers?"— "Yes, we liave plenty of them bikck cattle." — 
**Win you come and take ahttle grain of brandy, or whisky ?" — "I should 
admire to, for I'm considerable thirsty; but I must first go and speak 
to thegenikman as looks after my nags;" — "Where does your horse 
keep?" — *• At Colonel Drupper'sKvery-stable," — ** I guess the Colonel 
has pretty damned bad help ?" — " The ostler as tends the stable is a 
apry likely lad?"—-" Yes, he's spry and well-looking, but pretty ugly." 
^•* 1 don't mind his ugliness. If he showed me any of it, I'd make him 
clear out pretty damned quick." — "You'll find me at Sampson's grog- 
shop, I guess. You won't be long?" — " Pm coming right back. . Tell 
Sampson to put a little grain of bitters in my brandy." 

The strongest eharaeter is the Landlord of an inn. He is the most 
independent person in America. You mtist be impressed with the 
idea that he confers a favour upon i/ou, or it is in vain to expect any 
accommodation. He can't be caricatured; I won,t spare him an inch. 
He is, too, the most insolent rascal I ever encountered; he is the double- 
distilled of those qualities I described as appertaining to the middling 
orders. Here I can personate to advantage. It will be my main stay, 
my' sheet-anchor. I have already three or four distinct specimens of 
the same species. The effect will depend more on manner than matter. 
Par exempk. If you arrive at the inn, the regular system of inatten- 
tion and freezing indifference is instantly apparent. No one appears. 
You enter the house, and search about for a landlord or waiter. 
Probably you pass the former, but fearing he may be the Judge or the 
Governor of the State, you are afraid to address him. You find a nig- 
ger — no mistaking him, "Where's your master?" — (A black look.) 
"Dfl^Missa Rivers." 

The following little dialogue ^ook place with me. I respectfully 
solicited a room for myself and friend (an Englishman, who, like 
myself, was aware of the manners and customs, and hoped to be annoyed, 
for the sake of others " At Home.") " Can we have a private room?" 
— ^^1 guess you can, if there isn't nobody in it J" — Mathews, "Can 
we have some dinner}" -^Landlord. "Dinner! why, we've dined 
thesief two hours! It's four o'clock!" (All ranks dine at a t^ie 
dhdte.) Mathews. " Still, we have had no dinner; perhaps, sir, you 
would oblige wV^-^Landlord, "I suspect, rather« we've something 



CHABLB8 MATBSWS. 289 

left as we had for our dinner. But you ehooid hatre €6me aooner if 
you wanted to dine; this is no time for dinner, after every body's done. 
It puts one's helps out of the way.**— i!fa/A«tM. Well^ sir, the help 
'will be paid for his trouble; therefore try your best for us." A 
Hottentot Adonis appeared, with his sleeves tacked up to his shoulders 
(thermometer 90®,) an effluvia arising from his ebony skini that he 
ingeniously overpowered by one of greater power from a leg of himb! 
Afathews. " Any port-wine ?" — " Yes, massa, berry good a wine-**— 
Afathtwi, "Bring a bottle." A bottle of mulled fayaiufJfar/t'n 
was brought. " Any ice ?" Not to-day, massa; none in Elizabeth Towni 
a can't get a any Sudday'^ (Sunday.") At this moment enters mine 
host, who takes a chair, and sits down with his hat on and a cigar in his 
mouth, and inquires who we are — where we are going, &c. *' Colonel 
GympmUke and Major Foozky going to Bristol." Mathews. ' "Your 
wine is very hoV^^Landlord. " Why, I don't know for that; it keeps 
in the bar." — Mathews. "Have you no cellar?" — Landlord. "I 
suppose I have, but not for that. It's always in the bar right an end." 
— Mathews. " It's rather thick; have you had it long?" — Landlord. 
** Three weeks and a bit. I fetched it in my chay myself from 
Philadelphee, a little while back." 

At four in the morning a messenger arrived in the mail, who in- 
quired for me, having a letter for me from a friend, advising me to fly, 
as the fever, he knew, was in Elizabethtown. Mine host guessed 1 
was the man, and entered my room with a candle. Landlord, " A 
letter for you, I reckon." — Mathews. " Did the messenger tell you to 
give it me in the middle of the night ?" — Landlord. * I guess he 
did not. It was my own contrivance." — Mathews. " It is an odd hour 
to wake a man." — Landlord, " I guess I did the right thing, and that 
there is always propriety. Whatever you perform, fiilfil that right 
away." I was so tickled that I said : "You're a pleasant man ; how's 
your wife ?" — Landlord. " Why, she's tolerable well, biit pretty poor^^* 
(very thin.) — Mathews. " Well, I shall not get up until eight or nine, 
therefore adieu! thou lovely youth. I must still think it was very ex- 
traordinary to disturb me." — landlord. ** Ah, I don't mind remarks 
when lYulfils propriety. I'm an honest man, and ^ presumes I have 
done the right thing, and then remarks is equal. I am a docile man 
in church and state." — Exit loith candle. 

Another instance, lately in my journey from Boston to New York; 
nearly the same dialogue; but a different looking being; a dear little 
punchy fellow, with a hat as large as a tea-board, and such a tail ! He 
was just going to-bed; and when we, asked fbr supper, he said, " Why, 
we have supped these three boors ; what made you come to-night ?" 
But this interview requires personation, and is one of the few instances 
of originality. 

I shall be rich in black fun. I have studied their broken English 
carefully. It is pronounced the jeal thing, even by the Yankees. It 
is a pity that I dare not touch upon a preacher. I know its danger, 
but perhaps the absurdity might give a colour to it->a black Methodist! 
I have a specimen from life, which is relished highly In private.^ A 
leelle bit you shall have. By the by, they call the nigger meetings 
^ Black Brimstone Churches,*^ "My wordy bredren, it a no use to 
come to de roeetum-house to ear de most hellygunt orashions if a no 
put a de cent into de plate ; de spiritable man cannot get a on widottt de 



240 MBMOIRSOF 

temporalitieB; twelve ^pbetlee must hab de candle to burn. Yoa dress 
a self up in de fine blue a cot, and a bandalore breechnm, and tink a 
look like a gemman, but no more like a gemman dan gut a finger in a 
de fire, and take him out again, widout you put a de money in a de 
plate. He lend to a de .poor, lend to de Law, (Lord,) if you like a de 
secoority drop a de cents into de box. My sister in a de gallery too 
dress em up wid de poke a de bonnet, and de furbelow-tippet, and look 
in de glass and say, ^ Pretty Miss Phyllis, how bell I look !' but no 
pretty in de eye of de Law** (Lord) *' widout a drop a cent in de plate. 
My friend and bredren, in my endeavour to save you, I come across 
de bay in de stim a boat. I never was more shock dan when I see de 
race a horse a rubbin down. No fear o' de Law afore dere eye on de 
Sabbat a day, ben I was tinking of de great enjawroent my friend at 
a Baltimore was to have dis night, dey rub a down de horse for de use 
of the debbil. *Twiz you. and I, no see what de white folk make so 
much fun of us, for when dey act so foolish demselve, dey tink dey 
know ebery ting, and dat we poor brack people know noting at all 
amose (almost.) Den shew dem how much more dollars you can put 
in de plate dan de white meetum.houses. But, am sorry to say, some 
of you put three cent in a plate, and take a out a quarter a dollar. 
What de say ven you go to hebben 7 Dey aek you what you do wi<| 
de twenty-two cent you take out of de plate when you put in de tree 
cent ? what you go do den ?*' 

I have several specimens of these black gentry that I can bring into 
play, and particularly scraps of songs, and roalaprops, such as Maho- 
metan below CfBsar, (Thermometer below zero,) &-c. 

SONG. 

Oh ! love is like de pepper-corn ; 

It make me act so cute. 
It make de bosoms feel so warm. 

And eye shine like new boot! 
1 meet Miss Phillis tudder day 

In berry pensive mood ; 
She almost cry her eyes away 

For Pomp*s ingratitude. 

2. 

O tubby brushing maid, said I, 

What makee look so sad 7 
Ah ! Scip, de brooteous virgin cry, 
I feel most debblish bad ! 
. For Pomp he stole my heart away, 
Me taught him berry good ; 
But he no lub me now, he say I 
Chah! what ingratitude ! 

t ean no more ; but you shall hear again shortly firom, 
Yours, most truly, 

C. Mathkws. 



CH:i]tLES MATHSWfl. 241 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 



i Philadelphia, Feb. 35th> 183d» 

I liave tin opportunity 6f sending rather a largfer packet than t 
^liould despatch by post^ by a gentleman of Philadelphia, whom I here- 
bj^ introduce to your notice as well Worthy of your civilities. I havB 
received attentions from him in the way of little acts of kindness, for 
which I am very grateful. 

He set me on m^ journey to New York, as they say in Old York, 
and rode twenty miles with me to keep up my spirits when I first went 
there. It will, doubtless, be a satisfaction to you to here an account front 
any eye-witness of my brilliant reception here last night, in the midst 
of a snow-storm that would have driven English peopte away from the 
theatre, like a flock of 'wild geese. 

Price has come on with me, like a good fellow, to take care of me ; 
{ and I am -at a peculiar sort of a house, for America, where I am really 
comfortable, — a rarer word here than in France. 

Mr. Wain will describe to you the nature of the establishment; It 
is nearer the English mark than any house In the country ; and there 
f is plenty of water, thank Heaven ! The regular allowance of an Ame- 
rican inn is about a pint daily, with one towel nine inches square, and 
' one remove only from India paper. 

I have written a long letter, as you will see, to Smith. Notwith- 
'; standing the nature of the letter I have written to him, I do not despair 
I of a good entertainment being formed from my trip. 
f The auction at Boston will show the extraordinary prices given for 

I boxes. It was made a wonder of in Kean. Observe that the biddings 
[ were for choice of boxes. If a man wished to get No. 4 as the best 
box for hearing, he bids 12 dollars, and the box holds 9 — a dollar for 
each seat, so that his box costs 21 dollars. 

C. Mathews* 



to MRS. MATHEWS. 

Philadelphia, IVfarch 6th, 1823. 

th your last, you say I did not mention the Philipps and Johnsons. 
Surely I have lately. I did not see the former until nearly December : 
'Ihey are now gone a journey of about fifteen hundred miles (Lord help 
them!) to New Orleans, and I suspect are stuck by the way; for the 
winter has recommenced within a Week. I saw — ^ — on Sunday last^ 
lookiiig more ferocious than ever. I feel embarrassed in his presence 
alwiiyis, and only en^iureil it here ; y'et he is so fond of me thai my 
band aches afler his pressulre of it I am going on swimmingly, — % 
tsharming audience hefe* 

VOL. I. — ^l 



24$ HK1I0IR8 OF 

I shall send another tboaaand pouDds directly I arriTe in New York ; 
but the exchange at present i% very much against England* I do not. 
send you the regular receipts now, because I am paid certain, and 
therefore «lo not get a regular list; but you may tell Miller that X 
opened to 1100 -dollars, and that the next three houses have been as 
good. 

1 «m roost particularly tcomfortable here: the only lodging where 
every thing has Jbreen to my mind. My baggage arrived yesterday, 
which feft Boston xwi February 4th. Charu>ing country for travel* 
ling I 

■C. Mathews. 



TO MRS. MATHEWa 

Philadelphia^ Mar<^h l4th, 1 823. 

I have broken to you by degrees how I was situated at Baltimore; 
that ies if Rolls*s letter is not gone to the bottom. If it i», I now tell 
you for the first time that the yellow fever raged at Baltimore while I 
Avas there, and that the fewest deaths weekly were forty^ It was kept 
from roe ten days. The horrible scene of misery and devastation in 
the theatre was also kept from me until I acted and rehearsed. I am 
«t this moment appalled at the recollection. What could i do? It 
was useless to write to you on the subject; it would haVe been inhu- 
man. In the midst of the horrors, the curiosity to see me brought 
three or four good houses. I mentioned them, but said nothing of 
the batl ones. 1 acted three nights, and my profits were not one pound 
sterling nightly^ The only wonder was, that people wouM go to the 
play at alH in a population of mourning. Had I known where to fly 
to, I would have gone» The indignation I felt at the deception^ and 
the terros) and contrasting Liverpool, which I had left, &c., was al- 
most too much to bean 1 find now I cannot cohceal it from you': your 
suspicions expressed to Charles were perfectly just. The vanity of 
those persons that have starred it here exaggerated every thing; t 
have done more, infinitely more, than aay of them $ and New York is 
the only place worth talking about. I should have returned from Bos- 
ton, but for Price's really liberal and enterprising spirit. He is the 
soul of generosity. If it had not been for the calamity (which it is 
worse than childishness to allow to make one unhappy) I should haVd 
realized all my expectations here. I have been successful to wonder 
every where. The size of the theatres, however, capabilities, &c. have 
all been exaggerated. A thousand dollars sounds largely ; but in No. 
vember they could not purchase 2002. British — here is the deception. 
The horrible changes of the climate, too, prevent all communication 
with the theatre on some nights. The direct reverse has taken place 
here respecting the entertainments. They have gone ofif joyously, — a 
beautiful theatre, and a delightful audience. Washington Irving*s in- 



OHARLIS MATflEWS. 249 

trodacUons have procured me the best aocietj, and very good it is ; 
ail but the very first is very bad indeed. 

C. Mathews. 



I will introduce ^ere some reiAarks lAade^ by tb& Am^erican 
press OA Mr. Maih^vi^'s performai^oe at Philadelphia,. 

Having b^en heretofore among the theatrical heretics in regard to 
the superior excellence of this gentleman^ comic powers; and willing, 
as a stranger, to give him welcome^ we liave abstained from express- 
ing oar sentiments on his performances, of which, however^, we have 
been a frequent spectator. Convinced at length, that he has a fair 
elaim to the extended reputation he enjoys, we feel it but simple jus- 
tice to^ throw into the ladened scale our m.He of approbation^ which, 
though lon^ reserved, we feel will not be the less valued, from being 
the result of an u.niufluenced and cautious judgment. The qualities ne- 
cessary to the formjAtion of a first-rate actor are of the rarest kind ; for 
the lines that divide, true humour from caricature are often, so minute 
as to be almost indefinable; and although we are always sensible of 
the presence of either, we feel it difficult to describe in what they re- 
spectively consist,. The great excellence of Mr. Mathew« consists in 
the niceness of his di«crimination in these respects, by which he is 
enabled to elicit the richest fund of merrinaent from charaeteriktic pe- 
culiarities, without violating the truth of nature. To (v judgment .thus 
admirably chastened are added the mos$ versatile powers of execution 
that have probably fallen to the lot of man. So perfect is the mastery 
of hip voice, and so complete and varied are its intonations and modi- 
cations, that as a mere ventriloquist he could not fail to attract univer- 
sal admiration; while his command of face is as complete in the dis- 
play of the ridiculous, as ever Cooke was iu the exhibition of the in- 
tenser feelings. With power aa wonderful as the magic mirror of 
Eastern fable, it displays, in rapid succession to the convulsed specta- 
tor, the loutish stare of rustic simplicity, the artful leer of vulgar cun- 
ning, the ridiculous moroseness of petty misanthropy, and the absurd 
affectation of ignorant pride ; whilst his adaptation of voice, and iden- 
tity of manner, fill up the portraits with the most exquisitely laugha- 
ble perfection. 

It will be, perceived that these observations have little reference to 
Mr. Mathews, as a dramatic performer, in which, though excellent, he 
is inferior to^himpelf ** At Home/' In the former, his exuberant ta- 
lent is repressed by an obyious anxiety to preserve the propriety of the 
scene and character ; and he who would view Mathews in all his glory 
should foUow him i;i his u^le Bmj/in through the • Sights of London,^ 
embark with him in his f Trip to Paris,* take passage in the * DtU« 
I^Qce/ or i^yel wi^ hin^ |a a * CbriBtmas at Brighton.'* 



*:^«kttAassstto, IMilfank, t8». 



244 BISXOIRS OF 



Mr. Mathews is a humorist, and one of high powers. Erery thing- 
seen or heard operates on a mind hke his in an eccentric and original 
vmy, and furnishes food to the master appetite of his nature. On a 
mind so organized, the uncommon and the ridiculous never fail tostrike 
with truth and force; and they are ag^in thrown out with the strength 
of true humour, — not with the distorted aspect of vulgar mimicry. He 
has the singular talent, and it is one of no common order, of compres- 
sing into an individual the various characteristics which mark a class; 
and by the exiiibition of one, gives a fair and rich idea of the whole 
species. He repeated the splendid passage ajtkout " U&iversal Emanci- 
pation," in Curran*s defence of Hamilton Ko^wan, in a manner to pro-» 
duce a sensation akin in nature and degree tq that which we may sup- 
pose to have attended its original delivery. The sentiment operatec^ 
powerfully, conveyed as it was in a style of declamation new to aa 
American audience^ highly impresaiyct ii\ itself*, ai^d Hnderstood ta be a^ 
faithful copy.* 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Philadelphia, March 22d, 1823.. 

This week has b^en spent in the old way— anxious hope of another 
letter. My engagement here will finish next week. From hence T 
^ to New York; and on the 16th of May, if not earlier, I shall take 
ipy departure. It will be useless to write again, therefore, after the 
receipt of this, which cannot easily arrive before the middle of April,, 
and a reply cannot reach me. 1 even doubt if I shall be soothed by 
any remarks you might bp induced to make on my last. My enter- 
tainments keep up here. " The Youthful Days,'* last night, went oflF 
as well as ever it did. in England. Joseph Bonaparte,..the cx-king of 
Spain, has been, three or four tiroes. He is very like the porti:aits oC 
IKapoleon, and has a most pleasing expression of countenance. The 
other evening I was encored in the Playhouse song; and,, as I left the 
stage, he applauded,, and, stretching forward,, nodded at me very good 
naturedly. I have frequently dreamt of Napoleon, and at this moment 
it appeared, aa tbpugh hia countenance beamed on.xQS and J^atconi^^ 
me. 

This has.be^,a week of great eventsf:but the rumours l^avie doubt* 
less reached you.. The war with Spain comes here vid England; but 
the dreadful oon^agration at Canton,, probably, will not be communis 
cated much sooner than the arrival of this,— >ten thousand houses de- 
stroyed!— -I purchased the crapes fpc you in good time. Canton goods, 
have risen SO per cent, since the airival of the news; nearly all the 
manu&ctories have been destroyed. Valparaiso^ in South America, 
has been nearly destroyed by an earthquake, and an immense number 
of lives lost; and a dreadful lire heft i» which I might have been doub \y 

* National Gazette, March 33, 1883. 



CHABLES MATHEWS. 246 

interested. Tht principal hotel, the largest in the citjr, and the Wash- 
insfton Hall, the largest room in Annerica, kept for concerts, assem- 
blies, &c. capable of holding two thousand people, were both burnt 
down on the same night. An exorbitant bill in September, when Price 
\irsB with me, was the cause of my being taken in, per favour, where 
f am, where there is only one bed, tiiough it is a sort of hotels and had 
not that accommodation been offered, I must have been at the Mansion 
Flouse; and had I been thei« I mwfi have lost all my clothes, had I 
e%-en saved my life. The hall was tho only place where I could have 
performed, had li taken a room, wluch at one time J was on the point 
of doing. I wrote from Ouoper's house in September, and have not 
seen him since. They are altogether now at New Orleans, — only thir. 
teen hundred miles from hisn^e^ Xh^ frost is,, I believe broken now, 
aii4.the weather delicious. 

C. Mathews. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS.. 

On board, the steamboat, within sight of 
New York, April 1st, 1823. 

I' write this in. great haste,^ merely, to say that 1 am well, and every 
tiling is gomg on as well as I could wish; but I am in agony for fear 
this should not reach you by, the packet of this day, a&she will takeout 
papen; with accounts of a niost terrific stor^ on Sundajr last* that has 
done immense damage by sea and land, if it should reach your ears 
by the packet, and you have no letter from me, 1 am apprehensive of 
your uneasiness, Uy the 8th you shall know all< but, , briefly, we 
were to leave Philadelphia, on Simday. morning b}'^ the steamboat, 
which was to take us thirty, miles on our road.to New Yprk, and then 
to g^ on by private carriage. A snow<-storm, arose early, that morning, 
— the most tremendous I ever heard, We got up At eight o'clock, to 
be ready to start at ten. I thought Price wpuld wish to g^; but he 
had home in his eye. About half-past nine, from the unprecedented 
violence of the morning,. the boat, then near the wharf, was nm down 
by a larger vessel, stove in, and sunk. in. a few minutes. . This delay, , 
and others on the road (for we went on by. landO prevented our r^ch- 
ing New. Y.ork, as we meant, yesterday, w)jen I.sbould have had ample 
time to prepare my letter for to-d^y. We got on as far as Brunswick, 
wJiere w^ slept last night, and took steaipboat this . nxornlng at six 
o]clock. It is now ten o'clock, and, thank God! we have our. port in 
view. Price has suggested: th^t we may probably pa99v the packc^t^ 
wh^ch.will be just«getting out of the harbour, .and the captain has^ro- 
mised to put us alongside. . If( tfiuU b»ve. the cbance, and therefore 
wiU .Uifjf advaoUge of it. . 

CMatvews. 



31* 



246 MEMOIRS OF 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

New York, April rth, 1823. 

Your large, packet, though a dismal one as to deaths and accidentsy 
was still very entertaining. There is an air of cheerfulness throughout; 
and such letters are valuable to me. You know how I suffer from de- 
press:on, even when surrounded by comforts; and you might calculate 
how 1 must occasionally suffer when removed at such a distance from 
all I love, and in a country not yet civilized^ where real comforts are 
not known, and where miserable disappointment has followed enter- 
prise and industry. I have throughout put the most cheerful face upon 
thfi matter, out of tenderness and consideration for you. 

C. Mathews. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

New York, April 15th, 1823. 

Yesterday T h^d the pleasure of receiving another letter from you. 
Your account of the weather is appalling;, and quite reconciles me to 
my sufferings here. A new winter commenced on that dreadful day, 
the 30th, on which I travelled from Philadelphia; the whole countiy 
was covered witli snow. You are cheered with spring, a season un- 
known here; not a budi not even a little paltry attempt at a leaf, is to 
be seen at this present writings But for the sun, " Oh, my Ma!" I 
don't think you have ever seen it in its full brilliancy. We hear much 
of an Italian sky in England, because there are not sufficient travellers 
to this countiy to place its advantages on record; but all impartial tra- 
vellers declare that the atmosphere here is superior to any part of the 
world. Englishmen whom I have met here, who have lived much in 
Itajly, all; allow that the most magnificent sight they ever witnessed is 
a sun-set in this couptry. So this climate has its advantages. Indeed 
I suppose these are pretty fairly balanced in all countries. I have not 
fl^een two days of iaiin> iasuccession since 1 arrived. It frequently pours 
the whole day; but you may rely on a brilliant sun the next to com- 
pensate. 

There has been, fur 8<^m^ yearn, an old peasant in Rhode Island, 
Connectiput^who has had an extraordinary fame for the cure of lameness 
caused by bruises, qontractiona, &.c. pcrfornied origfinally gratis by him 
ypon the poor of his neighbourhood. A species of shampooing was his 
ptaciicej aided by aii embrocation from herbs of his own discovery, 
which .cannot be. analyzed ; but this secret he has bequeathed to his 
800, wAO has performed more wonders than a man. He has been in- 
dttced id leave his home, which the father never did, to cure a person 
iRho could not go to him. When I was at Boston I saw the patient, 
who, from seeing me lame, applied to the Consul (Manners) to say it 
waa hia duty, in his official situation, to guard the interetta of his ooun- 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 247 

trymen, and that lie oag^ht not to allow me to go ont of this country a 
cripple, when 1 might make a certainty of being restored. Manners 
brought him to me. His case had been, in the first instance, eznctly 
similar to mine, but infinitely exaggerated. He had been pronounced 
incurable by the surgeons. One leg was two inches contracted ; the 
limb withered to the size of his arm; and he was in bed twelve months. 
In five weeks he was cured ; and now walks as well as ever. He is a 
gentleman ; and begged me with tears in his eyes^ to try the man. 
At least ten such cases were mentioned at Boston; and I was urged 
to try it by one of the first physicinns there, who said, **Sir, the man 
is an excellent anatomist; he has a valuable secret as an embrocation; 
and he can bestow time on a patient, which we can*t afford. He has 
done wonders; try him by aM means.'*- 

I saw him. He takes no fee if he pronounces a case incurable; and 
there is not one instance o£ his saying "I* can euro," in which he has 
not kept his word. In ten minutes he stated with perfect confidence, 
** I can restore you. Sir, entirely.** He asked three weeks* time from 
me, and promised to come to me at New Ybrk, on my return from 
Philadelphia. His fame, however, has so increased by the actual mi- 
racles he has performed since I left Boston, that I have just had a hint 
which I fear looks like his failing in his promise to me. I do not like 
to give up such a chance, after having my expectations raised so high; 
but I fear I can only accomplish it by a journey to Boston. In that 
case I shall probably not leave until early in June. 

I cannot hear your approval or otherwise of this scheme unfortunate. 
ly now; but I feel confident that you wil-U think lam right, as there 
can be no harm in trying. I believe a person must be himself lame 
seven years before he can quite appreciate my joy at tiie distant hope 
of restoration. 

In my next I hope I shall be able to give you some decisive infor- 
mation upon this, to me, important point. My firm opinion and belief 
is, that I was providentially induced to come here to be restored to the 
right use of my limbs: if it should be so,.how I should be repaid from 
all my sufferings! I am in excellent health, and- every thing going 
on as well as I could wish. I am receiving at present ray 150/. per 
week certain ; and shall play until the second week in May. 

CMathsws*. 



TO MRS. MATHKWS. 

Now York,.April 30th, 1823. 

'As I suspected, I was too late for the last packet It was hicky that a 
person, just as I was on the point of going on shore at West Point, 
whence I was to proceed to New York, hinted to me the anoertakity, 
or yott would not have beard from roe at all. 

This was rov first trip of pleasure since I arrived, and most amply 
was I gratified. I went one hundred and sixty miles in a steamboat, 

• A phrase ny hostond always employed wben be wislisd to express pecuUtr 
«arnestness of entreaty.^A. M. 



^|S48 ^ MEMOIRS OF 

up «Qe of the most magfolficent rivers in the world,— >the Hudson, so 
iDueli spoken of by Wasbingrton Irvingr. It is from three to foar miles 
broad in many parts; running through a mountainous country for the 
iBost part; in others, highly cultivated, with various well-built and po- 
pulous-towns on its banks; other parts again, richly wooded. Indeed, 
ibr variety of beauty my most romantic expectations were realized ; 
but 1 was intoxicated with childish joy at the sight of a waterfall, I 
may say for the first time; the width a quarter of a mile, the height 
from seventy to eighty feet, dashing perpendicularly over the rock, and 
creating a foam that ascends so as to convey the notion of smoke rising 
from an immense volcano. I was perfectly enraptured and lost in 
wonder. My enjoyment was, however, incomplete ; for I wished the 
whole time that yourself and Charle&4Could be there to participate with 
me in the pleasure. 

I commenced my last, engagement here on the night of my return. 
I have been kept in the most provoking suspense. I expected a deci- 
sive answer on my return here, and I got it; but it only related to 
one fact, — that the doctor could not. come here to me. I Immediately 
wrote to M^anners to put several q«estions to him, necessary for me to 
ascertain belbro I wrote to y«ak.as to time, expense, &.c. and entreated 
an answer by to-day, in time to write to you. No letter ; and I have 
been fuming all day. I want your advice; indeed any but my own — 
I know not how to act — I can hardly make up my mind. So close to 
the water's edge, and Liverpool almost in sight, being only three thou- 
sand miles, to go two hundred and forty miles away from it; and yet 
it is so strangely tempting! However, I am compelled once more to 
delay my final decision.* 

Yesterday brought me your charming, cheerful journal up to the 
11th of March, with the pleasing intelligence of the arrival of tke mo- 
ney safe,. T hope. by this time the other lOOU/. is at Highgate. It 
might be that the news of the death of "^ Glorious John " was in Lon- 
don previously to the date of yours. Of course, you had not heard it. 
We heard it here a fortnight since, by a vessel from Havre. Poor 
Kemble ! I relieved my mind and my head from the e^cts of a very, 
blue fit by crying hgartily at the news. If I; play at Liverpool, as . 
Lewis nwde me promise to do, I shall be delighted at your proposition 
to meet me. AH these points really shall be settled in iny next. 

You are already blessed with cheering weather^ buds, blossoms, and 
vefdure; therefore it U too late for me. to act the comforter ; but with 
respect to variable climate, this is a carijQatufie of ours. We have had 
summer hci^t and hi(rd frost since the 2dth of this month. The variation 
is precisely that of Engli^nd, with this trying difference, that the thermo- 
mctor is sometimes 98 and sometimes below zero, and a variation of 
thirty degrees will take place in twenty.fbur hours. It has its charms, 
ho^wever, as I; have fiaid before; and I have less reason , to complain 
than most people, as I verily believe I have never witniBsted two. days 
without cheering sunshine. The natives are alarmed at the object I 
worship; therefor^ I am always at variance, as their ooostaot etudy is 
to exclude my greatest blessing. Curtails, verandas, .and Venetian 
blinds, are the most saleable artidep ii^ America.. A nigger waiter 

♦His final decision was to five up the chaoot of tiis etti«, and proceed home' 
wards at ouce.^A. M. 



CHAlOJW MATHEWS. 240 

here (for I am driven to homrding^ in the honse with Price,) came in 
this morning and «ai<i, ** Missa If aters, a hau (boy) from de teetur 
dome to say dere no hearse five miles off,*' and he aslced *■ oar Bridget * 
afterwards, who waa dead 7 It was a postponement of the rehearsal 
of the •* Finger Post," in which I act on Friday next. 

An Irishman at the honse of a friend of mine, the aathor of ^ The 
Spy,^ and ** The Pioneers,** discovered a part uf the wood-woriL of a 
chimney-piece on fire, that endangered the whole house. He rushed 
up to his master and announced the alarming intelligence. Down he 
ruebed with him ; a large Icettle of boiling water was on the fire. 
" Well, why don't you put out the fireZ?,— "I can't, surr." "Why, 
you fool! pour the water upon it." — "Sure it's hot water surr."— 
Fact! 

A. thousand thanks, my dearest wife, for your cheerful, amusing, and 
truly affectionate letter.* I need not say I trust that my anxiety to see 
you is equal, if not greater, than yours to welcome my return. 1 live 
now but in this delightful hope in perspective. Ood bless thee and 
dear Qharijpyl 

C. Mathi ws.. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

New York, May 15th, 1823: 

It ia my intention to embark hence, on Sunday the 24th, in the - 
packet-ship Meteor, Captain Cobb, and hope to be at home, please 
God ! before my birth-day, the 28th of June.. Since I wrote to you 
last, 1 have received your journal up to the 5th of April, exposing to 
me for the fi^st time the wretched state of health to which you have 
been doomed in my absence. Indeed, indeed, I sympathize most sin- 
cerely with you, and g^'ievQ most truly that I have been, though the 
innocent, yet the real cause of your suffering^ by my unfortunate ex* 
pedition. Oh ! my prophetic soul! I may say; for I always declared 
that-th^ most severe pung at the calamity here was the pei&ct oenvtcr 
tion of the shock it, would, be to your nerves. I trust that youf well- 
meant and kind deception is not carried on now; and tibott I.,mayflat» 
ter myself with the hope that I shall find you, as you say., quite re- 
atorecl to health. .6od grant k may be so! 

I am quite resolved' now on my course. No. advantage under Hea- 
ven sbouid iodtfce me to inflict so cruel a penalty upon you as a jour* 
ney to LUerpool.. You must be convinced, of my entire ignorance of 
your state- of hisalth, when I even hinted at it. No;.- tl^ moment Lac.- 
rive at Liverpool .1 will write to you and inform yon of the tij;nc of my 
probable arriva) at home. I have written to Lewii again, by the Co- 
lombia, and infi^rmed hisn of roy new determination. So now, mj 
dearest wife, I have nothing to add, but that as my prayers have been 
unceasing fpr your health and happiness, th^ will be redoubled for our 
happy, happy meeting, and the entire restoration of your health. I. am 
astonished how you could get through such laborious tetters, and^thi^ 



£50 MSMOIRSOF 

ingenuity of yonr innocent deceit throughout What a deceitful pair 
we have been. At the very time yoa were. laying your plans, I was 
plotting here ; but 1 have never been deceived in my feelings and my 
forebodings. I possess thergift of second sight,, if any body ever did. If 
I wanted any thing to endear Charles to mo more strongly than ever, 
|t is his conduct tctWfir^ ;|rou, God will bl/esf hi^n fpr it. 

C* Mathews. 



CHAPTER XVUl 



Mr. Mathews at New York in the character of OtheUo^-^^acc&sa of 
the Attempt, — -Anticipation by the Americans that Mr. Mathews 
would, on his return to Eneland, ridicule their peculiarities. — ^Pub- 
lic dinner given to him. — Invitation to Montreal, declined by Mr. 
Mathews. — Letter to Mrs. Mathews: destructive storm; providential 
escape,— Mr. Mathews's arrival in England. — Letter from Mr. Ma- 
thews to Mr, Miller-r the homeward voyage. — Mr. Mathews's per- 
formance of Othello at Liverpool. — Letter from Mr^ Theodore Hook 
to Mr. Mathews. — Mr. Hook's sketches of hira8elf.-^ommission to 
Hr. Mathews, jun. by Lord Blessington^-^Letter from Mr. Mathews 
to a friend. — Mr, Mathews's engagement to perform in the regular 
^rama-rrfais journey to Dublin.*-T:Letter to Mrs.. Mathews: a stage- 
coach nuisance. — Mr. Mathews's dislike of idle visiters. — Letters to 
Mrs. Mathews: arrival at Seapoint; success at Dublin. - 

About the middle of May, Mr. Mathews waa induced to 
appear at New York, in the character of Othello, which he 
had studied for the occasion. What led him to perform such 
^ part I totally forget, although I have some indistinct recol- 
lection that it was in consequence of a wager made by Mr. 
Price. Strange to say, the attempt was received with great 
applause; and, being very attractive, was several times re- 
peated. I have fou^d the first and second bill of this perfor- 
mance. On both those nights, the tragedy was followed by 
the farce of •' The Prize," in which he played Lenitive, 

The following remarks, which appeared in America» on the 
performance, ought to find a place here. 

The perTomiance of last evening we consider one of the most extra- 
oidinary we ever witneaaed. It will hardly be credited that Mr. Ma- 



CHASLBS XATHEWB. 25l 

thews most completely succeeded in the trduous ch»ricter of Othdbf 
We could not conceive that an actor, whose forte has been consideied 
till now all comic, could so far divest himself of his humorous pecu- 
fiarities, as to convey to his audience a veiy chaste, correct; pleasing, 
and even aflTecting picture of the unhappy Moor. In Mr. Mathews^s 
delivery of the text, there was every thing to applaud ; in his action, 
nothing to condemn. To the business of the scene he was throughout 
most attentive, and in the third, fourth, and last acts, he aifonled the 
most complete triumph of skill we have ever witnessed. The cele- 
brated address to the duke and senators was judiciously given, with an 
air of modest firmness extremely pleasing; and to all the splendid pas- 
sages which stud this beautiful tragedy, Mr. Mathews gave additional 
effect, by the simple eloquence of his deliveryi and the correctness of 
his readings. 

The following sensible remarks, which Seem to anticipate! 
that Mr. Mathews was likely to take away with him, for 
Aome-consumption, some characteristics of the Americans, ap- 
peared in America, just on the eve of his departure. 

On Monday evening this extraordinary actor takes leave Of the 
American audience, to return to the comforts of his home and family, 
and to those friends and associates which many years of professional 
services and an unquestionable character and deportment have acquired 
for him. He returns with profit, if not with improvement; and though 
it may be expected that some of our national peculiarities will form 
the subject of future entertainments, we are persuaded that he has dis- 
cerned some traits worthy his esteem and respect. We should not 
complain if these peculiarities are presented in a rational and amusing 
way to an English audience ; for Mathews has been entertaining us 
with many amusing hits and laughable absurdities at the expense of his 
own countrymen. We have, therefore, no right to expect an exemp- 
tion from these professional sallies and satires. 

As a tribute of respect, a public farewell dinner was given 
to him. The following notice of it appeared: 

To-day, a party of Mr. Mathews's friends give him a dinner at 
Sykes's Coffee-house. We have no doubt it will be a splendid one, as 
Mr. Sykes has been several days preparing for it Tickets for this 
dinner only 10 dollars each! — A mere trifle! 

Previotts to his leaving America, Mr. Mathews received «e* 
veral invitations to visit Montreal. 



263 MEMOIRS OF 

TO CHARLSS If ATREWS ES^ 

DcAR Mathews, 

All the good people tff Montreal beg: ^"ve to offer you thfclr good 
wishes, and at the same time to give you a cordial invitation to visit 
their city. This request they flatter themselves will be complied with, 
for two reasons — First, because some time since, when in England, 
you mentioned how much happiness it would afford you to spend a 
short time with a friend of yours residing in this quarter, and that, 
should you ever come to America, you would endeayocTr so to do. 
The second reason is,— We presume, as a loyal subject, it would not 
be congenial to your feelings to leave the continent, not having mani- 
fested that regard and friendship you profess for your brother country- 
men. Do not let us be disappointed, we beseech you. We promise 
you that at least you shall receive British fare and British hospitality; 
and you may certainly collect very much fbr 'out brethren at home to 
laugh at. 

Yours, sincerely, 

TomKih^s.* 

To this> and a pevious iovitation, Mr. Mathews returned 
the following answier, addressed to ! 



Mt SKAR SIB) 



J. C> FISHER, ESa. 

New York, 22nd May, 1823. 



I wish, through your paper, to make my acknowledgments for two 
very kind though anonymous invitations from Montreal; the former of 
which appeared some time ago, the latter in the Montreal Herald; and 
to convey my unfeigned regret that a coniiblnation bf circumstances 
has deprived me of the pleasure of visiting my fellow subjects in tlie 
Canadas. 

It most certainly was myoriginal intention to offer my performances 
to a Canadian aWience; but it is in recollection that 1 arrived in this 
country during the ravages of a most awful calamity, the duration of 
which materially altered my plans, and rendered it impossible for me 
to open in New York till November. Thus nearly tw6 months of my 
limited time had elapsed before the commencement of my first engage- 
ment here. 

I should have answered by some means the first invitation that 
reached me^ but at that time I had still some hope, notwithstanding 
my engagements in the United States, of being able to accomplish the 
tour of Canada. In this expectation t was unavoidably disappointed. 
My engagements here did not terminate till the middle of May; and 
as I felt Very anxious, for many cogent Masons, to be in England about 

* From the Montreal Her&ld, April 96, 1833. 



CHAHUC8 XATaKWB. 998 

the end of June, I was compelled to relinquish altogether the satiifae^ 
ticm I promised myself from a visit to Montreal and Quebec. I fed 
much flattered by the professional attention these two invitations on 
the part of some inhabitants of Montreal indicate; and, notwithstand- 
ing my inabifity^ to comply with the wishes of my unknown correspon- 
dent in the Montreal Herald, I trust he will believe that I yield to n0 
one in g^tefui attachment to my friends^ and in true loyalty towards 
my kin^, in connexion with my fellow-Aibjects. Should I ever se 
foot again on tliis hospitable continent, 1 think I can promise that 
will not quit it a second time without paying a visit to British America ^ 
Believe me, yours^ very truly, 

C. Matbxwsv 



to MRS. MATHEWS. 

I was just in time to c>itch the last packet, owing to her having been 
injured in the gale; and I rejoice at the circumstance, because the en«> 
closed paragraph might have reached England and the London papers 
without the contradiction. Such a storm, and such a journey, never did I 
see or dream of seeing I I wrote in such a hurry that I forget whe- 
ther I told you one of the stage-coaches was struck, during the gale, 
by a poplar tree falling, which killed one of Price^s performers, of the 
name of Bursiem, and severely injured the other passengers. We 
passed the place about an hour after the accident, and saw the horrible 
remains of this calamitous event. One of the players was killed. I 
was known to have left Philadelphia that day, and of course it was 
me. Every body knew that Price was with me ; thus arose the re- 
port. My baggage, as usual (for it has always happened so,) was too 
late ; and the play was pat off here. Had I not been guarded by 
Price, who has my notions of travelling, I should roost likely have 
been a traveller in that stage, as our steamboat was sank. My escapes 
are almost miraculous, — certaiinly providential; and I feel in them se^ 
curity for the future. I constantly pray to be preserved to se^thee 
once more, my dearest. My liQalth is e^ellent, and my appearance 
more blooming than ever. God bless and protect you both, my dear 
wife and boy ! 

C. yUTBEWS, 

By the active friendship of Mr; Freeling, I received th^ 
earliest information of my husband's approach to England; 
and I set off, accompanied by Charles, to Liverpool, where 
we arrived some days earlier than Mr. Mathews, who landed 
about the 23rd of June, in high health and spirits. 

vol. 1. — 22 



t&4 MEMOlRff OP 



TO MR. MILLER. 

LWerpooI, Jant 96th, 192B. 

DEAk MlLL^ 

i have the pleasare oi" antionDcing^ to yon my safe arrivaT. I land* 
ed on Monday evening after a thirty days' passag^e. We bad fair 
winds and delicious weather for nineteen days ; on the Slst we saw 
Gape Clear, and had the pleasure of spending the remaining nine days 
in the ChanneK Like the ass between two bundles of hay, we were 
tantalized by the sight of Ireland in the morning, and Wales in the 
evening. We might have breakfasted at Waleiford and supped in 
Milford Haven, with such rapidity did wo sail when we tacked. Next 
day, Cork; evening, Carnarvon — Sunday morning, Dublin — ^night, 
within stone's throw of Holyhead light-house. However, as I never 
have been sick, and enjoy the besst possible health and spirits at sea, I 
bore this with more philosopliy than Qiy friends, who know my ner- 
vous irritability on shore, wou)d give me credit fc^. { had the pleasure 
of finding Mrs. Mathews and my son ' here most unexpectedly on my 
arrival, and the delight of finding them in good health. I am at least 
one year younger than when I left England, and highly gratified by 
my trip. Pray give my kindest regards to Mrs. Miller; and be assured 
that I am, as ever, 

Yours, very sincerely, 

C. Mathxws. 

P. S.— On my Arrival, I found that Mr. Lewis and Mrs. Mathews 
liad plotted to detain me here ; and I am obliged to submit to perform 
three nights, and the samt at Manchester. I shall be at home the 
week after next. 

The known effects of Mr. Mathews's performance of 
Othello in Atnerica naturally gave the manager of Liverpool 
a desire to profit in a similar manner from such extraordinary 
attraction. Mr. Mathews never meant to repeat the perfor- 
mance; hut Mr. Lewis tempted — Mammon led him on — and 
he consented, at the end of his engagement, one night more 
to fret in buskins. The announcement, as was expected, 
drew an immense house, and his performance was received 
with attention and applause, similar to what attended ft in 
■America. 

The following cridcal remarks upon his performance air- 
peared in Liverpool at the time. 



•«We think that Mr. Mathews' Of AeZZo was crediUble to his judg- 
ment; in some passages he was brilliant, in all a chaste and judicious 
illustrator of his author. The performance throughout was interest' 



CHARLES MATHSW8. 2U 

itif. Neverthelegfl, we had xnach rather meet him **At Home.** 
TTlius much we can, however, state, that those who, like ourselvefi, 
a.re Induced to see Mr. Mathews in OthellOi will he interested and . 
a.iiia8ed. We were pleased to observe so rauch attentton kk the au- 
dieoce, and the character played so totally clear of imitation. Indeed 
w/e thought Mr. Mathew9 was trammelled by the fear of breakin^f 
into the tone of some performer, of whom, in other characters, he 
bad perhaps given an imitation in the very same passage he was then 
uttering/* 



Dkar Mat. 



TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Putney, Sunday evening*. 



Ever since I saw a note of yours to Powell, in which you call me 
^Theodorug, I have been longing to get over to you ; but, well aware of 
the perpetual engagements of men in your extremely idle profession, 
X have thought of rehearsals and " recollections ;** and being some nine 
or ten miles from you, it would be rash to risk the journey on so slen- 
der a chance of catching you at home. 

I take this opportunity,— it may seem somewhat late, of congratu- 
lating you upon your return to England, after a series, if one may 
judge by the newspapers, of worries and dangers. I confess I long to 
talk over your marine adventures; and, as I suppose there would be 
no chance of getting you here, if you will tell me any morning when 
you will be cAsit wiw, except Tuesday or Thursday, t will drive over 
and breakfast with you — if you will let me* 

I cannot look back to old times — my first days in the worlds my dear 
Mat, without a mixture of pleasure and sorrow ; and now, that seven-* 
teen years have rolled over our heads (and rubbed almost all the hale 
off mine) I own I am anxious once more to shake you by the hand. 

I enclose Mrs. Mathews two sketches of myself at different periods, 
in order that, seeing what I toaa^ she may not start with horror at see* 
ing what I am. You will, I dare day, recognise the genteel one, which 
hi done after your imitation of me. rray, make my best remembrances, 
to her; and, if Tloig (Lord, when I remember him as I do!) is with 
you, to him also^ 

You hate paying postage for nonsense — revenge yourself by wciting 
ine an answ^; and so„ my d^ar Mat, good nighty and, God blQSs j[oa. 
Yours, always, 

TiiEoix>EK Hook. 

These pen and vaJL i^etches iveie done by Mr. Hook in 
admirable caricature of hiav3elf» at thfi dJiSerejit periods of his 
life mentioned. The exeessive good humour of thus offering 
a laugh against himself, by one apt to excite it against others. 
Is so contrary to th^ ujpual practice, that I think I cannot pay 
a higher compliment to Mr. Hookas understanding than m 



.2&6 MBMOIRS OF 

publishing such an agreeable evidence of its supeiiiorii^. 
And some remarks which I add on this subject will furnish 
additional proof of the little stress laid by this highly-gifted 
man upon personal appearance, even at an age when 9ueh self-, 
consideration is natural and allowable. 

In coiMiexion with the above circumstances, I will here relate an 
anecdote told me at the time by Mrs. Matliews, of the celebrated person 
alluded to^* and which gave» and still gives me a higher impression of 
liis intellectual qualities than I ever have been able to acquire from his 
subsequent writings. The anecdote arose out of two portraits of 
himself, which accompanied the letter announcing^ his inteitded visit. 
The one underlined "T. H. as he was" represented the eflBgy (as 
seen from behind) of a slim youth about seventeen, in ^ costume 
dandified to the very highest degree that good taste would admit, and 
with a head covered by a profusion of black and richly curling hair» so 
arranged as to indicate that its owner was by no means incognisant of 
the attractions appertaining to tiiat item of our personal economy. 
The other portrait, " T. H. as he is," exhibited the figure of a staid 
middle-aged gentleman, with not much more *< shape than a butter- 
firkin," with a gentle stoop, and a head bald as the back of your 
hand. On my making some remark on this latter metamorphosis as 
**the unkindest cut of all " that advancing years are apt to inflict upon 
us, at least if we are among those (whicii, the T. U. of the yputliful. 
portmit evidently was), who set any store by personal appearance, Mrs. 
Mathews related to n)e the anecdote I refer to, as a proof that Mr. 
Hookas early dandyism did not reach much beyond- the surface. In 
the course of one of his visits, Mr. Hook had intimated something to 
Mrs. Mathews, which she interpreted into a proof that he reckoned 
more on the outside of his head than the inside. He said nothing iu 
reply; but the next day he appeared before her, shorn of his rich 
curls as closely as scissors could effect the office, and with his. head 
powdered! I liave not observed whether Mr. Gilbert Gurney b^ re* 
lated this striking anecdote; but if not, he has onaitted the most 
remarkable fact of his supposed Iu ro*s life. 

I remember tiie most amusing part of Mathews!.s conversation. con« 
sisted of those reminiscences of his early life, witli which Mr. Hjook 
was so intimately connected. Several anecdotes, of this kind.occur to 
me, which, though literal facts^ are so extravagantly ludicrous ia, their 
details, that if they were^ related in a novel, or represented on the stage 
in a farce, they would b^loojced upon as even top ouir^.fof farcied 
fiCtion.f 

The following letter frorat Lord Blessington, gave the fixst 
promise of patronage and support to Charles, in £e professioa 
tipon which he had set his heart: — 



« Mr. Theodore Hook. 

t '* Becoilections ** of Bfr. Mathewi. 



CHARLES MATHEWS, 207 

TO CHARLES MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Mountjoy Forest, Aug. % 1823. 
Mt SEi.m Mathkws, 

I am determined to build a house here next spring*, and I should like 
to give your son an opportunity of making his d^M as an architect. 
If you like the idea, send him off forthwith to Liverpool or Holyhead, 
from which places steamers go, and, by the Derry mail, he will be 
here (resting a day in Dublin) in five days; but he must lose no time 
in setting off. I will brinj^ him back in my carriage. 

Remember me most affectionately to Mrs. Mathewsj and believe 
me ever yours truly, 

BLSSSIirGTOV. 

I saw Captain Saunders at Stratford, and he is to show me the spat 
on my return. I suppose it would be utterly useless my asking you to 
come with Charles; but if you wish to spend a week in one of the 
most beautiful places in Ireland, eat the best venison, highland mutton, 
and rabbits, and drink some of the best claret in Ireland, this is your 
spot. You would be received with undivided applause; and I would 
give you some comical dresses for youc kit Yours,-*^B. 



Chailes joyfully obeyed his Lordship's kind summons, 
and experienced from him not only active but unceasing 
friendship, to the period of his premature and lamented 
death. 

The next letter, in answer to an application from a needy 
friend for a loan, will fully show, not only th« liberality, but 
the extreme delicacy of the writer's feelings on such occa- 
sions — a liberality that seldom met a return in any satisfac- 
tory shape. 

TO ESQ. 

Highgate, August 9th, 1823. 

I hardly know how to apologize to you for my seeming want of 
feeling. I have not time to say to you how much i am affected by it 
myself; it must appear absolutely brutal to yoti, but I trust you know 
enough of me to give me full credit f«r sufficient friendship for you to 
render wilful neglect impossible. When I came home I found really 
a large bundle of letters and notes,— my playing at Liverpool will cost 
me a ream of paper* All the managers in the three kingdoms have 
written to roe. On seeing this load of interesting manuscripts upon 

22* 



958 MEMOIRS OF 

my »abl«, I beeame outrageous. ^ They appeared to me to aay, «* Do 
you flatter yourself you are to enjoy yourself in quiet? — No, no; now 
you are at home you must fag; come, air, write twenty letters the first 
<|ay — begin." I resolved not to open one for two or three days, and 
did not. At the end of that time I begged my wife to select those Iha^ 
really ought to be answered, and I would begin the unwilling task by 
degrees; some that were very long were put by. As she skimmed, 
see saw one from you. •**^Oh!" said I, "as I have just seen hira, and 
know the purport of it, that cannot require an answer." Only two 
days back I read all these letters attentively, and I really was shocked 
when I saw how I had inadvertently treated you. This is the simple 
state of the case; and you must excuse me as graciously as you can. 

I, feel quite disposed to do what you wish, though I really am not 
rich. My American expedition has lost me a lar^e sum out of the 
usual average of my income: but that between oureelves. I will do 
what you require. I am really sorry so much time has been lost; I 
cannot allow more time to be adtled to it by the ** law's delay.*' I 
don't know who to employ — I have no attorney — draw upon me for a 
part of the sum you mention — and we can talk of the secwrily after* 
Write by return. 

Love to your wife, in wliiqh my wife joins.' You will be surprised to 
hear Charles is gone to L-cland, to Lord Ulessington, who has sent for 
bim to build a house. 

I am all in a bustle. Yours ever, 

C. Mathews. 

If you'will mention. the sum you want for present use, my banker 
wiil probably m^nag;e the remittance. 



On Mr. Mathews's return to London, he entered upon an 
engagement at the English Opera-house to perform in the 
drama. He met with a most enthusiastic welcome, and at- 
tracted^ crowded houses. During this period he performed 
the characters oi AJonttieur Tonson<, Caleb Quotem^ and some 
other old favourites with the town, — prefacing his dramatic 
performances with one of his mono-dramatic pieces, "The 
Polly Packet*' 

At the close of' the English Opera-house, the following al- 
lusion to Mn, Mathews's late performances was made in the 
farewell speech of the season, delivered by Mr. Bartiey: 

The first appearance of Mr. Mathews in the drama for six years has 
been greeted with a warmth of feeling boixlering on enthusiasm; and 
the propHetor therefore congratulates himself on having been able to 
aflTord this wekQme treat *o the town, prior to an exhibition of the rich 
fund of eharacter and anecdote which the quick perception, acute ob- 
servation, and brilliant humour of that gentleman, has furnished for the 
budgtet of his next campaign, during bis late trip to America. 



CHAItLES MATHBWS. 1^90 

Having eonducled thid engagement, Mr. Mathews prd- 
fseeded to fnlfil one in Dublin, for a month; prior to his 
return to town, in order to prepare for his re-appearance ** At 
Home," in a nefw entertainment to be called his " Trip to 
America." Previously to his leaving London, however, 
another event of great domestic interest occurred, — no less 
than Charles's second departure from home, on a twelvemonth 
visit to Lord and Lady Blessington, at the Palace Belvidere, 
Naples. Soon after his return, with his noble friend, from a 
visit to Mountjoy,, he quitted England with him in the same 
week that his father left town. Mr. Mathews proceeded to 
Dublin by the way of Liverpool, as the succeeding commu- 
nication will explain. 

TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Liverpool, Sept. 27th, 1823. 

I arrived here in safety last night. 1 had some of my old luck in the 
coach; a woman with a child about two months old, — the most com-' 
plete nuisance I ever encountered. There was no possibility of escape 
ii'om its noises, asleep or awake, (I have no doubt it has been dead 
some hours;) tlie principal one was an extraordinary row, — something 
midway between IJignum and a duck. After sucking mamma, each 
time bein,^ laid upon its back, it spouted up the milk as from a fountain 
(I imagine, — being dark, I only felt it)— then snore, snore, snore — 
quack, quack, — a caricature of an old man in an asthma. I never at- 
tempted to sleep till after breakfast, at Coventry; for, shortly after- 
wards, we g^t rid of mother and child, to my great delight. I made 
up for it last night, having slept twelve hours. 

The vessel for which I hurried here is out of repair; but [ am lucky 
to have found, as a substitute, the very finest of them all, — the St. 
George. She lands at Dunl,eary, close to Seapoint, where I am 
expected, I found a letter waiting for me from Elder, saying he had 
prepared for me there, much to my satisfaction; 1 shall, therefore, have 
hiffi constantly for my companion, and I do not wish a better. I shall 
avoid by this means all intniders in the way offiallerSt petitioners, orderly 
people, &c.; and as I have no rehearsals, and play but three times a 
week, i shall want only fine weather to make myself comfortable, for 
the situation is divine. 

C. Mathxws. 



My husband could npt patiently sit out:;a morning visit. He 
never took up any body's time in this way^ oit what is termed 
ccMed upon his most intimate friend. 0& such occasions in 
his own house, if he was caught^ as he called it, by m^^ 
idlers, he would sit silent during their stay, leaving them upon 



t^ MEMOIBS OF 

my haads, unless directly appealed to; for he had no small 
4fUk^ neither could he. tolerate common-place, nor had he an 
«ar for useless unprofitable remarks, and a truism almost 
offended him. Yet he loved trifling upon occasions, and 
indulged in it most amusingly. Newsmongers did not re- 
commend themselves to him; scandal he disdained, and 
would not listen to; for he literally closed hLs hearing on the 
very first hint of it, by turning his face away, and, unper- 
ceived by the vendor, placing his fingers against the portals 
of his ears. This he did during vehement and causeless 
laughter. An angry voice, or a cough, was acutely felt by 
that delicate, and, in his case, painfully fastidious organ. 

Yet bored as he felt, and sullen as he appeared with such 
visiters during their stay, the moment he saw them departing, 
his good-nature and innate sense of propriety prevailed over 
personal inconvenience; and he would suddenly relent and 
invariably follow them into the hall, and begin a sort of con- 
versation, detaining them in tb^ most agreeable manner, even 
against his own wish, from the dread of having hurt their 
feelings by his neglect during their visit. 

When we removed to London, the space between the en- 
trance to the interior of the house being so much shorter than 
from the gate to the porch of the cottage, people were apt to 
surprise him sometimes before he could say nay. This dis- 
concerted him during the whole morning. After some time, I 
caused a middle door to be placed in the hall, intercepting his 
library, and contrived to have an eyelet hole made in one 
comer of it, with a piece of plate-glass artfully inserted, so 
that, when a bore knocked at a time positively unwelcome, or 
inconvenient to listen to his gentle dulness, my husband 
would peep through the glass, and by silence exclude him, — 
the signal for the servant admitting any person was the tinkle 
of a little silver bell by Mr. Mathews. By this litde stratagem 
I saved him many an uncomfortable hour, though then I was 
not aware how vitally important it was for him at this period 
to be guarded from annoyance. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Dublin, Sept 29tl), 1823. 

.1 arrived at DanWaiy esriy thh morning, makini^ the passage in 
twelve hours and a liaJ^ within half an hour of the quickest ever per- 
formed. The weather was beautiful and cdm, and the voyage 



'CHABLE8 MATHEWS. 261 

deliglktful. I am settled tX Sea|>oint, with a tilbury and gigf, ** and all 
that sort of thinjTf** ready to convey me to Dublin — *'and every thin^ 
in the world.*' I could not get the whole of my luggafTe over in one 
vessel, and f^iould not liave got even a part, in the St. George, had I 
not entreated witli uplifted hands and tears in my eyes. I am obliged, 
therefore,, to postpone my appearance until Thursday. The weather is 
divine, and you know how important that is to me. The view from 
Seapoint is enchanting. We had on/y two hundred haymakers on board, 
"who kicked up such a bobbery that it was quite a burlesque to attempt 
sleeping, as all those confessed who tried. I sat up with three or four 
chcnce spirits, and we ^ughed at their simplicity; but I am no sufferer, 
thank Godf being in such rude health,i that " How fat yoi^ are!'* has 
l^een my Reception hitherto. 

' C. Mathxws. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Seapoint, Oct. Srd, 1823. 

On Tuesday the sports began— my old Dublin tortures. Every 
house I look at associates — postman — no letter — delay, &c.; so often 
ha.ve I been in suspense here. Pray write often. One single line 
yesterday, just before \ went on the st^ge, would have set me up for 
the night. 

I opened last night, and with great supcess. My reception equal to 
the English Opera first night. The Wliist Song, a great hit; 
** Crooskecn«lawn,** .encored, and every Irish joke received with roars. 
This shows great good-nature and liberality certainly. I trembled for 
tlie Whi^t Song,* and it wa3 one of the most effective things. Every 
thing i^ertt off w^ll. 

. ;. C. MiTSswa. 

* Thfl wliol« of which he gave in a variety of l>ro|u^i.-rA» M. 



963 mMOua of 



CHAPTER XIX, 



Mr. Madiews*s Reluctance to give Offence in his Representation of 
American Character. — Lettec on, this Subject from Mr. James 
Smith. — Letters to Mrs. Mathews: Irish Anecdotes: Danger of 
Suffocation: Arrival in Wales: Thurtell, thp Murderer.— Invitation 
to Oxford. — Letters to Mrs. Mathews: Sadler the JEronaut. — Letter 
from Sir John Carr to Mr. Mathews: Last Moments of Bellingham, 
' the Murderer. — Mr. Mathews's new Entertainment, the •• Trip to 
America." — Account of the Performance,— Motives of the present 
Biographer for preserving the Public Records of Mc Mathews's 
•* Table Performances." 

If no other evidence of Mr. Mathews's consideration re- 
specting his forthcoming representation of American character 
had been manifest, the following letter, in reply to his 
reluctance to give offence, and his anxiety to bestow praise, 
would be sufficient to convince the Americans, how tenderly 
scrupulous my husband felt of any mention that might be dis- 
tasteful to the country which had so recently treated him with 
kindness and attention. Mr. Smith's letter was dictated by a 
business-like view of the subject, unallied to the remotest 
prejudice on his own part, or a desire to encourage it in others. 
As the author of the Entertainment, he was naturally anxious 
to seize upon those incidents and characteristics best suited 
to interest and entertain, and he thought it fair to proceed as 
lie had previously done, when his own country and country- 
men were the subjects. 



TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Oct 4th, 1823. 
DcaR Mathews, 

I think ^ General Jackson " will be a hit. Your Anglo-Gallic will 
come well into play, and ** Malbrook " is & taking air. In the intro- 



CHARLES MATHXWB. 263 

^ctimi, where yon end by sayings, •* A faondred yertes, of wtiidt I un* 
fbrtanately only retain ten,'* say, ** nnfortiinately (or perba^ I should 
say fortuntUdy.*^*) This self-humility will cause you to be exalted* 
I cannot ag^ree with yoa as to the necessity of compliinenting the 
Americans. " The theatre,'' says Puff, in the Critic, ** mi|[ht be made 
an admirable school of morality ; at present, however, I am sorry to 
say, people go there chiefly for their divdltslon." In like manner, the 
town comes to **• Mathews at Home " for a laugh — at him, if he fail, 
and with him if he Isttcceed. I have no objection, however, to a com. 
plimentary final speech : something like this : — ** May nothing separate 
England a)id America but the billows of tb)fe Atlantic." That will be 
^oing off with a bounce. Your having been hospitably received in 
America is ndthin? to me, and worse than nothing to the audience. 
You may have a private reason of your own. Why two and twb should 
make six, but they will only make four, notwithstanding (Johnsim.) 

And now, my good fellow, I wUl quote to you a case in point. Last 
Saturday I dined at the Beefsteak Club. Charles Morris has a song 
quizzing the Yankees, to the tune of ** Yankee Doodle." He was 
asked to sing it. To this he objected thus :— » Oh, no, my dear boys, 
any thing else. It won't be safe."— "Why not safe?"— "Why, al- 
though at my age, it is not very likely that I shall ever revisit Ameri- 
ca, yet, if I should, were my singing that song to get wind, the Presi- 
dent might make America decidedly uncomfortable to me." We all 
took our oaths not to betray him. Whereupon, pointing up to a mot* 
to from Horace, suspended over the fire-place^ and ejaculating " Fides 
inter amicos," with a mysterious air, he started off with his song. On 
the following day 1 met Washington Irving, and most treacherously 
divulged to him the whole transaction, adding these words: "Now, 
pray don't tcU this to the Preddent of the United States; for, if you 
should, he would make America devilish uncomfortable to Charles 
Morris." — "No, I wont)" vms his humane considerate reply. 

Yours very truly, 

James Smith. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Seapoint, Oct. 15th, 1823. 

As there is no post to-morroW, I write a few lines to say, I am quite 
well; never better ; and all is well. 

A little 6t< of Irish :— I desired to be called yesterday morning. I 
was not obeyed. Th6 man who Waits oh Elder and me was taken to 
task for it. He said, "I came into your room, sirr; but you were 



* *' General Jackson." In allusion to a ludicrous and almost interminable song 
'sung by a Frenchman In Afllefica in praise of General Jackson, which Mr. Ma* 
thews had forwarded to Mr. Smith to amuse him, and of which be itatniduced « 
portion in the *'Trip^o America."— A. M. 



264 MEMOIRS OT 

«flleep» and so I did not call you.**^** I£ I had been awake yoa woold^ 
tben?"— ** I should, sirr/' 

Epitaph on a child six tpeekt old .*>- 

** I wonder what I was bc^un for, 
Since I was so soon done for.*' 

I rejoice to hear that yoa are ^oing on so well in planting. ** God 
prosper yoa, ma*amt in your endeamouro" My houses keep up to the 
mark. I get from SOL to 70/. per night. The '* Polly Packet" a 
greater hit than the other. Daniel O^RourkCt an uproarious favourite. 
" Disperse,** a screech. Indeed, I have every reason to be more than 
flattered, after Catalani*s prodigious haul. 

A lady here has a Dow Buckinghamish sort of beard, A gentleman 
to-day said, ** It would be indelicate to mention it, though somebody 
ought to tell her of it. I think 1*11, send. her an anonymous razor." 
The same lady was rather gummy about the ankles. The man ob- 
served, ** She has patent heels, to keep the dust out of her shoes,** &c. 

C. Mathxws. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

, Seapoint, Oct. 20, 1823. 

I wish you would write a line to James Smith, and ask if he re- 
ceived the packet I sent him when he was at Mr. Hope's, and when I 
may cs^pect some, for my anticipations as to the Entertainment begin 
to be alarming. In former times, I have been perfect in three or four 
songs by the mouth of November. I dined yesterday with Lord Com- 
bermere, who has a house at Monkstown. We had a great laugh over 
the old story of Major Johnson, and the bishop and the lion. I had a 
very pleasant day — quite comfortable. Show me a bedroom, 1*11 swear 
to peoples' habits who have furnished it. 

I made an agry reply to a beggar-woman to-day: — "I have no 
money.** — " Good luck to you, leave us a lock of your hair.** Adieu ! 

C. Mathews. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Dublin, Oct. 21st, 1823. 

I am beautifully well. Such divine weather I have never seen for 
so many days together in my life. I need not comment on the news 
about Mitfprd.* 

• Another of bis konoura^U debrbrs.— A. JUf; 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 265 

Huases keep ap to the average I sent you, and every tiling is ri^ht 
t am in robust health, and, for me, good spirits. Am rather fatigued 
with avoiding invitations, but am stout I wander daily from four to 
five hours alone, and revel in the solitude I so much prefer to talking. 
I have hired a chariot for my play-nights. I seldom come home alone. 
Last night a party of twelve of the boarders went to the theatre, and 
retarned to supper, very jolly, quite in my way. Then I can talk, be- 
cause I ought not, I suppose. A Galway gentleman here said, — ** I 
shall go into the 32nd regiment ; I shall be nearer my brpther, who is 
in the 31st.*' 

The following is a fact: — ^The present sheriff at bis dinner, when 
somebody proposed the Duke of Wellington's health — *^ The First Cap- 
tain of the Age "—-actually gave out ** The First Chaplain of the Age!" 
He is a cutler, and when his health was proposed, a wag whispered to 
the band, who had played appropriate tunes to the other toasts, to play 
♦* Terry heigho the ChrinderV* which was done! — ^The King shook 
hands with a peasant, when he was here, who said, " I'll not wash that 
hand for a twelve-month." — One little bit at parting: — A drunken fel- 
low taken home by his friend, was challenged by another : ** Who is 
that? Where are you going?" &c. ** Why, I think your friend has 
had too much?" — »* Why, I think he had better have divided it fairly, 
half to-day and half to-morrow." A watchman came up. »» How much 
has he drunk?" said a by-stander. " A gallon at laste!" — " Then I 
take him into custody for carrying off a gallon of liquor without a per- 
mit /" 

C. Mathews. 



TO MRS. MATHBWS. 

Liverpool, Nov. 4th, 1 8S3. 

As there are perils by land, as well as by sea, I think it is proper, 
right, respectful, and dutiful, to inform you of my safe arrival here, 
after a very narrow escape from smothering. Don't be alarmed, — only 
from human breaths. With three such brutes never did man travel ! 
There was no possibility of getting a breath of air, but by quarrelling. 
Not even the common-place politeness of a coach<traveller was prac- 
tised; " Would it he agreeable to have this toindow up?" No, 
up it went! I watched them to sleep, stole it down. In a few mi- 
nutes, up! — and down again ; and so on, without a word. Three great 
hulking rascals too, and afraid of cold, pretty dears ! All Lancashire 
men of commerce ! I could make no impression. At last, when we 
stopped to change horses, I engaged an Irishman, who had been a 
brother in affliction in the packet with me, and an outside passenger, 
to break the window with his heel, which I paid for; and thus I ar- 
rived alive. If I can judge of physiognomy, which I had the oppor- 
tunity of studying at breakfast, at Chester, 1 was suspected. I deter- 
mined to put It out of all doubt before we parted ; and when I was no 
longer doomed to keep company^ in the boat crossing the Mersey, I 
asked the guard the price of the glass, and paid for it, to the utter 
VOL. 1.^—23 



260 XEX0IB8 07 

amazement of the ealico-printers. The faces of the party would have 
been a subject for Wilkie; particularly the Irishman and the guard, 
who eyidently had a perception of the humorous. 
' I was too much elated upon my landing, after such horrors, and the 
sight of the dear little Welsh hats, and the clean faces, and the com- 
fortable appearance of a wretched Welsh town, and mixing with in- 
habitants where murder is unknown! to think of expressing any thing 
but pleasure at being safe ; I therefore forgot to announce the receipt 
of this renowned manuscript, this mysterious American packet, which 
has made more noise than ever stupid negro song created before ; for it 
is literally nothing else. It is the mountain and the mouse. I don't 
know which was the greatest ass, the man who wrote it, or the man 
that sent it. It would not have been tolerable without the excitement 
of three weeks' expectation and suspense, but with it, the reading was 
an absolute afQiction. But no matter, let that end. 

I arrived here this morning, after fifteen hours, ft-om Holyhead. It 
would not have suited my poor little trembling wife. Three ferries 
had I to cross to avoid Parkgale^ — ^three of them ! and two in the 
dark ; first, Bangor, then Conway, and then the Mersey. Luckily, the 
weather was very fine. In wet weather I have no notion of so mise- 
rable a journey, as that must be. I got here at seven o'clock, none 
the worse, thank God ! I can say no more on the Mitford business 
than I did before. Here's human nature ! What a piece of work is 
man ! How villainous in conception ! how deformed in all his propen- 
sities ! how base to his fellow man ! bow doubly base to woman ! 

This is a drunken-looking letter on reading it over ; but four honrs' 
sleep have not recovered me, strong as I am, from the last four days' 
real fatigue and anxiety. I am frrry tired. God love and preserve 
my dearest wife for her affectionate husband, 

C. Mathsws. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Liverpool, Nov. 5th, 1823. 

I have been at rehearsal all the morning, and have asked my old 
Cruet of Cayenne* to dine with me, as the only time, by good luck, I 
can see him. I am very perfect \ so are all the performers. I have 
nothing on my mind ; and therefore I shall **0tt,"t and with good hu- 
mour. Indeed, after the responsibility of twelve performances, all on 
my own shoulders, acting Morbleu or FeigntoeU is like slippers after 
tight boots. I really like a bit of acting by way of change, and the 
different aspect of all about me here. The horses, the saw-dust, the 
brogue, I heard the last two days in. the Dublin theatre, the wretched 
appearance of all about that royal stable, make me enjoy myself so, 
you canH think. 

* One of the names be gave to Mr. Ryley, the " Itinerant.** 

t This IB a quotation from Mr. Curran's speech to him in 1811, which Mr. Ma- 

tbewB afterwards applied to any thing that be coniidered a Is**. Mr. Byley was 

apt to be garrulous.— A. M« 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 267 

I read the aeeoant of the murder on Sunday last; I had the addi- 
tional shock of knowinjjf the murderer, — not quite intimately, but I 
mig-ht, if I had liked. I knew his father, who is aa alderman at Nor- 
wich; and when I was there last, I could hardly keep John Thurtell 
out of my inn or my dressing-room ; but all his conversation was in 
the iancy line, and I avoided him. I am told the disclosure of the plot 
since is more horrible than all the rest 

I finish here on Wednesday next, and then for ** home and wife,*' 
for, I hope, eight months. You did get my ** vexed feelings " about 
the manuscript. I really wish it had been lost, for I had philosophized 
about it ; but such despicable trash I out of which I cannot extract one 
joke to set all Dublin Castle in an uproar, and annoy you, as I must 
have done, was too much. 

I have ** sat** since I wrote the above, and the artist has left me 
but /took the portrait Poor Triate!* «« So, you toitZ act ! Ha! I 
saw it growing upon you, when you were here last. Why give up 
your own profession ?t You degrade yourself! Well, I wish I could 
do what you can ; I'd see the managers at the devil There she sat," 
(meaning his deceased wife) — ^ I've her miniature in my pocket Do 
you smoke 7 Ah! I lore porter. You are a lucky fellow ; but I pro- 
mised not to croak. I place the two chairs by me at Parkgate that 
supported her coflSinl then I go and drink with the farmers. Ah! 
you'r a queer fellow — ^you don't like society — my monkey, too, is dead 
since I saw you — the greatest beauty !^-alway8 keep the miniature — 
it shall be buried with me." — ** What! the monkey?" — »*No, no; how 
can you joke on such a subject? I love monkeys; they are better than 

half mankind. is a monkey, but not so good ; — I mean as 

Anne, poor soul ! I wish I had a segar ; but it would annoy you; 
God bless you — ^you are rich — give my love to your little woman." 
**^ I have long given her all mine,'^ said^- 

0. Mathews {exit Triste,) 



TO MRS. MATHEWS, 

Liverpool, Nov, 13th, 1823.t 

In my last I forgot to acknowledge the receipt of the packet from 
Smith. You may say to him I approve, as far as it goes, and that the 
artist's name is Rembri^ndt Peel, who painted the portrait.§ Stewart, 
Jarvis, and Sully, are the other most celebrated — ^the former (Stewart) 
at the head. Appoint as early a day as convenient to him to come to 
Highgate. In the mean time, let him pursue the notion he has al- 
ready got of the silly wonder expressed by Europeans at finding the 
Americans without wings. It is the happiest mode of showing up 
prejudices without offending either nation. 

* Mr. Ryley again.~A. M. 
t Meaning his ** At Home.**— A. M. 

X Thif letter will forniih additional evidence of the writer'! genaine feelings 
about America.— A M. 
} A portrait of my husband, painted in Aoierioa.— A. M. 



Z6S MEMOIRS OF 

My rehearsals take up so much of my time that I have hardly lei- 
pure to be in the air, and very little for writing, as I am afraid you 
will perceive. However, your two last are quickly answered, t am 
all impatience now till I step into the mail, with such prospects before 
me J I have never felt so satisfied with my lot, or so cheerful in my 
mind regarding the future, as I have done since my return from Ame. 
rica. I am stronger than ever ; and the advantages our dear boy has 
had thrust upon him, solace me under all the minor annoyances of life 
that have hitherto upset me. Grateful feelings to Providence for such 
blessings have been uppermost in my mind, and in moments of great 
depression I do not think as I used to do of those miseries which are 
past and beyond remedy. On Friday evening, please God ! I shall be at 
the Wellington, where you took leave of me. Let David meet me 
there. I shall have only one portmanteau. He had better inquire in 
the morning what hour exactly the Liverpool mail arrives, as my in- 
formation here may be incorrect. 

-C. Mathews. 

It will appear from the following letter that Mr. Mathews 
was induced to stop on his way home at Oxford, in conse- 
quence of a letter from a friend there, to whom he writes in 
reply as follows: 

Liverpool, Nov. 14th, 1823. 

Mrs. Mathews has forwarded me your kind letter; and, although I 
had resolutely (as 1 thought) determined to *Uake mipie ease" at my 
cottage until March, I cannot resist your invitation to Oxford. If the 
Mayor will give me the hall, why, only my permission is wanting, and 
I grant it. I permit myself to appear " At Home '* at Oxford. Now, 
as it is not much out of my way to London from hence, and as I think 
it necessary to make some arrangements, and ask some few questions, 
I shall contrive -to get to Woodstock or Oxford on Saturday evening. 
If you will let me hear you preach on Sunday, and give me a dinner, 
80 be it. 

C. MATHXwa. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS, 

Handborowgh, Nov. l^th, 1823. 

I arrived here at seven yesterday evening, having basked outside the 
coach from Birmingham all day. That brilliant beloved sun ! that glad- 
dened me on the road, did not deign to shine at Oxford. I have been 
to hear my old schoolfellow preach,* and was much pleased with him. 
He is a very g^od and impressive reader. He vows you shall coQie 
with me, and aunty says so too. I have kept off for you as you told 

* The Rev. Thomas SpeidelU— A. M. 



I 
CHAXtSS MATHBW8. 209 

me, and made some ezcusei. Speidell desires kindest love and tegaid% 
and 90 does agfUy'One/ 

Sadler, the aeronaut, travelled with me from Liverpool At Wol- 
verhampton a man got from the top of the coach, and said mysterious- 
ly, taking me on one side, <* Mr. Mathus, do you know wha*s 'at inside 
o*t co«A>»*— " No."—" Why, Saddler, the Awwra." Fact! 

C. Mathxwb. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Oxford, Nov. 18th, 1823. 

I leave Oxford to-morrow morning, and shall be at the Gloucester 
Warehouse in Oxford Street, comer of Park Street, at four o'dock. 
Tell David to meet me there with the catriagei and dine at the rooit 
convenient hour to yourself. 

The affitir here is not yet settled, though, I think, well en trains but 
of this I am quite satisfied, that without a personal canvass I should not 
have got a vote. There is an order in council, that is, the shopkeep- 
ers of the vilbige, to refuse the Town Hall for all public performan6«H 
players, tumblers, conjurers, &c* This I have been told before. How* 
ever, I won over the mayor (a gen/Zemon, a banker,) and a ei-deoani 
majror, and two or three aldermen. They cannot meet soon enourii 
for me Unnorrow, and I will not wait their decision. But I reafiy 
think I shall succeed notwithstanding the doubts and fears oiMderman 
Braumdcut and Mr* Jkfvty Swedbreadf whose partner, Mr. Cleavo^ 
18 a Methodist I have walked about five miles, I guess, without sit- 
ting down once, and my poor little Speidell, who never left my elbow, 
is more tired thui I am. And now, fiu^well! till we meet to-morrow» 
which I pray we may in health and spirits. If you are as happy as I 
am at ^e prospect, we are two veiy happy people. Qod bless you! 

Affectionately yours, 

Charles Mathbws. 

About this period Mr. Mathews received the following let- 
ter from Sir John Carr, which may be found interesting, as 
relating to a remarkable and mournful public event: 

TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

New Norfolk Street^ Park Lane. 

DlAB MaTHSWS^ 

I have the pleasure of sending for jrour autographical collection, a 
letter written by Bellingham,* who was executed, as you may recol- 

• This letter was sold amonast my hnsbaad's coUection of aatograpbi, sines bis 
death.-A.M.. 

23* 



1 
270 MEMOIRS OF 

lect, for the murder of Mr. Perceval. It was addressed to Bellingham's 
wife, the night before he suffered, and is in pencil, pen and ink not 
being allowed. A brief detiul of the circumstances under which I be* 
came possessed of it may, perhaps, be interesting. 

Conceiving, but, as it proved, in error, that I had seen Bellingham 
in Russia, in an insane state, I visited him in Newgfate a short time pre- 
ceding his trial, as I afterwards did on the morning of his execution; 
and being acquainted with one of the sisters of Mrs. Perceval, I was 
desirous of ascertaining whether he had been incited to the deplorable 
deed by any political animosity, or by the instigation of any one. 
Upon my addressing him on these points, he solemnly denied all feel- 
ings of enmity or influence, and appeared to exult with conscientious 
pnde in having solely achieved what he emphatically called ** the me- 
lancholy catastrophe,*' declaring at the same time, that after many una- 
vailing efforts, the only mode he had of getting his commercial ac- 
counts in Russia adjusted was, by putting an end to the Chancellor of 
the Exchequer. He also added his hope, that Ais melancholy catas- 
trophe would be a yarning to future ministers not to suffer persons 
who had unsettled accounts to waste their time and patience, as he had 
been obliged to do, by fruitless applications to secretaries and clerks 
in public offices. Upon other topics he was perfectly rational. 

The figure of this man was tall and well proportioned; his counte- 
nance expressed intelligevice and g^at irritability. On the morning 
of his execution, of a large concourse of persons admitted into the 
press-yard, I only (the loid-mayor, sheriffs, and usual attendants ex- 
cepted) was permitted to remain in the room (for the condemned) ad- 
joining. Whilst the executioner was securing his hands and arms in 
the manner usual on such occasions, some of these persons were inces- 
santly pressing him with questions regarding his religious convictions, 
to which he listened with placid composure and perfect self-posses- 
sion, and replied with so much clearness and good sense, as showed that 
he had well considered the subject. During part of this conversation 
he turned to me, and requested that his regret and condolence might 
be communicated to Mrs. Peroeval, but be at the same time persisted 
in the justice find necessity of the deed he had done. The Ordinary 
told me, that in the act of again expressing his approval of " the ca- 
tastrophe,*' and that he had no other mode of getting his accounts set- 
tled, the drop fell. After the execution, a gentleman belonging to one 
of tiie evening papers importuned me for a statement of all that had 
pasised in the room before mentioned, which I gave him; and some 
time, after, as a* smalt proof of the sense of the benefit his paper had 
deriveil from it, he sent me this letter of Bellingham's which he had 
purchased of the jailer who attended him. Upon my expressing a 
wish to forward it to Mrs. Bellingham, he assured me that a copy of it 
had been sent to her, as well as published in many of the papers; that 
she and her late husband had long lived upon very bad terms, although 
he had so affectionately addressed her, and that if I took the trouble of 
sending the original to her, he was convinced it would not be valued. 
I remain, dear Mathews, 

Very truly yours, 

John Carr. 



CHARLES HATHISWS. 271 

The succeeding letter will show, that although an ardent 
collector, Mr. Mathews was not a churl; when he was re- 
quested to enrich the recollection of another of similar taste. 



TO W. UPCOTT, ESQ. 

Mr DEAR Sir, 

Pray accept an apolo^ for any apparant rudeness to you in slight* 
ing yoor friendly letter, but the fact ill, it slipped my memory ; and 
the truth is best at all times. You will not think it very surprising 
that a memory kept on the full stretch, as mine is necessarily in my 
profession, should be occasionally treacherous in matters not relating 
to it. X shall be most happy to contribute to your collection of auto- 
^aphs, if in my power, without fee or reward. It is, in my mind, a 
highly interesting pursuit, and it will afford me. great pleasure to en* 
courage a brother collector. I hope you will do me the favour to look 
over my series of theatrical portraits, paintings, and drawings, and that 
you will consider this as a free admission whenever it may suit your 
convenience. 

. I>ear sir, yours very truly, 

C. Mathkws. 



On Mstrch 25th Mr. Mathews performed his new Enter- 
tainment at the English Opera-house, called, as the bill of 
the night will show, his 

TRIP TO AMERICA. 

;Part I. — Exordium.— Tourists. — Embarking on Board the William 
litmpson. — Speaking Trumpet. — Whimsical Coincidence of Names* 
— Yellow Fever.— -In Sight of New York.— Land at Hoboken.— New 
Brunswick. — English Importations. — Jack Topham and his Cousin 
Bray.— Waterloo Hotel, Liverpool, contrasted with Washington Hotel, 
Elizabeth Town. — American Phrases expounded. — Cool Landlord. — 
Hot Wine. — Arrival at Bristol (in America.) — First appearance at 
Baltimore. — ^Philadelphia. — Steam-boat and Stage-coach Characters. — 
Arrival at New York. 

Song. — Mrs. Bradiah^a Boarding Houae, 

More Characters. — American Fun.— Mr. Raventop, the American 
Jester. — Major Grimstone, »* very wcW." — ^Mr. Pennington.— American 



272 MBX0IR8 0T 

Strictures on English Toorists.— War^Poblic Dinner.— ^yeneral 
Jackson. — ^French Poet Laureat. 

Soug.--Ode to General Jackion. 

American Army. — Irregular Regulars.— Muskets and Umbrellas. 

Song.— JIf iiitia Muster Folk. 

Part II.— African Theatre.— Black Tragedian, *^ To he or not 
to ber 

Song.— Opostum up a Gum Tree; real negro melody. 

Definition ^ the word Yankee, — Jack Topham on the Natives^p-* 
Arrival at* Boston. — ^Bunker's Hill. — A real Yankee, Jonathan W. 
Doubikin, and his Uncle Ben. — John and Jonathan on ^ J gueUj*^ and 
'• Fott ibioto."— Mons. Mallets— Election. 

Song.— Boston Pott Qfiee, 

Providence. — ^Enticements for Mr. Mathews to perform.— Court of 
Justice.— Charge to the Jury.^— Emigration discouraged by a British 
Farmer. — Disabled Goods and Chatties. 

Song« — Ulinoie Inventory, 

Maximilian the Ni^r (Anglice^ Negro,) and the Snuff-boz.— Pre- 
parations to depart. — ^Farewell Finale. 

Part III.^ — A Monopdylogue, called 

All Well at Nachitochks! 

Colonel Hiram Peglar, a Kentucky Shoemaker. 
Agamemmon, a poor runaway Negro. 
Jonathan W. Doubikin, a real Yankee (his|ma8ter.) 
Monsieur Capote, a French Emigrant Tailor. 
Mr. 0*Sullivan, an Irish Improver of his Fortune. 

%* All the Characters of the Entertainment to be represented by 
Mr. Mathews. 



The following will convey the pith of tiiie various accounts 
of this Entertainment published at the time. 



CHARLK8 MATHEWS. 273 

Mr. Mathews, in his late trip to America, has not failed to catch 
many of the leadingr characteristics of Jonathan^ for the amusemeDt of 
his £iend John, He commences his " Lecture " on the pecaliarities, 
characters, and manners he has seen during his late trans-Atlantic 
trip, by observing, that the same motive which induced Columbus to 
quit his native shores, also impelled him to undertake this voyage — ^the 
^* avri sacra fames" Afler a ludicrous account of his embarking on 
board the William Thompson^ and an introduction to his friends Jack 
Ihpham and his Cousin Bray^ the former a determined punster, and 
the latter an enthusiastic admirer of his relation's wit, we become ac- 
quainted with an American landlord, the coolness of whose temper, 
and the heat of whose wine, form a curious contrast to the ready ac- 
commodation of an English house of reception. This phlegmatic host 
is described to have had curiosity in his eye, and a segar in his mouth. 
He gets dinner for nobody who comes after his usual hour, and treats 
his customers as if they were soliciting a favour rather than conferring 
a benefit. The port-wine is mistaken by Jack for " mulled Day and 
Martin,'* and the other parts of the Entertainment, which were pro- 
cured with so much difficulty, were equally doubtful to the well-prac- 
tised taste of a Londoner. 

At Baltimore Mr. Mathews meets with so much kindness and hos- 
pitality that he was inclined to think himself*^ kt home." He regrets 
that tourists, who satirise the places they visit with so much asperity, 
should not first examine their own capabilities of enjoyment before 
they deal so harshly with those whose kindness deserves a better re- 
turn, than the unmerited disgust which has sometimes been excited 
against them, by those who carried discontent in their own breasts, 
and were predetermined to bo displeased with every thing. On board 
the steam-packet, which transports our hero to Philadelphia, an Irish- 
man, who has never yet set eyes on a turtle, and is as littlo aoauainted 
with its appearance as its taste, u anxious to know whether those on 
board are ** real or mock turtle." The roads in America, it appears, 
have not yet been improved by that Colossus in the art of road-making, 
Mr. M*Adaro; and upon the sensitive traveller no trifling pain is in> 
flicted during his transportations in those moving dungeons the Ame- 
rican stage-coaches. 

To follow Mr. Mathews during the whole of his eccentric career 
would be impossible. We must pass over much accurate delineation 
of national manner, and many happy descriptions of indiridual cha- 
racter. At the latter end of the Second Fart we have a description of 
a "charge to a grand jury " bV an American judge, of the most ludi- 
crous nature. Among other learned definitions which this legal pro- 
digy lays down to the jurymen, is, that bigamy is constituted by a man 
marrying two Wives, and polygamy by a woman marrying more than 
two husbands. 

Fart the Third contains a monopolylogue, called **A11 Well at 
Natchitoches !" in which Mr. Mathews represents six characters with 
, wonderful ability and adroitness. In the course of the entertainment 
we were furnished with many highly amusing sketches of American 
character and independence. Mr. Mathews, however, never deals 
harshly cither with the national manners o^ individual peculiarities, 
and takes every opportunity of doing justice to the good fellowship 
with which he was treated. Mr. Mathews^s trip will, no doubt, prove 
equally attractive with his former amusementst and draw, whenever he 



274 MEMOIRS OF 

is ** At Home," a crowded audience. We should observe, that all the 
characters of the evening's entertainment are represented by Mr. Ma- 
thews, with the exception of that of a live poney, which is merely in- 
troduced because he is wanted to draw. 

The picture of a French emigrant, a Moruieur Mallet, ww a power- 
ful piece of acting. We never beheld any thing more complete, maa- 
terly, and affecting. Poor Mallet anxiously expected a letter at the 
Boston post-office from hitf family ; and though it was there all the time 
of his numerous inquiries, he did not receive it for weeks, owing to 
the French pronunciation of his name, Mallay, *■ Had you said Mallet/ 
coolly replied the Republican, * I should have known.* The varied 
emotions of the Frenchman — joy at having received the letter, and 
rage against the office-keeper for detaining it, during the expression of 
which he unconsciously tears the unread letter to tatters — were vigor- 
ously portrayed. The whole of this episode was, perhaps, the ablest 
piece of acting in the production.* 

We 'guess' that we may * calculate ' on a ' pretty considerable ' 
intermingling in our conversations of the American coUo^vsaZMtM and 
idionu. 



I have previously explained my reasons for introducing 
some of the numerous criticisms published upon Mr. 
Mathews's acting. It may probably be considered by some, 
that in recording my husband's Table-performances I have 
been too diffuse, but I have been so purposely, from a desire 
that his peculiar faculties, and the nature of the vehicles 
which conveyed them to the public, may be preserved for 
future information. When all personal recollections of him 
and his excellencies have passed away, it may not unnaturally 
be asked by those who have only heard of such a man, 
" What did he do? What was the form and character of his 
performances? Where may a description of « Mr. Mathews 
at Home^ be found?" Nay, the very title may become 
obsolete in fashion's dictionary, as its predecessors, '' Drum," 
' and *' Rout," are now; and in another twenty years the 
present " At Home" of a fine lady may have given place to 
some newer form of invitation to a crowded room. 

The Lectures of George Alexander Stevens, and similar 
exhibiters in by-gone days, leave little memory of what they 
were. A small volume of '* Lectures on Heads " is to be 
found; but they give no definite idea of the man who delivered 



* An Irish critic observed upon this episode that ** if Sterne bad written it he 
would have selected Mathews to represent it,** adding, that ** it was intensely af* 
feeting, and the more aflfecting from the glare of bumour, and joke, and i '~ 
went, witb whic|i this deep sbsde oC tragedy was sorroand^d.— A. 9f ^ 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 275 

them, or his capacities — ^the matter remains, bat how was it 
animated and rendered interesting? Of this no account is left 
that I have heard of. Stevens is spoken of as a lecturer^^ 
celebrated as such; but no one knows how deservedly, for 
his critics were not numerous or elaborate in their notices: 
nor is any authority extant, I believe, to appeal to, for the 
general style or peculiar method of delivering these lectures. 
The words alone remain, and they do not, I think, fully 
satisfy the reader that the reciter of them required any very 
superior genius, humour, or variety. Mr. Dibdin's *^ Sans 
Soud,^^ (though of a much later date,) is also but a name; 
and but for his excellent songs, written in the days of our 
naval victories, his tide as a lecturer would have been now 
extinct. 

I may express myself ignorantiy, perhaps; but I have some 
reason for beheving that no person, fnot even Foote and his 
** T'ea,") ever received so many "notices" as Mr. Mathews. 
He has fortunately lived in an age when superior men have 
not refused to employ their pens in criticisms on dramatic 
genius; and I am proud to assert, that there has not existed a 
case of such harmonious agreement of opinion as in that of 
my husband. In the many hundred articles now in my 
possession, written by as many hands, (and I do not, I believe, 
possess half that has been published in his praise,) there does 
not occur an instance of depreciation, where the critic is 
manifestly a person qualified to pronounce upon another's 
merits; there is, in fact, a sort of freemasonry in genius, and 
a brother is known at once and acknowledged accordingly. 
I would not that the " At Homes '* of Charles Mathews should 
altogether pass into a name. They need not; and it is my 
aim to preserve some features of his performances, although 
they must be lifeless, that they may convey interest and infor- 
mation to future inquirers as to their nature and effect; with 
the aid of such graphic descriptions as have been given by his 
gifted contemporaries, upon the mode in which they were 
animated by him whose plastic power could model even old 
forms anew, and warm them into spirit, and motion. 

There is another reason why some of these criticisms 
should be preserved in a somewhat collected form. It is quite 
impossible that Mr. Mathews's entire entertainments can ever 
appear in print. They never have been published, and I am 
not sure diat it would-be fair to the gifted authors who con- 
tributed to them to put them forth in their disjointed state, 
being imperfect as they were written down by the reciter of 
them. The extraordinary links, which his genius supplied, 



276 MEMOIRS OF 

holdiag the whole together, are wanting. These entertain^ 
ments were not only written /or him, but to him; and may 
not be inaptly likened to the fairy-formed slipper of Cin- 
derella, which, though symmetrical in 'itself, and brilliant and 
lucid in its quality, proved unfitting and useless to ail but the 
original wearer. 

Moreover, amongst the particulars left in my husband's 
handwriting, where anecdotes, characters, and observations of 
his own, drawn from nature, and entrusted to memory, were 
to be introduced, the page presents only a blank! Where 
his mind illuminated tlie subject, there appears a dreary space. 
Here and there, indeed, a brief note may be found in the 
margin of what character he intended to introduce — no more.* 
Such blanks speak volumes to my mourning heart while I 
look upon them, and say more to me than I can express, of a 
loss irreparable in every sense!t 



CHAPTER XX. 

Letter from the Right Honourable J. W. Croker to Mr. Mathews.-* 
Letter to Mr. Ma&ews from Mr. John Banni8ter.-»-Letter to Mrs, Ma* 
thews; Disturbance at the Dublin Theatre.— Mr. Talbot's Attempts 
to thwart the Success of Mr. Mathews -^Letters to Mrs. Mathews: 
Passage to Ireland.— Letter from Mr. Peake to Mr. Mathews: *• Ma- 
thews's Mems.:" Anecdote: Dr. Kitchiner and the Rival Managers: 
Thomas Hood: an Act of Charity: the Conjurer Gyngell: Sir George 
Smart, and the Lightning.— Letters to Mrs Mathews: the Picture 
Gdlery: Hoax upon Mr. Abbot.— Count Boruwlaski's Letters to Mrs. 
Mathewsy'and Mr. C. J. Mathews.- Unlucky Speculations of Mr. 
Matliews. — Letters to Mrs. Mathews: Effect of the Hoax upon Mr. 
Abbot: Mr. Mathews Reception in Liverpool: Letter from Mr. Ab- 
bot to Mr. Mathews. — Retaliation. 

Earlv in the year 1824, a new club-house was formed, 
called the Athneseum, and Mr. Mathews became a member of 
it, through the following complimentary medium. 

• Subh as, «• Here ad kbUum." 

t In » letter written by my husband, dated January 27th, 1832, will 
be found a corroboration of these assertions. 



CHARISS MATHEWS. S77 

TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Admiralty, 23d March, 1824. 
Dkar Sift, 

At a meeting of the N6w Literary and Scientific Club, held yeitor- 
day, I did myself the honoar of proposing you as a member of that 
institution; and I was unanimously authorized to acquaint you, that 
the Club will be most happy if you should be inclined to join our so- 
ciety. I enclose you a prospectus and list of the names of our present 
members, and ha?e the honour to be, 

Your faithful humble servant, 

J. W. Crokbk. 



I give a specimen of the style in which Mr. Bannister ge- 
nerally wrote to my husband. 

TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

May 20th, 1824. 
Inoohparablk Mathsws, 

Although I have left off acting, I shall have great pleasure in;>er- 
farpiing (my promise to dine with you) on the 28th. 
Ever yours truly, 

Jmo. Bannister. 
65, Gower Street. 



The following letter, like many others, will explain itself. 

TO MR. MILLER. 

1824. 
Dear Miller, 

I suppose you " saw by your paper " that my indefatigable friend 
still honours me by placing me among " The great gunsi" Do you be- 
lieve that Thelwall wrote that article ? The deliberate falsehoods, 

the first calculated to injure me in America ; the records as to the 
failure of the songs ; and the third, as to the ladies! jire too bad. 1 
shall not follow Sir George Collier's example, but I will give 5L to any 
infirmary or hospital to know the author. Fray — pray, gratify me by 
letting me know how I can come at the information. » 

I think you know how sincere I am in my feeling towards the country ; 
and my extreme annoyance is the insinuation, or rather assertion, that 
no account of them has been so ill-natured or exaggerated as mine. 
VOL. I.— 24 



379 HSMOIRS OF 

It must be contradicted , but how I know not Tell Price I am in a 
great rage. 

Yours, truly, 

C. Mathkws, 



What will you give me for « de&nco of America ? I have a con- 
ceit that I could do it. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Dublin* Wednesday. 

I enclose, per Speaker's frank, some report of my progress. TonBon 

is a great choke-pear. G- j cut me — would Talbot had done the 

same, or, rather, Mrs< Talbot. I ha?e not time to write full particu- 
lare ; but the enclosed extract of a paper, marked No. 1, will give yoo 
some notion of the disgraceful scene that took place on Monday night, 
Talbot is the stock Morbleu^ which he makes a monkey — a ballet-mas. 
ter — in short, a stage Frenchman. Mrs. Talbot is the greatest intri- 
guer in the world; you recollect the Limerick plot ? 

** Theatre Royah — ^Tuesday evening's entertainment should have 
concluded with Monsieur Tonaon, We have often admired Mr. Talbot 
in the character of Monsieur Tonson ; and the praises of the London 
critics had prepared us for being equally delighted and amused by Mr. 
Mathews. We h^ve been disappointed^ — not through any fault of Mr. 
Mathews, but by the disgraceful conduct of a few persons in the gal- 
leries, who commenced hissing, and calling for Talbot as soon as Ma- 
thews appeared, although the whole house (with the exception of these 
few) " applauded him to the very echo.** Mr. Mathews felt himself 
unable to proceed, and retired from the stage. In a few minutes Mr. 
Farren came forward and said, ** Ladies and gentleman, it is with the 
greatest reluctance I appear before you ; but at the solicitation of Mr. 
Mathews, I beg to know how he has incurred your displeasure." Se- 
veral voices called out that the disturbance was caused by some fellows 
in the middle gallery. 

Mr. Mathews then came forward and was received with loud ap. 
plause ; but he had scarcely proceeded twenty lines when the uproar 
compelled him to leave the stage a second time. Mr. Abbot then came 
forward, and begged leave to inform the audience that Mr. Mathews 
had performed the character of Monsieur Morbleu with the most de- 
cided success in London. He had come here with considerable incon- 
venience to himself to serve him (Mr. Abbot,) snd had always been 
heretofore welcomed by the Dublin audience, which he (Mr. Abbot) 
could perceive was the case at present, with a very slight exception; 
but even partial displeasore was so nnosual to Mr. Mathews, that he 
felt himself unable to proceed until it was removed. Mr.. Abbot con- 
eluded by saying he was certain it proceeded from Mr. Talbot's pre- 
tMkded firiends, ukd that it was most disagreeable to tint gentleman. 



CHABLE8 MATHEWS. 279 

After this address the piece was saffered to proceed without inter- 
raption until the middle of the second act, when the hissing was again 
resumed. Mr. Mathews then addressed the audience in nearly the fol. 
lowing words: 

** Ladies and gentlemen, — I am totally unprepared for such an at- 
tack as this, and am therefore incapable of answering it. I had flat« 
tered myself that I had played the character o^ Morbleu in London with 
some success; and I feel that I shall not at this time of life, supported 
with the approbation of a London audience, shrink into insignificance 
at so paltry a show of displeasure. I have always received a most li- 
beral share of support from the Dublin audience. However, if they 
should now express their disapprobation of me, I shall bow to it with 
the greatest humility. ' The only mortification I shall feel is my con- 
sequent inability to do justice to the character." 

It was destined that, in all Mr, Mathews's engagements in 
Ireland, someting quite apart from public and* general feeling, 
something haras3ing and irritating to his temper, was to take 
place, and put him out of humour for the time. The present 
was a very flagrant case of baseness. It appeared since the 
eaiiy days when the names of Talbot and Mathews were first 
coupled, that Mr. Talbot had descended from his tragedy stilts 
*' to shuflle about as the lean and slippered pantaloon " of farce. 
From that time friendship seemed to have subsided in the 
breast of Mr. Talbot into a foolish attempt at rivalry. In 
1808, some *' compunctious visitings " of a transient kind 
induced him, after receiving an undeserved instance of Mr. 
Mathews's kindness, to address a long letter to him, from 
which I extract the most material part. 

" Allow me to express now the pleasure you have afforded me, and 
the high idea you have forced me to conceive of your heart, by the 
kindness you have bestowed, and the cordiality you have received me 
with, after the coolness of my conduct towards you, and the censure 
and abuse I so liberally bestowed upon you. Not to dwell on a sub- 
ject which occasions me some feelings of remorse, a letter wherein I 
thought we were jointly reflected on, by insinuation after our visit to 
Wales, was the principal cansc of my conduct. 
Your sincere friend, 

Montague Talbot. 



After this letter, the friends never met until the year 1816, 
when Mr. Talbot had a relapse of his weakness; and it 
followed that, because Mr. Mathews was engaged to perform 
in Limerick, at the principal theatre, while Mr. Talbot was 
manager of a minor one, every mean contrivance was re- 
sorted 1;o, to injure the. receipts qf the major establishment 



280 MBM0IR8 OF 

(traced to Mr. Talbot)— such as paragraphs asserting the utter 
want of iafety in the building, if crowded^ &c.; and though 
we had never seen him from the time of the paragraph I have 
extracted from his letter, and therefore could not have 
offended him, he neither called nor took any notice daring 
our stay in Limerick, but in the manner above described. 

The following is Mr. Mathews's account to me of the re- 
cent circumstance. 

I was attacked with hisses— -off!— off!— Talbot!— Talbot!— before 
I spoke one word. Fellows were taken up all armed with bludgeons. 
The managers had hints that something was likely to occur on zny 
opening night ; and Abbot and Farren were prepared by anonymous 
letters ibr the direct war of Monday night, though / was not. It was 
a painful situation. My pride supported me; nothing ever did brace 
my nerves and rouse my energies equal to an undeserved hiss. 

In the second act I left the stage, with a determination never to set 
foot on it again. I begged of Abbot to gratify my pride by going* on 
the stage to say that I had withdrawn myself. 

The stage was unoccupied for at least ten minutes, during which 
time I. had been firm of purpose. Abbot and Farran both petitioning 
me to go on. I positively refused; but a cue for the demolition of the 
cjhandelier being given, I dreaded farther row for Abbot's sake, and 
therefore repented and rashed on. I never behaved so well to my- 
self. 

One part of my speech is too tamely reported in the account of it. 
I said these exact words : — " If in your judgment I am unqualified to 
perform the part of Marhleu^ I must necessarily bow to your decision ; 
but I beg it may be distinctly understsood, that having for years been 
honoured with the approbation of a London audience, no mark of dis- 
pleasure here can make me shrink into insignificance, and much less 
the paltry attempts made by a hired party." If I had not been cheered 
afler this as I was, I had arranged another sentence in my mind ; I 
however, oonquerod. Last night was a very fine house ; and the 
" Trip ** was received with acclamations ; and my Irishman, which I 
always contend is not appreciated in London, was my greatest hit of 
the night. I was huzzaed at the close. 

If I have not directed properly to the Speaker you will tell me eo. 
The conspiracy has served me, and my independence is applauded by 
those whose opinions are worth having. 

Charles Mathsws. 



TO MRS. MATPEWS. 

Seapoint, Oct. 17th, 1824. 

I am going on in the same steady course, which will give me about 
5002. sterling, I expect, clear of all expenses. When I came, my 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 281 

friends all pulled faces, and thoaght me a ** little d — d mad,** to come 
at this period after the greatest drag ever known in Dublin. 

Plant away — plant away ! A very disagreeable, stiff, vulgar young 
-m^oman here, fancying herself quite illigant, said the other day, in con- 
fidence to another female, ** There is not a gintleman in the house. 
Wait till my brother comes ; then they'll see a gintleman." He ar- 
rived; and a more unlicked cub I never saw. His gentility consisted 
entirely in mincing the language which he flattered himself he was 
speaking with proper nicety : — " It^s a favoi^rable <^cc to see the bee; — 
Weeter^ bring the tayj''' *♦ I went to the veel of Atyoca,, and ate so 
much vale that my hid eched,*^ &,c. After two days knowledge of 

him, the friend said : " A Miss M -, when does your other brother 

come?*' Ha! neat. 

C. Mathews. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Dublin, Dec. 8th, 1824. 

It snowed the whole way to Conway Ferry. We turned out of a 
warm coach, and walked a quarter of a mile to the ferry. Snowing ! 
vret boat! wet feet I wet every thing I Trundled in, and tumbled out 
in fifteen miles more. Crossed Bangor. More wet boots. Here I 
brought guard to confession^ that the packet did not wait one minute 
beyond nine for the Chester mail. It was then half-past six instead of 
three, and we had twenty -three .miles to go. I told guard and coach- 
man, that if I was too late for the pncket I would bring an action 
against the proprietors. By galloping, we arrived at five minutes to 
nine. Six minutes later I should have seen the smoke from the chim- 
ney of the steamer scudding from English land, and had twenty.four 
hours to spend at the World's End. This was my first piece of good 
fortune. The day was lovely, and I enjoyed my passage much. The 
next morning it blew a gale, and rained all day. 

How extraordinary that the snow did not reach you ! It never 
ceased from the time I awoke on Saturday morning until four on Sun- 
day morning; and here there was skating on Sunday. I had not time 
for breakfast at Holyhead, so by a curious fatality I was thirty-six hours 
without a meal, and should have been forty but for the sandwiches. 
It is quite a prejudice that eating is necessary on a journey. Yester- 
day I walked half a mile before I could find a chemist's; at last I 
pounced upon one, " Any healing plaister ?" — ** We have not, surr." 
Walked to a second; same answer. A third; the same; until I was 
at a loss to conjecture why I could not be served. I was directed to 
an apothecary's. Still « JV^." At last it occurred to me to tiy a new 
expedient. " Can you not procure or prepare me some halting plais- 
ter ?" The mystery was solved: my unfortunate English accent was 
not to be understood by these illigant Irish spakers. 

Ever affectionately, &c. 

C. Mathews. 

24* 



283 MEKOIRB OF 



TO C. MATTHEWS, ESQ. 

English Opera House, 
Mt dsab Mjlthews, Dec. lOtb, 1824. 

I received your sprightly epistle yesterday, and shall attend to the 
several requests. You need not apologise to me ; "I see by my 
paper *' (your favourite phrase) that the entertainment has beenr as 
successful in the countr}' as in London. You ask me, what is to be 
the subject for next season ? Careful bird, to be thus thinking of the 
nest into which your eggs are to be deposited. But I am sure it will 
be many seasons before those eggs will be addled. 

The extraordinary variety of your conceptions, and the unique 
powers of conveying them to an audience, would give ample employ 
to a dozen authors. In regard to the subject. — As the "Youthful 
days*' succeeded so well, we might have a sort of continuation of them 
under the title of " Mathews's Mems.^' or, should you like it, to be a 
little more intelligible, ** Mr. Mathews's Memorandum Book." This 
would prove a good vehicle for all you have collected in your tour, 
some of yoiu' untouched matter, and the rest to be provided by your 
authors. The ** Monopoly logue" is sure to spin out of my brains 
when they are warmed up lo concert pitch by one or two of your 
admirable readings. They, and the pleasant hospitality of Ivy Cot- 
tage, cannot fail to inspire your Monsieur Scribe. I am just returned 
from my annual trip to the sea-side. On the Parade, the first day 
after our arrival, we met a family with whom we had been formerly 
slightly acquainted (1 must tell you that this family had risen from 
humble origin to large fortune by means of an extensive manufacture 
of cordage.) Here, wo to us! our bow of recognition was not re- 
turned. My wife was nettled (for she hai gentle blood in her veins?) 
*« Don't he uneasy," said I, loud enough to be heard by tlie party. 
•* ikey are on the high ropes; don^i cut themP* 

I also met that cantankerous qtumdam friend of mine, , on the 

beach, trying to get his bile blown out of him; but all the gales that 
Boreas could ))roducc from his elemental emporium could not effect 
that. He was in his accustomed mood, and asked me where was oid 
Irritable? Uie name by which he designated your worship. He does 
not know y,QU — haw few do ! / was aware, that while you were giving 
gratification to thousands by your unrivalled talent, though excited by 
the cheerful roars of laughter, and the loud applause of crowded 
audiences, you were writhing at the same moment with pain so 
severe as almost to amount to continued torture. How you have been 
able to bear up against it for so many seasons has proved to me a mat- 
ter of surprise. Since your first appearance at the Lyceum, in 1818» 
1 have been constantly with you, and may be able to form a just con- 
clusion. 

You ask me for news. Am I to skim the papers? You see them 
all. But if you require a little extra intelligence, it is at your service. 
There has been a great flood in Northamptonshire, which has of course 
immersed in water vast numbers of unfortunate sheep. 1*11 venture to 
9«ya that more muttoa broth has been made in that county than in any 



CHARUB8 MATHEWS. 283 

Other. I mw Tom Hill yestek^y « and I am happy io say, that he looks 
one year younger than when he had the interview with Sir Robert 
Walpole to give his advice as regarded the rudiments of tlie education 
of the hope&l Horatio. 

I must tell you a good little bit which occurred a few days since. 
The excellent kind-hearted Dr. Kitchiner, in his extreme bonhommiet 
thought that he had hit on the means to reconcile the conflicting inte- 
rests of the Theatres Royal, Drury Lane, Covent (>arden, Haymarket, 
and English Opera-house (no easy task.) To accomplish this desira- 
ble object, he invited Messrs. Ueniy Harris, Elliston, Arnold, and 
Morris, to dine with him: the latter did not accept the invite. But 
the Doctor never recollected how seriously the respective managers 
were at " daggers drawn." When they met in the Doctor's library 
(the only guests) it was a scene of inconceivable surprise. Harris 
was perplexed ; Elliston assumed an air of infinite grandeur; Arnold 
had the tact to see the Doctor's well-meant intention, and contrived to 
meet his powerful opponents with pleasantry. Dinner was served, the 
Doctor's be^t for a small party. Of course, there was some embarass- 
ment with the high contending powers, until Mr. Arnold, breaking 
the ice, proposed, that the very best thing the rival managers could 
do, would be to avoid all conversation on theatrical affairs. This was 
agreed to by all but Kitchiner, who wanted their dramitic differences 
settled that night at his table; and with this feeling the Doctor con- 
tinually interlcarded the discourse in spite of the efforts of his visiters 
to refrain from attacking each other. The wine circulated (the Doc- 
tor's wine, as he gave away much of it, always wanted keeping;) 
Harris and Arnold joked, and avoided all hostile allusions; but Elliston 
was unable to conceal his patent dignity, and had become rather tipsy. 
He rose, and ])lacing his hand on Arnold's head, he exclaimed in a 
pompous manner, " Minat manager ^ 1 will lay my hand on you and 
crush youP' This prodigious threat, of course, produced hearty 
laughter. 

I have met at the house of the father of my worthy colleague, John 
Hamilton Reynolds, an odd, quaint being, by name" Thomas Hood, 
He appears to be too modest to let a pun; but when it is effected, it is 
capital. On better acquaintance (though he is the most shy cock I ever 
encountered) I think 1 perceive under his disguise one of the shrewd- 
est wags of this age. 1 predict, that before your present authors are 
worn threadbare he will be your man.* 

I enclose you two songs, complete, for the forthcoming entertain- 
ment. I like them; 1 hope you will; if not, there^s more of the raw 
material in the warehouse over my eyebrows. My letter almost as- 
sumes the form of a despatch, but will, 1 trust, reacti you in a franked 
cover from the Home Secretary's office. If his lordship had never to 
sign his noble name to anything less disagreeable than to "this present 
writing," being that which. Aoa sent (as delivered by you,) and twVI 
again sendhomQ thousands laughing to their pillows, his lordship would ' 
be an envied man. 

* Mr. Peake proved to have ihi gift of second sight in this view of the future. 
One of my ha8band*s most effective entertainiuehts was firom th^ peu of the de>- 
lightAil author here meotionedc— A. M. 



2S4 MEMOIIIS OF^ 

To your paragraph of "partieu^arfy privaie " I reply, thajt I dFect- 
ed your purpose, and I ti'ust to your vrishei. . On handing over old 
R— ^ the 201, 1 told him it had been raised by a subscription of his 
well-wishers, and Ued according to your directions, in the most discreet 
manner. What could make the surly fellow imagine that you were his 
bitterest enemy I cannot divine; perhaps in early days he thought that 
he was the best comedian of the two, and was savage that he never 
found his way to a London audience. I think it will give you g^tifica- 
tion to ascertain that this act of yours is a much greater charity than you 
could have apprehended. The misery of the lodging, the squalid 
state of the family; and yet the old boy, with the same c)rnical turn of 
the nose, asked me rather peremptorily, the names of the persona who 
had subscribed for him. What made you fall in love with such a spe- 
cimen } As the money was in his hands, I had eifected my part of the 
afiaii^, and left him with a divided feeling of pity and contempt. The 
wife and daughters exhibited quite a distinct appreciation of the gift. 
He has, however, since addressed a well-worded letter of thanks to 
his *< unknown friends," which you shall have when you to come to 
town. 

Turn we to another subject, as my double sheet is not yet full. I 
once in a booth saw the conjurer Gyngell performing his various tricks; 
but he contrived to divide his entertainment into several parts; coming 
forward before the curtain, bowing to his audience, with this eluci- 
datory address: — " Ladies and gentlemen, the next will be something 
eke/'* so I perforce must go (though no conjuror) to my something 
else. John Hardwick has composed an elaborate epitaph for his friend 
Beazley:— 

" Here lies Samuel Beazely; 
He lived hard, but died easily. **♦ 

By the way, when last we met I omitted to relate to you the joke on 
Sir George Smart. Sir George was dining at Bartley's, and during din- 
ner a most tremendous storm of thunder and lightning came on. It 
was terrific, and Sir George is reported to . have laid down his knife 
and fork in serious alarm. We were not surprised at this, because 
Sir George (a sensible man) was fully aware that he was a conduc- 
tor/ 

If this letter should be received since you have heard from home, 
all are well at Kentish Town, and Miss Sophia Laforest is on a visit 
with Mrs. Mathews. They are never melancholy when together. Your 
favourite white pony, I am sorry to inform yon (I know not how offend- 
ed,) has kicked your coachman David, who, V\l be bound to say, re- 
turned the compliment; though they are both very fond of each other; 
but this is in accordance with the way of the world. 

• This epitaph is as concise and pithy as that of Mr. T. Dibdin's upon a cele- 
brated booR'Worm, whose injunction upon his tombstone was facetiously sup> 
Posed to be as follows:— 

*' Reader of these four lines take heed. 
And mend your life for my sake, 
For you must die like Aaae Reed, 

Though you retii till your efes acA«.— A. SL. 



CHARLB9 MATHEWS. 285 

Have you not acted Jonathan in England? Great difEculty must 
lie in the eiFective representation of the other parts; Bartley, Keeley, 
Sloman Salter, even Minton, were capital with us. My paper bids me 
ciy "Hold! enough!" but I have still space ^o tell you, that Wrench 
has not improved in the only bit of mimicry he attempts, the imitation 
of the *< Baa of a sick lamby Gods! how we fools laughed at it!* 
But laughter is very wholesome, and always a delight. I laugh as much 
as I can. Small room to say, thanks for the cheque on Rowland Ste- 
phenson for my (your) book-keeping for last season. That the same 
success may ever continue to attend you is, of course, tlie ardent wish 
of my dear Mathews, 

Your sincere and faithful friend, 

R. B. Pkake. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Dublin, Dec 12th 1824. 

When I wrote last I would not tell my "miseries," as I was suffering 
under therm I thought it better to wait until they were over. I was ad- 
vertised to act Goldfinch and Morbleu on Wednesday. On the day before, 
I found my baggage had not arrived, and therefore could not come un- 
til next day's packet, and consequently could not be delivered until to- 
wards evening. I was therefore compelled to say to Abbot that the per- 
formances must be postponed. Listen, who had with childish delight 
hugged himself that his troubles were over, was applied to in the emer- 
gency to act one night more. It was a struggle, and he consented: 
there was 60/.; 20/. would have been the outside without a star. Poor 
Liston! of all the childish pouting you ever saw, it flogged all — he could 
hardly bold up his head or speak till it was over. My second night 
«• Who Wants a Guinea," « Hit or Miss," Race Song, huzza! " Capital 
go," as Richard Wilson says. 

Torday I dine with Lady Morgan. I am very comfortable here. I« 
am happy to tell you that Sir Arthur Clai-ke (a knight of the iaM,) 
to whom I applied for rubbers, has been trying a Dutch bath, and L 
expect with great effect, on me. At any rate my case will not be ne- 
glected by my trip. 

Charles Mathews. 

* I am reminded of a ridiculous scene at which Mr. Mathews some years ago 
was present. He had been in high good humour, and had complied with the well- 
managed hints of a party of very pleasant noblemen, with whom he dined, and did 
several things to their very great delight. One of the party, an elderly grave-looking 

man, the Earl of M N . particularly showed his appreciation of all he 

had heard by repeated thanks; and,' in order to repay in some measure the gratifl* 
cation he had received, ofibred to give the only imitation he had ever acquired, and 
immediately, with unaffected seriousness, mimicked the hraywg of a donkey to thA 
^ty life— A, M. 



286 MEMOIRS OF 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Dublin, Dec. 18th, 1824. 

We are at complete peace here in the theatre. The Bludgeon men 
are quieted, an4 the Talbot party discomfited and disgraced. The 
Philipp's have just returned from Belfast: I have not as yet seen them. 
Mrs. Jarman is deliglited with the manner in which you spoke of her 
daughter.* 

I request that you will not think of accomplishing both tasks — pic- 
tures and library. It is quite absurd to make a toil of it, and imagine 
that you are confined to time. I should like the Gallery to be com- 
pleted, because that will be a fidgety job, and too much for my nerves 
to endure when at home; but the other need not be hurried, and I am 
sure, from the way in which you spoke of it, that you dread it. I shall 
be home by the middle .of January; and I am confident you will not have 
time to do it. Pray give up the notion, and think only of rest and 
pleasure in my absence. 

A dispute arose here, at a fine collection of statues, busts. Sec, about 
the Venus de Medicis. A lady (and of title too) exclaimed, " Well, 
of all the Yanus's, give me the Belfast Vanusi^f 

t C. Mathbws. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Belfast, Dec. 20tb, 1824. 

Clarke, a good-natured fellow, that I remember with pleasure for his 
treatment of me at Waterford, came to Dublin, packed up for me, and 
waited to accompany me here. We posted together, and he had a 
' comfortable roast-beef dinner, with turkey, and roince-pies, waiting for 
me. Mrs. Clarke, a very good-natured person also, has provided me 
with a very comfortable lo<lging, and I am quite satisfied with present 
appearances. This is a sort of Scotch town. 

At any rate, thank God! that rascal ■ is checked; he has been 
taken up for seditious language, and prevented coming to England, as 
a delegate, to beat up for recruits for another rebellion. I shall be 
here a fortnight. I cannot object to any thing you wish about dear 
Charles: let him have what you like. Merry Christmas and happy 
new year to you both ! I shall drink his health to-day, as we did the 
health of you both yesterday. 

0. Mathews. 

* The present Mrs. Ternan.— A. M. t A popular steamboat. 



OHARtBS MATBSWS. 38T 

The following will describe another cause wherein my hus- 
band's hoaxing propensities were brought into action. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Belfast, Dec. 31st, 1824, 

Fray do not fail to get a frank for the enclosed to go by Tuesday's 
Bost. It is a hoax I am playing off upon Abbott, whom 1 wish to be- 
lieve that I am at Kentish Town. A letter thence in my own hand, 
will be sufficient. If a frank is too troublesome, or not come-at-able, 
pop him into the post It will be useless after Tuesday, as 1 shall be 
in Dublin on Friday. 

Thanks for the dear little Count's letter — it is the best we have ever 
received. Delicious! I had about three batches of regular laughter 
out of it last night. The "John Bull," too, on the Liverpool row, 
quite delicious. 

If my love for you can be increased, it is when you ask of me if I 
think twenty-two guineas (or any other sum) is too much for your com- 
fort and hedth. Be assured there is no sacrifice I would not make to 
purchase your real content and comforts at home* 

C. Mathews. 



The letter to the Count is here literally copied^ 

TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Madams, 

I beg of you, madame, will accept my sincere thanks for madame's 
kind andcharmihg letter of the 28th of last mon. which I had the honpur 
to receive. I trust you are and will continue well for the sake of your 
fHends, in the number of whom, I beg 1 may be allowed permission to 
rank myself. I hope, madame, that you will take all possible car of your 
health, and also that Mr. Mathews is well. To him I beg my best com- 
pliments. I am very glad to hear of his safcvretum to home from Ame- 
rica, at your enchanting and beautiful cottage, which 1 shall for ever 
admire. I think that my dear friend, Mr. Charles Mathews (a few 
lines for whom I shall add to this letter,) has done exceedingly well 
in travelling to Italy, — a country which he will find very favourable to 
improvement in that branch of his study. If, however, I may be per- 
mitted to express my sentiments, I am rather hort at the idea that you, 
madame, are left by them. But thos dismal and gloomy events which 
often we met with, as frozen mist aspect of a deep winter. But most 
be trust, that nature of all things, as well knowing nature atracte simi" 



988 maioiRt OF 

cUmdy sky, dispetie the uptat of the winter melting frofty snow, how 
joy season when spring shall put font her blossams, and summer offer 
ripned grapess in their return tested together. How happy mortab 
in the cottage to find abounding happiness to their wish, and by their 
presence, madame, will doubly feel the pleasure of being together, and 
you be amply repaid for all the uneasiness madame have suffered in their 
absence, and be restored to that full enjoyment of pleasure and happi-' 
ness which madame so well deserve. As for my shoes, Dr. Haggitt 
wishd himselfe to present to the king, and I do not know myselfe what 
he has done. But when I come to London, as I am anxious to be there 
pay my respect to you, madame, than I think we wiU know what he 
done. 

I remain^ madame, with profound respect, 

, Your most hble. & obed. servt. 

JOSSPH BoBUWLASltl. 

Durham, 19th Feb. 1824. 



TO C. J. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Mt 9BA11 FBIUTS, 

I was very much |>leaaed to hear that you had set out with Lord and 
his amiable lady to visit Italy. You will, I am sure, be highly delight- 
ed in your travels through that charming country, with its great variety 
of beauty, scenery, and with thos admirable works of the greatest ar. 
tists in architacture, sculpture and peinting^ for which it is so justly 
famous. There you will gate the images of many pagan goddesses, 
and females renowned for theire beauty. lo, abo called as Isis, the 
wife of Osiris, worshipped by the Egyptians, and conjectured by Plu- 
tarch to be the same with the goddess Minerva, Venus, Diana, the 
lovely Helen, and many otheres. You will, at the same time, enjoy 
the peculiar happiness of being in the company of a living beauty, 
whom you may compare with these, and who will be founc! to excel 
them all; for never, in my various wandering^ through the world, did I 
Witness charms equal to thos possessed by Lady Blessington. 

My dear friend, writte me, and believe your truly most affectionet — 

Josxre BoRuwiJLSKi. 



TO ESQ. 

Ivy Cottage, Kentish Town. 

t am delighted to get a letter from an old friend; but it is on condi- 
tion he does not say, *< Pray write by return of post.'* I have got a 
blister, the size of a pie-dish, on my hip,— the second within five days. 



CHAia.ES MATHEWS. gSO 

Tb this lil^ky circumstance you have to attribikte yotir i^ood fortune in 
getting so long a letter. Phew! I'm much fatigued. I have iteally 
rationsd hope, after ten years' lameness, of a considerable relief, if not 
a cure*. A surgeon> who has had lots of experience in the collieries^ 
^vhere they tumble down every day, has taken a fancy to cure me, be- 
cause he has cured similar cases. He is a sort of <* no cure no pay 
man;'* but hot entirely depending on his own skill. He has called in 
^Todie, the first hip man we have, who pronounced my case curable; 
and blistering is the first gentle treatment I have etperiehced. Here I 
am floored. I have not room to remark on all your letter; but / will 
say you are a brute for suspecting me of any thing so dirty as the feel*> 
ing you half attribute to me about the bond business. If I did not 
think you would pay me, or my son, what I advanced without any 
bond, I would not have lent it at all. You proposed the bond. 

How is Nunky? I hope he won't serve you as Buckthome was 

served. My wife desires all manner of kind sayings to you and yours. 

Ever thine, whibt this machine is to him^ 

C. Mathbws. 



About this period Mr. Mathews was induced, by thepersua- 
sions of some interested persons, to embark large sums in the 
purchase of shares in two " Companies;" and not only did he 
eventually lose all the money which he had at various times 
paid for the shares, but he had to avert actions afterwards 
brought against him of a share-holder, for sums due to the ^ 
tradesmen employed by the Companies. I pass over these 
events as rapidly as possible, as a detail of them would be 
very uninteresting and tedious to the reader, as well as pain- 
ful to my own feelings, which suffered intensely at the time. 



r 



TO MBS. MATHEWS. 

Newry, Jan. 4th, 1825. 

I have to announce again my safe arrival. I finished last night at 
Belfast, and made b;r my week £110. This was in proportion better 
than Dublin; but this is a distracted country, ^and theatricals suffer in 
common with the rest. I need not say that your letter to-day, which 
welcomed me as I got into the chaise (indeed I waited for it,) filled 
these eyes with tears which would have been dry enough at parting 

with . The opinion of the dear Speaker of our blesang and 

treasure, was as gratifying to me to read as I am sure it wa» to you to 
write. God bless him and you, and preserve you both to him who 
lives but for you, unalterably and affectionately. 

C. M^THXW8» 

VOL. I. — ^25 ' 



296 MEMoiBs or 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Newry, Jan. 12th, 1825^ 

How jice^OM a1] at Highgate, you liappy creatures? « How little 
does the laudttman know!*' Ah! very iinel Well; tlie letter oppo- 
site must J>e .sealed; and when shaken, to be then taken-^uM directed. 

C. Mathkws. 

1 have nothing to aay and no time to uty it in. By tlie time yon 
receire tins 1 ^hall hsrve arrived, please C>od, and have performed in 
JLiverprol. ** This country never was and never will be, what it was 
before the union.*' (!) -^Oood! now that 1 bstard,'^ 

C. Matusws. 



Here follows a description xX Mr. Mathews's hoax upon 
Mr. Abbott, alluded to in the recent letter. 

TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Dublin, Jan. 8th, 1825. 

I arrived liere last night safe and sdnnd, and found Abbott in prime 
order for my hoax. 1 had little else to amuse myself during the late 
poitfing weather, but imposing on the credulity of a friend. In the 
first i^lafCe, I despatched my letter to you, which was supposed to be 
written at Kentish Town. In it 1 said I had fled from Belfast with 
disg^ist. On my arrival at home 1 had found a letter containing a 
challenge of the grossest description of insult I could not brook it. 
I had been accused of sneaking out of Dublin to avoid chastisement, 
&c. ; and I h»d resolved to return to Ireland for the purpose of meet- 
ing my antagonist. I should leave London on Wednesday night, of 
course be with him to dinner on Friday, begged Elder might be in- 
vited, whom I wished for a second. &c. On Tuesday 1 wrote a letter 
from Newry, which Mrs. Clarke copied, and sent oft' to it)(}utre of Mr. 
Abbott if 1 had been seen in Dublin^ that they had missed me, and 
could not gain any intelligence of me. It was supposed I was gone 
]to England, &c. 

I did not start from Newry until after post- time, arrived from Dublin. 
He bit. An answer to Mrs. Clarke confirmed my hopes. On arrival 
in Dublin 1 found Elder (by appointment) waiting for me at the coach- 
office. He had written to Abbott to say he should go to Howth to 
meet me. The coach was late, and they dined witliout me; but kept 
a leg of pork smoking. The moment I drove up to the door out 
nuiiedl Abbott! There was a melancholy silence. Mrs. Abbott quite 
in a tremor. " I thought I had gone loo far." This feeling was 
strong And genuine. The questions about you and Charles, my pas«> 



mge, the name of the Tesael, the number of paaseng^f n, 8cc., were 
almost too much; I could haitlly stand it Itrs. Abbott left the room. 
The tears were in Abbott's ejres. He turned pale. *'Now, Mat, 
relieve my mind; who is the fellow?" &c. You must ima|pine the rest. 
I kept him but a short time in suspense, and confessed the whole bjr 
producing his own letter to Mrs. Clarke. It made a gtxid laugh all 
€he evening; and he confessed that it was the most complete hoax he 
had ever known. He never for one moment had a suspicion of aa 
imposition. 

I don't think Lanib has been tucky in the Life of Liston^ at leasts it 
did not hit me.* 

Did you read the article on " M* Adamization,.'* in " John Bull?" To 
prove an Irishman's appreciation of that sort of badinage^ I lent it to 
a passenger \ik the coach yesterday, who upon returning the paper 
•aid, **I peroeive M' Adam's plan won't do, by the paper." — " Not do!" 
said I, with surprise. *' Oh! no,, the objections were too numerous. 
Even the Editor was made a convert to that opinion," &c. If you re- 
member the article, you will enjoy tkU. 

I am delighted at the co-operation of Peake and Reynolds;! but I 
hope they will work. I think MoncrieiT has given quite enough of 
character and matter to make an entertainroeot in such hands. I do 
wish Knight to take Kelly's portrait, i 

C« Mathbws. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Liverpool, Jan. Itth, 1825. 
Another safe arrival, thank God ! after the moch-dreaded Liverpool 
passage. I did not come by Parkgate, indeed. I left Dublin at half 
past two yesterday, and before six was in bed at Waterloo, having 
been only thirteen hours on the passage, most calm and delif^rhtfttl, and 
not to be expected at this time of the year. The instant I was up I 
was obliged to go to the theatre ; and you nay perhape fancy the sort 
of day I have spent. Strange dcesses, strange musician, strange every 
thing. I have been six hours hard at work, and have only just time 
to get my dinner and return to my work. I am blessed with my usual 
atrengtb, and more than usual in my hip, that toos lame. It will be 
«noogh, I trust, to say, that England has cheered me on my arrival 
irom Ireland. Ail the dress-boxes are taken for to-night and Thurs. 
day; and as the town cannot be accommodated in two nights, such 
,i8 4faeir anxiety to hear my *^Tri]v" they hope I will stay a third. 
Bravoi 

C. MXTBIWI. 

* An laagiirary and barlesqiw aeeoant of Mr. Llctra's birth, parents^, and 
«dacation^ in a mafazine, not as felicitously exBcuted aa mo»t of tliat delightful 
writei^ 1ir«)daetlon«.— A M. 

t John Bamilton Reynolds, Esq., anther of " The Garflen of Florence," Jbe., a 
eharmtiif writer.— A. M . 

X The aon of " LiUle Kuifht/* whool. I haiv» men«ioiMd km aa earUer pate, aod 
who paintfid an admirahle portrait of Mr. Michael Kelly, aow at the Garrick 
dttk-AM. 



XEMOtRff OF 



TO MRS. MATHEWS.. 

LiTerpooU Jan. :(3th^ 1835. 

'* Providence neyer foFsakes the good man^g child !*' The i^ood people 
of Liverpool wUl amply compensate me for aU the miseries j^have eiu 
dured. I opened here to 244/.,! gaining clear more intone night than 
by my first six nights in Dublin^ There has not been such a box* 
sheet since Miss O'Neil was here as to-night.. There is not one place 
to be had, in upper or lower boxes. We have had people enough, tuKned 
away to fill half another plan; and therefore, though very troublesome 
as to moving my scene and baggage, I return here for another nighty 
Monday next. Saturday, I perform at ManchesterJ* They were joy- 
ous at Liverpool beyond all precedent; they roared ^ and though $ had 
only been four hours in, bed, and was four or five hours at hard woek 
with dresses, &c. I never played in better spirits. Lots of Ainerieans, 
who were as well pleased as the English ; and their report is entirely 
favourable throughout the town. This must put you in spirits, as it 
has me. It is "a capital go," for had it not been for my failure in 
Dublin, 1 should not have visited Liverpool. Indeed I had written to 
Lewis to say so before I left home. 

If the people will but laugh as I did at " Bow Street,'* that is all I 
ask. I actually was convulsed, and laughed until I was blinded by 
tears. It is a little fortune. I hope you and Charles think highly of 
it. Your phrase of "I think it good " is cold ; but perhaps you feared 
to anticipate. It is by far the best song I have ever received in ^rst 
shape.f The other is admirable as to satire, and will t!eU,,bi4 noX ^o 
laughable. But what I have Uked has never failed yet. 

My old cruet of Cayenne (Ryley) sticks to me. 

Mr. Hannibal Hewlett has been here, and gave an «* At Home,'*- 
and actually applied to Lewis for an engagement. He went to Lon- 
don, as he said, to challenge me, for ridiculing him in a part he never 
played. 1 cannot find any body who saw him ; but he performed here 
two or three nights. 

Love me very much, and tell Charles to do the same; and bQ as-*. 
Bured that mine will only terminate with my existence. 
God bless you ! 

Charles Mathews. 



The following consequence of his recent hoax reached Mn^ 
Mathews after he had quitted Ireland. The effect of thi slet-. 
ter upon the recipient can be imagined. 



* Mr. Mathews considered the Manchester audience one of tiie most diacriau.- 
Dating in £ngland.— A. M. 
t This song was from ihe pen of that humorous writer, Mr. Peake.— A. M> 
X 7iie i)lack Itoscius of a minor theatre in New York.— A. M. 



CUAMLS9 MATHEWS. 398 

TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Theatre Royal, Dablin, i5th Jan. 1S95. 
Six, 

Your conduct has been most insincere and un^entlemauly from the 
time you came to Dablin. Bat sitaated as I was, having you as a 
^aest in my house, I trust I was too well acquainted with the beha- 
viour of a grentleman to show those feelings, I should have been per- 
fectly justified in expressing. It is, however, a lesson to me for the 
future; and I will take care that, in my house at least, the rights of 
hospitality shall not be agaia invaded.. What you are pleased to term 
a joke, I choose to look upon- as an insult ; and the more consideration 
I give it, the more I am annoyed that I did not notice it as I ought to 
have done at the time. There is no word in the English language 
. strong enough to express the disgust I feel. lam altoay$ to be found. 
Sir, your obedient servant, 

WiLUAii Abbott. 

On the reverse of the leaf upon which, the above- Mras writ- 
tea, appeared the following: 

P. S. — ^What a lucky dog you are ! Only; thirteen hours crossing I 
I need not say how delighted I am that your tcip will turn out profita- 
bly. I wish to God that Dublin had oontributed> mose largely; and 
when I say thb, it is with no selfish feeling,* but because your talent 
and kindness never can be repaid. You are^- a real, good fellow, and 
every body knows it. 

Yours, ever, 

Wjc^Abbott. 

This was 'Uuming the tables** faiiiy enough^;- and Mr. 
Abbott's letter will be another evidence of the happy terms 
upon which my husband lived with his theatrieal' brethren; 
al^ough indulging in every species ef familiarity and boyish 
jest with generous confidence, no offence ever ensued, even 
from these offsprings of an exciiement so essential a part of 
an actor's life. 



TO MBS..MATHEWa 

liiferpoQil, ImB. fiOtb, 1835. 

Not so great last night; but the book is tsapital for to-morrow. This 
trip will give me nearly $001, in the five nights. Bravo !--the greatest 

^Mr.AbbottwistteleisseoftiMDiibttntlwatffB.— A. M. 
*25 



$94 K&MOiMor 

Ihingf I hare ever done out of London. I am childithlj impatient now 
to get home, where I hope to find joa and dear Charles well. I am in 
excellent health and ipirita, cheered greatly too hj my iaitli in Meesn. 
Qteyf uid 9rodie<* 

C. Mathews. 



CHAPTER XXI. 



Mr. MathewB*8 new Entertninment, called bis *' Memorandum Book.'' 
— ^Frogramme. — Description of the Performance. — ^Remonstratory 
Ode from the Elephant at Exeter Change to Mr. Mathews. — ^I^tter 
from Mr. J. G. Lockhart to Mr. Mathews. — Letters to Mrs. Ma- 
thewsd — ^Letter from Mr. Knight to Mr. Mathews. — ^Letters to Mrs. 
Mathews : Plymouth Gaieties : Expedition to Loo. — Letter from Mr. 
14 ash to Mr. Mathews. — The Shakspeare Monument. — Delusion of 
Mr. Nash respecting the age of Mr. Mathews. — Mr. Mathews's 
power of representing extreme age. — Anecdotes. — Letter from Mr. 
Theodore Hook to Mr. Mathews : unsuccessful hunt for a Dinner. — 
Letter to Mrs. Mathews : Mr. Farley and the cat in the boot — Let- 
ter from Mr. Mathews to his Son.; — Letter to Mrs. Mathews : a dis- 
agreeable journey. — The Mayor of Worcester. — Letters to Mrs. Ma- 
thews. 

After the rehearshl dinner at the cottage, to the select and 
critical friends who annually favoured my- husband with their 
*^ most attentive hearing," and made their valuable comments 
upon his forthcoming Entertainment, he once more opened 
the English Opera-house, with new materials, in &e form 
of— 



MR. MATHEWS'S MEMORANDUM-BOOK. 

Of Peculiarities, Characters, and Manners, collected during his various 
Trips. 

PaIit L'— Family Fireside,— Thoughts on Trips.— Mrs. Tinsel of 
Parish. — Charitable Neighbour^— John's Wages. — Memoran- 



dum-Book Opened. 

* Now Sir Benjamin Bndie.-A. M. 



OHAMJM lUtHBWS. Mft 



Anthon, Actors, Managen, and Critiea^— Mr. King* of the Crown. 
— rRegal Innkeeper. — King, Lords, and CSommons.— Nat Glibb.— 
Waiter.— Prime Minister.— ^ Make every Body Comfortable.** 

^oag.'^Night Coach, 

Mr. Donblechin. — A Lady of Some Weight. — ^Mr. Frost — Improvi- 
dent Traveller. — Mr. Quiverton. — Everlasting Singer. — ^Testy. — Jona- 
than on the Roof. — Travelling Astronomer. — How to prevent Sleep in 
a Coach. — ^Mr. Allam, the Writing Chymist, and his Uncle, Mr. Chris- 
topher Chyle. — Food and Poison. — Mr. Allbutt. — The Fortunate Youth, 
and his Friend, a Man of Few Words. — Old Startle.— Calamities of 
Prosperity. — ^How to dispose of your Money. 

Song. — Bulibht^a Capital Song, 

Speculations. — Shares. — Companies. — Sinking Funds. — Gas. — M r. 
Fleece. — ^Tunnels. — Silver Mines..— Lord Drowsy.,-— Unique Projects. 

Part II.— Coffee House.— Anum.—Chyle.:-T.I>eath in the Pot.— Sci- 
entific Starvation.^ — Adulteration^ — Bread, Wine,. Coffee — ^Tea and 
Milk Analyzed^— Mr. Allbutt. 

Song^— bailing Match.. 

Preparations for a Boat-foll of Pleasure. — Mr.Brownrigg and Fami- 
ly.— Mr. Literal. — Ballustrade Pillary. — Politesse of Lord Chesterfield. 

— ^Lumbago. — Antelope and Penelope. — Royal Anecdote. Sailing 

Match Lost. — Music on the Water.^ — Catastrophe. — Kemble and Bens- 
ley. — Hamlet and Ghost, — ^Red Arsenic — M'ethusalem — Country Bank 
Notes. — Solicitors. — "As you were," and " As you are." 

Song. — Old and New Times. 

M*Adam. — Coffee-Houses and Club-Houses^-- Working Company. 

Civility to Animals, &c. — Invitation to Dinner. — Chyle's Haunch. 

Deaf Housekeeper. — ^Trumpet Duet without Music— Novel Watch- 
man.—" What's o'clock.'* 

Bong.— -PtiWic Office in Bow Street. 

Night Charfifes^^Mr. Chubb and his Wooden Leg.— Wizen and 
O'Halloran.— Miss Fumbnstle^— Desperate Assault.— Voiceless Com- 
plainant—Ebenezer Pumps, and his Bail.— OFagan and his Wife.*- 
Hibernian Dispute — Native Witnesses,— Illegality of Police Reports. 
— Mr. Mathews going to Gloucester.— Mr. and Mrs. Chyle.— Allum.— 
*« Finale," by Mr. Mathews, Mrs. Chyle, Mf. Allam,and Mr. AUbutt's 
Friend. 



290 MBXonw w 

Part III.— A MoBopoljrloifve, to be caUed th* - 

Crmm Im^m^ Dangtr, 

* 
Nat GHMh a WaUer - - * Mr. MaUmvsI 

Friatwaffer, a Tender-hearted German 

Cook .... Mr.Mathewa!! 

lAoHy Gramachree, an Itinerant from the 

l^meraldlsle - . - .. Mr. MathewB!!* 

Thady, herSun .... Mr. Mathews!!!! 
lyir. Christoj^her Chyle, come oat plea- 

turing; . - . . Mr. Mathewe!! !!! 

]l(r. A11um».come oat Experimentalizinsf Mr. Mathews !!!!!! 
l^rother Simple, of the Loyal Laughing 

Lodge of Free and accepted Masoqii Mr.^ Mathews !!!!!!! 

And, Mr. Mathews on a Provihcial Trip. 



The fbllbwihgis contemporary criticism ob this entertaimnent. 

Mr. Mathews^s ** Memorandum Book,^* consistir of three parts. After 
some consideratton, and he may well be puzzled how to keep ap the 
shuttlecock, — a difiBcult game to change sides and play at alone, — be 
resolves to trast to the hints and sicetcbes afforded him by his memo- 
randum-book; and witb these aids ■ he finishes his annual picture for 
the exhibition. ** Don't talk to me of literary men and books," said a 
warm old Citizen,,/* I never wish to see any man of letters at my door 
except Iho postman, and I know of but one book in the world that's 
worth reading, and that's my bankjer^B: book ."* The use to which Mr. 
Mathews has put his memoranda m-book will, we apprehend, make him 
sympathize very much with the taste of the literary old gentleman' in 
question, as he contemplates his increased power of drawing drafts, 
produced by his skill in making sketches The first song, which, with 
the patter, as it is called, was.onougli lo put him out of breath for the 
rest of the evening, is entitled ** Memoranda in Confusion,'^ and that is 
nearly the best definition we can give of the plot of the whole piece. 
Here, in his particularly gay and tangent style, we have every thing that 
moves on the earth or the waters; nMhing seems to be untouched ; bat 
only touched or tickled, not hurt — Mr. Accam».with his •* Death in th# 
Pot;*' into which, however, he himself appears to have no objection t» 
dip his own whiskers— Mrs. Fry^jor rather her domsy imitators, with, 
so much fiseling foT'the abandoned in jail, thatthey have none left for 
their own children abandoned at home— scandal — speealation — anci 
every foMy that fliep. Itrwoold be hat^'and invidioos to particolarise ; 
but, amongst the anecdotos, " The Watchman, or What's o'clock ?'»♦ 
as really and Uuly «.rieh bit TIwk, as nsiial, he embodies, and bring-s 



« TMs is ths vepieseDtaUoB aHaded to la Sir Tlnmas Lawreaes*s vote to Sir 
George Bsanmonu— A. M. 



CHARU8 1UTHBW8. 397 

beibro thi6 fpeeUitor in their vwn proper pertoni, or rather ad mmtin in^ 
hie ow&i* he possefUDf the most extraordinary art of being 

** All things by turns, and nothing long.^* 

The songs, whiQh create a diycrsion in every sense of the word, but 
can scarcely be said to relieve the dialogue, for it wants no relief in 
the way of merriment, are among the most effective we remember in 
any of these pieces. The SaiUnff Match is excellent, and the PuHie 
Qgiee^ BowJStreet, admirable. 

The concluding part is a sort of *• General Election," in which Mr.' 
Blathewa is returned by every borough, and represents them all with 
^reat fidelity, for they themselves could not exhibit their corruptions 
more forcibly. The scene is an inn, which Mr. Mathews, an excellent 
customer, fills from the garret to the kitchen. Several new characters 
are here introduced, amongst which Friaswaffer, a tender-hearted Ger- 
man cook; Molly Grammachree, an Irish beggar, with TTiadyher son, 
and Brother Simple, a free-mason, are personated by Mr. Mathews with 
surprising effect and irresistible drollery. 

Among other traits, he introduces an elderly gentleman, a Mr, Me- 
thutalerttj who observes that in his youthful days a newspaper would 
serve a family with amusement for a lyeek; but now it took a week 
to read a newspaper. In those **^ olden times " we had snow in De- 
cember, and sunshine in May; while now snow comes in March, and 
sunshine in September. Such was the entire change in all things, that 
youth who formerly thought of nothing but love and the wedding 
ring, were now attracted only by prizC'fighting and the prize-ring. 
He endeavours to iniprove on the ingenuity of the projectors of the day, 
by proposing in »» A Trip to the City," " The New Loudon Patent Ado- 
nis Hair-Curling-Company,** to go by steam, with "a twinty-barber 
power ;^* — a " New London MetropK>litan Self-adjusting Dumb-bell com- 
pany;** — a " British Mouse-trap Company,'* and a ** Tunnel Compa- 
ny '* to the Antipodes^ through which the passengers and parcels are 
to travel to the other side of the world, through the centre of the earth, ^ 
in ^» Patent Suspension-buckets.** 

There was an fmitation of Mr. John Kemble, who was introduced in 
the performance of " Hamlet,*' when Bensley, who played the Ghosts 
imagine4 himself pQisoned by a' glass of brandy and water he had 
drunk. Suett, Fawcett, Dowton, Munden, and others, were very suc- 
cessfully mimicked in the " Novel-reading Watchman.*' Mrv Mathews 
having observed a watchman constantly reading in his box, when re- 
turning home after the performance, some years since, at Drupy^lane 
theatre, used to pop his head into the watch-box, and squeak, in a 
cracked and puerile voice, " What's a clock?'* He passed the word 
to his brother players above enumerated, who carried on the' same 
frolic; and, in their respective tones and manners, he gave the ** What's 
o'clock?" Finally, he, Mr. Mathews, was apprehended by the watch- 
man, whose complaint at Bow-street he gives in a dialect perfectly 
Hibernian, which terminates unsuccesafitllyi, leaving him to pay five 
shillings for being ** insolent to the gentleman." Among other cha- 
racters is a pragmatical fop, whose conversation is almost made up of 
ejaculations of " Indeed!** and " You don't say so!" 



999 IIB110III8 OF 

The following whimsical evidence of Mr. Mathews's popu* 
larity, appeared at this time. It is written hy John Hamilton 
Reynolds, Esq., and will be welcome to everjr reader of this 
book. 



REMONSTATORY ODE 

fROV Tigs. li^LEPBANT AT EXETER CHANGE, TO VBL^ KAVHB.W&, 
AT THE ENGLISH OPERA HOUSE. 



** See, with what courteous action. 
He beckons you to a more removed grouml!" 

Hamlet, 



Oh, Mr. Mathews! Sir! 
(If a plain Elephant may speak his mind; 
And that I have a mind to speak, I find. 

By my inward stir) 
I long have tliought, and wish'd to say, that we- 
Mar our well-merited prosperitv, 

By being such near neighbours:— 
My keeper now hath lent me pen and ink, 
3boved in mv truss of lunch, and tub of drink,-^ 

And left me to my labours!— 
The whole menagerie is in repose: 
The Coatamundi's in his Sunday clothes. 
Watching the Lynxes most unnatural dozi; 
The Panther is asleep,— and the Macaw; 
The Lion is engaged on something raw; 
The White Bear cools his chin 
^Gainst the wet tin; 

And the confined old Monkey's in the straw. 
All the nine little Lionets are lying 
"Slumbering in milk, and sighing; 
Miss Cross is sipping ox-tail soup 
In her front coop. 

;So here's the happy mid-day moment,— yes! 
1 seize it, Mr. Mathews; to address 

A word or two 

To you?— 



CRAXUn MATHEWS. 2M 

On the mbject ofthe ruin which must come— 
By both beinif in the Sttind, aiid both at kdme 
On the same nighU; two treats 

So very near each other. 

As, oh, my brother! 
To play m Gooseberry with my receipts. 

a. 

When ybu begin 
Youp Slimmer fun, three times ft week, at eiirhtb 

And caiTiaps roll up, and cits roll in. 
I feel a change in Exeter 'Change's chanek 
And, dash my trunk! I hate * 

To ring my bell when you ring yottrt,— and ro 
With a diminish'd glory llirough my show » 

It is most strange; 
But crowds, that meant to see me eat a stack 
And sip a water-butt or 80, and crack ' 

A root of mangel-wurzel with my foots— 

Eat little childpen's fruit, 

Pick from the floor small coins— 
And then turn slowly round and show my Indlanibbcr loins- 
'Tis strange!— most strange— but true. 
But these same crowds seek you/ 
Pass my abode,— and pay at your next door! 
It makes me roar 

With anguish when t think of this; I go 
With sad severity my nightly rounds^ 
Before one poor front rewj 

My fatal funny foe! 
And when I stoop, as duty bids, T sigh, 
And feel, that while poor elephantine I 
Pick up a sixpence, you pick up the pounds 

8. 

Could you not go! 
Could you not take the Coburgor the Surry ^ 
Or Sadler's Wells--(I am not in a huny; 
1 never am!)— for thte neitt season— oh! 

Wo! wo! wo! 
To both of us, if we remain; for not 
In silence will I bear my altered lot, 
To have you merry, sir, at my expense^ 

No man of any sense. 
No true great person, (and we both are greai 
In our own ways,) would tempt another's fate* 

I would myself depart 

In Mr. Cross's cart. 
But, like Othello, "am not easily moved. •» 
There's a nice house in Tottenham Court, they say, 



eOO mvonuiOF 

Fit for a single g«ntlcman'« small play; 
And more conveniently near your home, 
You'll easily go and come.^ 
Or get a room in the city, in some street, 
Coachmaker's Hall, or the Paul's Head, 

Cateaton Street; 
Any large place, in short, in which to get your bread; 

But do not stay and get 

3f« into the Gazette! 

4. 

Ah! the Gazette! 
I press my forehead with my trunk, and wet 
My tender cheek with elephantine tears, 

Shed, of a walnut size. 

From my wise eyes, — 
To think of ruin after proaperous years; 

What a dread case 'twould be 

Forme, large me! 
To meet at Basinghall Street the first, and seventh, 

And the eleventh! 

To undergo (D ^n ! ) 

My last examination! 

To cringe and to surrender. 

Like a criminal offender. 
All my effects; my bellpuU and my bell> 

My bolt, my stock of hay, my new deal cell. 

To ^(m/ my ivory, sir! 
And have some curious commissioner 
Very irreverently search my trunk! 

'Sdeath! I should die 
With rage to find a tiger in possession 
Of my abode; up to his yellow knees 
In my old straw; and my profound profession 
Entrusted to two beasts of assignees. 



The truth is simply this: if you wiV/stay 

Under my very nose. 

Filling your rows. 
Just at my feeding time, to see your play 

My mind's made up. 

No more at nine I sup, 
Except on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Siindajs,^ 

From eight to eleven. 

As I hope for heaven. 
On Thursdays, and on Saturdays, and Mondays, 

*Mr. Matliewi'B aon-perfonnaoce nifbts. 



CHARLES UAT^EWS. 301 

I'll squeak, and roar, and grunt without cessation, 

And utterly confound your recitation. 
And, mark me! all my friends of the furry snout 

Shall join a chorus shout, — 
We will be heard — we*U spoil 
Vour wicked witty ruination toil. 

Insolvency must ensue 

To you. Sir, You; 
Unless you move your oppontion shopt 

And let me stop. 



I have no more to toy: — I do not write 

In anger, but in sorrow; I must look. 
However, to my interests every night, 

And they detest your " Memorandum-Book.** 
If we could join our forces — I should like it; 

You do the dialogue and I the songs. 

A vCice to me belongs; 
(The editors of the globe and Traveller ring 
With praises of it when I hourly sing 

God save the King.) 
If such a bargain could be schemed, I'd strike it! 

I think, too, I could do the Welsh old man 

In "the Youthful Days," if dressed upon your plan; 
And the attorney in your Paris trip, 

I'm large about the-hip! 
Now think of tliisl—for we cannot go on 

As next door rivals, that my mind declares : 
I must be penniless or you begone! 

We must live separate or else have shares. 

I am a friend or foe. 

As you take this ; — 
Let me your profitable hubbub miss, 

Or be it " Mathews, Elephant, and Co.!*' t u » 

1825. *'• "• "• 

, Amongst the memorable guests at Ivy Cottage, the ioh 
lowing short letter will record a name which I am proud 
to associate with that of my husband; regrettmg at the same 
time that I do not possess any more important communica- 
tion from the same distinguished pen wherewith to grace 
these pages. 



VOL. I.— 26 



302 MEMOIRS OF 

TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Northumberiand Street Edtnbiii^b, 
March, 1825. 
DiAmsiVy 

I was asked lately by Mr. Croker to get for him a specimen of the 
handwriting of Home, author of « Douglas.** I apphed acccH^ingly 
to his relations here, and have got more than I wanted, — that ia, two 
letters, and (wo scraps of the original rough draft of Douglas. 

It occurred to me that one letter and one bit of Douglas might be 
acceptable to you, in case you had not any thing of Mr. Home's in your 
invaluable collection of autog^raphs; so I accordingly enclbse them. 

May I beg you to present my best respects to Mrs. Mathews; and to 
assure her that I shall never forget the charming day I spent at the 
most charming of all cottages. 

Yours very sincerely, 

J. G. LocKHAat. 



To MRS. MATHEWS. 

Brummy, Wednesday. 

Though 1 am upon the wing to get out of this dull town, five miles 
to my namesake, Mathews, I cannot resist sending you a few lines, to 
thank you for your delightful communications. I had a letter from 
dear Charley yesterday, with several verses of a song for Jonathan, out 
of which I can pick some very good ones. I wrote to thank him for his 
pains last night. I ruralized yesterday for a chop dinner; and, as I have 
nothing of my own to say I will just give you a specimen of an epitaph 
that I think good. The mourning husband puts his initials at the bot- 
tom of the lines. 

•« Hannah, wife of George Onioiis. 
She was — 
But words are wanting to say what. 
Look wliat a wife should be, 
And she was that. 
GO." 

C. Mathews^ 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Wrexham, March 29tb, 1835. 
We arrived here last night safe and sound. Charles and I spent 
this morning at Lord Grosv^nor*8, the most magniiicietit of all »iow 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 303 

houses. To-morrow we proceed to inspect the mines, of which I am 
part proprietor; and the architect commences his labours. It his pro- 
posed to build one hundred cottages; so he will begin largely. Every 
thing at present looks very real indeed.* Our landlord has already re- 
ported that Charles is appointed Arch-i-tecter to the iron works. 
Cileries joins in love to mamma. 

C. Matakws. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Wrexham, March 31st, 1825.' 

I write to say all is well. Charles is hard at work, and we are dining 
out everyday, — meeting with great hospitalities, "indeed to good* 
ness.** What strange animals we are! that mere intonation should af- 
fect our nerves, and stir up prejudices and kindly feelings. While the 
sound of the cockney instantly irritates me, the dear Welsh sing-song 
warms my heart, as their cwrw does my stomach. 

Charles cannot finish his work under three days more; consequent* 
\y I must return without him. 

C. MatbKws. 



TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

June 24th« 1325. ^ 
JD^r DKAE Mathews, 

I thank you for the expedition you have used. You ask me how I 
could imagine you in such a character, — I answer, because I know 
you to be a man of extraordinary genius, and what is it that genius 
cannot accomplish ? Perhaps you say ^ somewhat too much of this.** 
Therefore I desist. 

Your confidence as to every iota of the piece I expeet as a man of 
honour and my fi'iend; in both of which points I truly estimate you. 
I am, dear Mathews, very fiuthfoUy yours, 

E. KNIGHT.t 

Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. 

* This remark relates to one of the ipeeulations I have alluded to,— a mining 
e«ncero,—whieh proved Co be, withetU io«en4ing a pun, aa Hndermioiog one to 
iM eventually.— A. M. 

I I believe Mr. Mathews finally persuaded Mr. Knight to release from bun tlis 
ciMraeter alluded to, and tke pieea was aot produced.— A. M. 



304 - MEMOIBS OF 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Plymouth, July 2l9t, 1825. 

I have never endured any thing equal to my sufferings of yesterday. 
I never stirred out for a minute ; being in the theatre from eleven in 
the morning until twelve at night Thermometer nyar 1^00; for I; am. 
taught to believe it is much warmer here than in London.. After two 
or three wet jackets,, I stood my two hours manfully before the kitchen, 
range of twenty-four gas lights. Phew! — Philadelphia was an ice 
house to it, with thermometer 112 — ^the house literally crammed; and 
this the dear people did after the roasting of Monday night. I &m as 
well as ever I have been, with all this exertion ; such is the extraordi- 
nary effect of thQ sea air upon me. The nights have been the great 
punishment. Last night I lay down, in my morning-gown and trow- 
sers, without any bed-covering, but there are Plymouth flies peculiar 
to this place, that I will back against a million of mu8quitoe8,,that de- 
fy sleep early in the mornings 

I have sent you a newspaper, to. inform you of the gaieties here, t 
witnessed the whole of the regatta on Tuesday, being my leisure day, 
in a most delightful mannpr. — The Yacht Club were nearly all. here; 
and on Monday night, afler the performiince, when I despaired oif get- 
ting a view of it by water Cand the land sight I knew to be something 
like roasting alive,VSir Godfrey Webster and Col. Gjrant called on me» 
to offer me a berth on board the yacht of A%. Owen Williams.. On 
Tuesday, at ten o'clock, I got on board and cruised until night, seeing 
the whole of the boat race, and most magnificent bay — a most enchant- 
ing scene. 

We had 1272. last night; being seven more than the greatest receipt 
before.. I rejoice that my energies are still so powerful; for few, I be- 
lieve, could encounter what I have here. Let me hoar when any im- 
provement takes place in poor dear Louisa's health. I feel most sin- 
cerely for her mother. Gpd bless you, and believe me„ in any weather^ 
warmly and, aflQ^ctipnaltely yours,, 

CIVUth^ws.. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 



Plymouth, July 24th,^ 1825. 

I have been jui4tetingv.and did not return uptil seven last night ; 
when I found your welcome letter, announcing your and Charles's 
health. This morning I have received another letter frona you, which 
has grieved me most sincerely. Your words are precisely what I 
should have written to another upon the melancholy subject of poor 
Louisa. I now feel what I did not quite think. I could have felt about 



CHASLS8.MATHEW8. 305 

her. Believe me I mm as much affected as yoa are. If she is allowed 
to move from London, I hope you will persuade her mother to let her 
come into Devonshire. The air I understand is marvellous for con- 
sumptive people * I dine to-day with Lord Grey, who has come here 
for the health of his children. 

** Oh, the mayor of Loo,** Listen's mayor is gone ; but I saw one. 
Captain Cox, whom I met at Stephenson's, made* me promise to visit 
him at Loo. Such an expedition! I shall never forget it; but must 
reserve the description until I see you. The commencement of the 
expedition will give you some little idea of it, and that you shall have. 
I received a note saying that if I would embark on board the Falmouth 
steam-boat. Captain C. would come off in a boat from Loo, where the 
steam-boat will not land passengers. Well, he came not ! Boat-sig- 
nal hoisted — gun fired — all to no purpose — no boat. What is to be 
done ? Where can I land? Must I go to Falmouth, forty -fives miles 
— and no'getting back in lime to act to-morrow! "No: land you at 
Towcy — nine miles farther; and twfelve from Loo." Any thing! Put 
me on shore. Not one gig or carriage of any descriptioa to be had, 
only saddle-horses. . G and I mounted, with a guide on foot, car- 
rying our bags. Precipices to ride over — the guide had never been the 
road! and such a^ road I never saw in the wildest part of America ! 
Frequently we encountered four roads, and sometimes six; a stone for 
a directiojn-post occasionally occurred, en one side of which appeared 
*'' Loo,*' and on the other " Z>09^,'*' being an abbreviation of Lost withiel. 
We were four hours and a half in & broiling, sun^ which peeled tlie skin 
quite off my nose. — Epitaph at Loo: 

" Here lies 

The blighted hopes of a Mother, 

And the blasted expectations of & Father.*'' 

I have received nearly 200/.. by mj week. Very great indeed.. I 
shall do as well at Exeter. No start can do better than the year 
1825! 

Not a bit of my head complaint from the time I sniffed the sea air. 
I have been three hours in the bay to-day. Pray convey love to Lou- 
isa, and my most affectionate condolence to her mother. 
Ever affectionately yours, 



' P. S. — A very pleasant day indeed at Lord Grcy*s. 



C. Mathews. 



TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 



Mr DKAR Mathews, 



26th July. 



I shall certainty vote ibr your friend, and hope he will apprize me 
of the day, and that I shall be in town. 

* Tiiis deep eeneera lelatsd to Um prastnt Mrs. Falrlit.— A. M; 
26* 



9061 mifoiBs or 

There are many com|)etiteni in the field, and I am pretsed by men 
of weight; but none of bo mnch weight, with me, as obliging my old 
friend of the boikiii^ 

Itoet Binoerely, yourg, 

John Nash.* 
Where is Shakspeare ? 

Mr. Nash*s question may possibly induce the reader to in- 
quire why no more has been said about tl^e monument to 
which Mr. Nash refers. Alas! my husband's labour to ac- 
complish this wish of his heart proved something like that of 
Sisyphus: for it may be said, that as soon as he had rolled 
up one stone towards the building, it was rolled down again 
by some repelling force. Thus he went on, struggling 
against opposition, until the main purpose in the undertaking 
was completely effaced, — his great desire being to erect this 
monument in the town of Strafford, where the poet was 
born and buried. His object did not meet with the general 
concurrence of the Londoners, who were jealous of such pre- 
ference, and would only co-operate on the condition that the 
metropolis was to have the honour of such an ornament. 
Day by day the plan met with stronger opposition; and thus 
opposed in his original aim, and wearied with the ineffectual 
struggle to accomplish it, Mr. Mathews at length relinquished 
the idea altogether. But it will appear from the following 
letter, evidently written in reply to some allusion to the 
monument, that Mr. Mathews's hopes were not finally dissi- 
pated before the year 1827. 

Si|i, 

Whitehall Gardens, April 9th, 1827. 
I shall be at Bromley Hill diirini? our Easter necess; and unless you 
could call there in your way from Brighton on the 16th, I fear there 
would be no chance of our meeting till next montli. If you can call 
there, I would at least show you a pretty spot of ground, and you would 
find luncheon at two o'clock, and dinner at seven. Now one word as to 
the Shakspeare monument: I really thoug^ht it had fallen to the ground; 
and, having seen Mr. Nash, I fear w^ shall not be able to set it up again. • 
As to myself, I would be, most willingly, a subscriber to a monument 
in London; but my other avocations will not permit me to take any ac- 
tive part in it, as I explained before to Mr. Watson, when he spuke to 
me on the subject. 

Yours, very faithfully, 

Farenborouoh. 
C. Mathews, Es<^., Ivy Cottage, 
K.enti^ town. 

^Tht eminent arebitect. 



CHARLB0 MATHEWS. 307 

I am reminded by the foregoing note from Mr. Nash, of a 
fanciful impression under which that gentleman laboured to 
the close of his existence, in respect to his own and my hus- 
band's relative ages. What Mr. Nash founded his error 
upon, it is impossible to divine,, for that he never explained; 
but he certainly harboured a conviction throughout the greater 
part of his life, that his age and that of Mr Mathews agreed 
within a^year! It was his custom, when speaking of my 
husband to their mutual friends, to observe that '* Mathews 
was indeed a surprising man in more ways than one," add- 
ing " how young he looks! He and I," he continued, ** are 
of the same age — that is, with the diflference of a few months. 
He was born one year before or one year after myself, I for- 
get which: — a most wonderful man indeed!" My husband 
had been told of this, and for some time believed it to be a 
joke of Mr. Nash's. One day, however, when we were at 
his house in Regent street, Mr. Nash, noticing Mr. Ma- 
thews's lameness, and forgetting the accident which caused 
it after saying something of their coeval associations, and re- 
peating several times *' How well you look!^^ observed with 
something of a self-consoling air, " Ah! my dear old friend! 
I think I see you begin to be a little shaken on one sidel^^ 
At another time, my husband, while staying at the back of 
the Isle of Wight, took Mr. FaWcett over one morning to 
Cowes Oastle to make a^ call upon Mr. Nash, telling Mr. 
Fawcett, by the way, of the whimsical delusion under which 
that gentleman laboured. After the visiters had been hastily 
welcomed by the master of the mansion, some observation of 
Mrs. Nash caused her husband to say, " My dear, Mr._ Ma- 
thews and I were acquainted before you were bom." At 
this Mr. Fawcett looked at the lady, whose age evidently 
greatly exceeded his whose prior existence had been asserted 
by her husband, and had some difficulty in abstaining from 
the effects of thi^ confirmation of what he had been told. 
The truth is, that when Mr. Nash performed in Wales in 
1796, he was yet a young man? but he forgot that Mr. Ma- 
thews was many years younger: and the circumstance of 
their meeting upon an equality, — at least, of tast^ and pursuit, 
had in the lapse of time since their first warm iaitimacy given 
colour to the belief that they werp therefore on> a parity as to 
years. 

Another reason why such an idea possessed Mr. Nash 
was probably the extraordinary power Mr. Mathews pos- 
sessed from his youth of " making up'' for, and represent- 
ing extreme age. This early excellence often gave rise to 



308 MEMOIRS OF 

lUspntes relative to to his own. I remember his telling me 
that one night soon afler he went to York, he was appealed 
to by a party of gentlemen who had met at a tavern to settle 
a wager about his age. They had severally and together 
seen him perform a variety of characters; and the different im- 
pressions of each were written on a slip of paper and deposited 
under a candlestick until duly answered, when the writer 
nearest to the truth was to be proclaimed the winner of the 
stakes. It was then discovered that one person had written him 
down at nineteen, and another at eighty. This was a great 
compliment to the actor, but little to be wondered at from 
persons probably not used to dramatic illusions, and ignorant 
of the skill which produces it. 

On another occasion, he had been performing //em, a veiy 
aged character, in the " Deserted Daughter." After the au- 
dience left the theatre, Mr. Mathews turned with the crowd, 
as Lovelace did with a church congregation, (in order to ap- 
pear one of them) and listened to the various remarks upon 
the night's entertainment. After a party had discussed the 
whole evening's performance, and commented upon the actors, 
one man 6bserved in continuation, — ** But, as for (Mathus, 
U*s time that ami (old) chap lapped up (retired.) Jt*8 a 
shame to let him work so hard at his time o' /^<?." 

In London he was seldom allowed opportunity to exhibit 
his skill in this sort of part, which originally he preferred 
acting. I remember at York his Crazy in " Reeping Tom " 
as the most extraordinary picture of decrepit, imbecile old age 
that could be conceived. It was almost affecting: he re- 
minded me of the man mentioned by Madame de Stael, whom 
it might have been supposed Death had forgotten to strike, 
concluding him long since taken. 

TO MR MATHEWS. 

Piince of Wale8*s Coffee House, 8 o'clock, 
Deah Mat. 

September 3Ut, 1825. 

\ never werit sporting fbr a dinner that I bagged my bird in my 
life. Broderip asked me to dine with him to day, and went out and 
foi;got it; so, 1 said to myselQ says I, I want to ask Mat or Mrs. Mat two 
questions about Charles's **Trip to Rome.'* So on, says I, V\\ go to 
MiHfield Lane. I did. On my way I forgot why Broderip forgot hi* 
engagement;— natural enough— modem Aristophanes— beautiful view 
—charming grounds — pleasant company,— poor me, of course, reject- 
ed. Well, up I gon, Man with powder and an apron (just my own 
dear brother's diess unce be has been a Dean) opens gate— expectinn^ 



CHAIOBS MATHEWS. 309 

compftny— doesn't know whether Mr. Mathews is at home or no— goes 
to see^-g^ood butler,' but cannot lie steadily; — so out comes a woman. 
Satire on the sex to think they have more composure tlian man in a 
quandary. — Master not at home. — Novelty, says I, Mathews ai Hom€ 
any body can see: but, to see Mat. not at home, is not to be bought— 
Thank you, ma'am, says I{ and down hill I tumbled at iu foot, expede. 
1 discovered (not Herculem) but the reason why you chose to deny 
yourselC Why didnH you fcome out and speak? I most ardently 
eschew your mutton, beef, veal, and ham. I only wanted three words 
of you.— That's your aifair. Now, thinks f, Broderip has cut me, and 
Mathews has denied himself, 1*11 go and dine with Nash. Nash dined 
outy waiting for the great gendeman from BerkaMre, Lyon. I called 
upon (Jamea) but, like his namesake, he had abdicated Met Sir Hud- 
son Lowe— did not ask me;— <»lled at Elliott's— /Ae«y dined out: so I 
damned my fate, and ordered dinner at sevenliere, and here I am; and 
so I will punish your long legs with a threepenny. Write to me, or 
ask Mrs. Mat. to write, and tell me of the name of the tunt of *• The 
trip to Rome,'* which it is essential to know; and, if she can furnish me 
with the aeomdvtrst eompkte, I should be obliged; for Charles has sent 
only half the stanza* 

Despatch in all tliis is important: it is a very, «€ry. clever production, 
and Charles ehail be, what I am sure he will, an honour, and a blessing 
to you both; and so I, in the dumps. as \ am, pray he may. With best 
love to Mrs. Mathews, believe me 

Yours truly, 
% E. Uooi:. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Cheltenham, 0«t. Uth; 1835. 

f<How sweet IS our rest on Sunday!** I have g^t through a week 
of unparatled fatigue ; having played three nighta ninning,-^one at 
<jloucester, and last night here. I am, however, well, notwithstandin|^ 
the worry 1 have suffered in rehearsing. 

I am delighted at the cheerful tone of your letter^ which is the first 
really merry letter I have received from you. J never will believe you 
are well when J cannot make out your writiqg. Not one ^ord have I- 
squeezed out of yo)i in reply to any of mine. Lpok over my Ust, if you 
have kept it , 

Farley and 1 are left to breakfast alone. We had, or rather X had, 
such a joke against him! I have picked up a curious imitation, and 
with it a story of Sir I—- c C — n, — a most absurd, insane eccentric, 
propensity of Uie admiral; the hero of which is a cat put in a boot* I 
bad convulsed Farley with laughter at this story; he roared whenever I: 
reminded him of it, even by one woid. I went over to Glo'ster with 
Charles Young, to see the play and return with him in his pliaeton. 
Farley was acting in the after-piece of the *' Broken Sword,'* and in 

• Tbe ** Trip to Soiae '* was printed in the Earopean Magazlnc^A. M. 



310 MEMOIRS OF 

perfect earnest pouring^ out his melo-dramatie sentiment, when sud- 
denly a tall figure in a red cloak, with his back to the audience, tall 
hat, very high feathers, stalked across the stage, with a boot in his hand, 
from the top of which peeped out the head of a khten, which was evi- 
. dently struggling for escape. I was on and off like lightning. He 
was so completely oyercome that he screeched with laughter^ and ran 
off. Imagine the rest. 

There is not a word about poor Louisa — not a word about the new 
Entertainment — whether Chajrles has heard of the plan, &c. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

C. BfATBXWS. 



TO C. j;. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Worcester, Nov. 4th. 
DiAR Charlst, 

I received your letter, and will attend to your wish. Lord Deer- 
hurst, who franked this letter, laughed at the idea at your being con- 
demned to be at Mold, and told me an impromptu of Sheridan's, upon 
being compelled to spend a day or two there. 

" Were I to curse the man I hate 
From youth till I grow old, 
Ob might lie be condemned by fate 
To waste his days in MoidI" 

Pray write as often as possible to your mother in my absence. She 
is very low just now about her mother, who is, I fear, past recovery. 
Cheer her as much as you can by writing. Remember me to Gray. 
How will this depreciation in iron affect us? Tm told we look very 
blue upon 'Change. Not a word have I been able to squeeze from you 
or him about the distillery business. Does he retain his stores? 

Affectionately yoiffs, 

C. Mathews. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Bath, Nov. 6th, 1825. 
After one of the most tempestuous nights to which I ever was ex- 
posed, I arrived at seven this morning at Bristol, and found very com- 
fortable lodgings, all in apple-pie order. I love to be expected, you 
Icnow. I am in high health, and find I can bear to lose a night's rest 
«s well as ever. For I wonder, I did not sleep at all. The gale was 
so great that it blew out our lamps; and I really was ridiculous enough 
to -Slink the coach would be blown over. From odd nenrous appre* 



CHASLE8 HATHSWS. 911 

benmona^ I could not tiy to sleep; but I bad three sleeping partnerr, 
not of the sweetest, ^ho could not bear air. Indeed, it was pouring 
with rain the greater part of the night; so I was obliged to watch them, 
and steal a breeze now and then, to prevent the suffocation they seemed 
to court. I think 1 have absolved myself of all sins for the last week, 
by the punishment of this one night. 

1 have left a bed of thorns for Mr. B > the manager, to impose on 

during his season. Great rage universally excited at his having re- 
fused the theatre. He has published an address in the Worcester pa- 
per, hoping I would reply? but no: it is good to show these managers 
I can do without them. 

I dare say R and H^— think there is no harm in dragging thq 

name of the Mayor of Worcester before the public, so as to make him 
appear ridiculous. You will understand how I felt when I read the en- 
closed in a county newspaper, copied from a London journal. Every 
one but the Herald had something on the subject. The article is head- 
ed— 

"SEDUCTION BY THE MAYOR OF WORCtlSTER! 

*« To record the vices and indiscretions of our fellow-creatures is ever 
an ung^teful task; but the duty becomes monstrously irksome, when 
in its fulfilment we are compelled to register names which have been 
heretofore deemed respectable. We are deeply afHicted for the Mayor 
of Worcester. We have ever believed him to be a gentleman possess- 
ing the most benevolent disposition. It was then with no common 
feeling that we read an account in the Morning Chronicle, which 
charged him with the seduction of a great public character. We are 
also concerned for Charles Mathews, who, it seems, has fallen a victim 
to the seductive arts of the Mayor, who is his particular friend, and has 
< seduced him to play six nights!' Can words express the enormity 
of a mayor seducing his friend, exposing him to the likelihood of re- 
ceiving four or five hundred pounds? For ourselves, when we see 
such treachery in men of eminence, we almost begin to fear the total 
annihilation of friendship in this world. Attached as we are to Ma- 
thews, there is one circumstance which greatly consoles us, and which 
will, no doubt, sooth Charles under his affliction; for he must be aware, 
if we may judge from previous instances, that if any thing could add 
to his professional fame and profit, it must be his seduction.^ 

This is all very good humoured to me; but it must be very annoying 
to the mayor to have his name made use of in every newspaper. 

C. Mathews. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS; 

Bath, Nov. 14tli lS25. 
A thousand thanks for your kind and prompt attention to my request. 
i received the parcel; and you know the pleasure Of such an art>ival at 
breakfast. 



312 MEMOIRS 07 

To-day I dine with the Windsers. They are universally praised and 
respected. That villain Young was with them when he promised to 
go with me to Newmarket I have completed my old right reading, 
having cleared 2001. by my two weeks. I sliall be at home, therefore, 
about Friday the 2nd of December, but only for three or four days. 
So far as I am concerned, therefore,! don't care a straw about the room. 
If they are disposed to be dilatory, don't let infipatience on my account 
mar your comfort , 

I hope Charley will keep his word, and go with me to Edinburgh : 
and if his mother has not love enough fdr the father, I hope her un- 
doubted affection for her son may induce her for once to forego her 
home comforts, and accompany them. Can it be? It is a long way, 
I know, and I sincerely say do an you Uke,- but if we ^ere altogether 
at Christmas, it would be very pleasant. Indeed, indeed, I am a very- 
sad being without you. 

What a horror they have made of poor Mic. Kelly! How could any 
body stand by and see him so abused. Could not they have reduced 
the lai^e portrait lately published?* 

C. Mathiws. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Bath, Nov. 16th, 1825. 
You have really made me very unhappy. If I could have antici- 
pated that such a hint as mine could have occasioned you even the 
trouble of writing so long a letter, without so cruelly exciting your 
feelings, I am sure I would not have made the request, and much I re- 
pent that I did. You surely have sufficient liberty to say ''No; I can- 
not think of accompanying you so far at this time of the year," without 
entering into so long a defence. I am quite convinced of the Quixot- 
ism of the scheme now; but one line would have silenced me. If you 
had said, " Remember my mother," every other word might have been 
spared. I am sure I would not stand in the way of your affection to 
her for the world; so do not think any more of my request. I did not 
mean to be " ungracious," believe me; I could not be quite serious, 
and so express myself. It is only a little jealous feeling which I have 
of every body who shares your smiles and good opinion. I am never 
angry, I am sure you are the best friend I have ever known; but 
it is jealousy of the enthusiasm I have seen dear Charles elicit, and yet 
loving bim as much as a father can lovej that drew forth that remark. 
I meant no reproach, be assured; but no more of this. I hope your 
poor mother will get better, and that your worst fears will not be real- 
ized. You must not allow such gloomy feelings to steal across your 
mind. You speak as if you were conscious of neglect You have the 
consolation of knowing that you have always fulfilled your duty to her 
in the most affectionate manner. You cannot ever reproach yourself; 

* This question related to an engraving of Mr. Kelly, aiSled to his ^'Eem'nia* 
cences,** edited by Mr. Theodore Hook — A. M. 



then surely, as it is an eyent for which we must all be prepared, you 
oufht not to indulge in the grief you so keenly express in your letter, 
and which 1 feel I have drawn from you. Would it be more gratify- 
ing to you to have your mother witli you for a time, as a change of air 
and of comfort^ perhaps? What think you? I suppose she would 
not consent. I can only say, do every thing you can to contribute to 
her comfort, without consulting me. Rely on the inviolable affec- 
tion of 

C. Mathkws. 

Mr. Mathews^s next letter to me is written in continuation 
of his regret at having, as he feared, given me pain by his re- 
marks, in a recent communication; and although of no gene- 
ral interest for the most part, 1 feel that a short extract will 
be well placed here, as developing of his habits and charac- 
ter. I give it, therefore, at the risk of being accused of per- 
sonal vanity in revealing the compliment implied to myself, 
which must remain, in order to complete ^he passage alluded 
to. The words are remarkable, standing as a rare instance of 
self-commendation in the writer, and a register in his own 
hand, though by negatives, of some of his most estimable 
qualities. In conclusion to an apology for his generally quick 
and inconsiderate method of speaking or writing to those he 
loved best, in matters of interest to him, with a view torecon- 
cQe me to any rashness of the kind, he urges, amongst otlier 
reconciling points, the devotion of his heart and mind to his 
family on all important considerations; and pleads for in- 
dulgence for mere faults of temper, adding the following 
remarks. 

One thing I woulc! recommend, — to compare your state with that df 
women who have drunkards, gamblers, and libertines, for their hus- 
bands. This 1 preach because 1 practice. When away from you» 
every woman I see, attractive or otherwise, induces a comparison, and 
always in your favour. 

Many of my readers may be disposed to exclaim, perhaps 
with something of scepticism at the latter portion of this para- 
graph, this is indeed very uncommon! To these I can only 
answer, that the writer was not a common character. To his 
superior worth, (and not that of the object of such attachment,) 
be all the praise. 



VOL. 1.-^7 



314 MKHoiRii or 



CHAPTER XXI. 



Mr. MatheWB'B Visit to Scotland.— Letter- to Mrs. Mathews: Intro^ 
duction to Sir Walter Scott of Mr. C. J. Mathews: Invitation to Ab- 
botsford : Sir Waller and the Novels^ — Anecdote of an old Laird. — 
A Scotch Hackney Coachman. — " Jonathan in England.*' — Effect of 
that farce on the American Public. — Attack on Mr. Mathews by 
an American Writer. — Mr. Mathews's Reply. — Letter from the Rer. 
Charles Barney to Mr. Mathews. — ^Letters to Mrs. Mathews : Visit 
to Abbotsford : Mr. Scrope : Journey to Newcastle. 



ShortlIt after the above correspondence, my husband and 
son returned home, and at the appointed time proceeded with* 
out me to Scotland. 



TQ MRS. MATHEWS. 

Edinburgh, 23d Dee. 18^5. 

In addition to my own siicce^ here, which is keeping up to the 
mark, and will in all probability, give me 500/. quite clear, I have to 
announce the success of our all- in all, dear Charles. He irrst made a 
strong impression on Jeffrey at Eckersall's (George^ — no small boast. 
On Tuesday we met the man of men-^the great WeU-knmon^-9X James 
Ballantyne's. Charles was all hopes, all fears. Ballantyne,, with great 
kindness, placed him next Sir Walter at dinner. He soon cheered him 
with his affability; and his g^od humour brought out our son. He 
was very successful. Sir Walter was very much struck With the •*" Ro- 
man sermon," lauded it highly, and Charleses song was repeatedly 
cheered by him with " vary clever — oh, exceedingly good— excellent 
indeed!*' When I went into the drawing-roorof Ballantyne took me 
with i^at mystery into his library and said, **Your son has made a 
great impression on Sir Walter, and I think you ought to know it, and 
treasure it up. He said he was a veiy clever and a very modest youngs 
man) and added, that he was exceedingly struck with him." 



CHABLBS XATHEWS. 815 

Thu ended in an nmrATiov to Abbotctoiib, »nd a reauest that I 
would bring Charles with met And in his brief way said, **He*B a veiy 
nice lad that, and exceedingly clever." Cadell met me next day, and 
said what a valuable thing it was to Charles to have hit the baid so 
powerfully; •« for you may depend upon this," said he, " Scott never 
flatters. His praise is indeed worth having.** You may suppose how 
gratified papa was. Charles had the advantage, too, of meeting Mr. 
Playfair, the architect, who invited him next day, showed him his 
drawings, &c. In short, I look upon this trip as one of the most 
fortunate and important events in his life; and I have resolved, in 
spite of all pursuits in Wales, to keep him here to go to Abbotsford. 
We s^all go after I have finished at Glasgow, about the 8th of Janua- 
ry. Luckily it has reconciled me to a disappointment which alone 
could ' have afforded me the opportunity of going myself; this gives 
me some spare days, which I am sure you will rejoice can be turned 
to such account for our good fellow. I hope you will feel as warm- 
ly as I do about tltis, and encourage me in encouraging him to ne- 
glect his business for sucli an event.* Next to an invitation to Carl- 
ton House, I value this. He is the king of Scottish society; and none 
but persons of rank and talent can get invitations to Abbotsford. I am 
proud and happy !f Charles is already convinced of the value of the 
Scottish character. Not one instance of neglect, or falling off. Too 
many invitations. On Christmas day we dine with Constable, near 
Roslyn Castle, and sleep there. For the fii-st time in all our long 
acquaintance he has thrown off the veil of mystery respecting Scott 
and the novels. He told me that he is preparing for the press a novel 
called •« Woodstock,*' and the Life of Bonaparte. He called the other 
day, and found Scott with both manuscripts on the table, writing al- 
ternately a fragment of each. He said that his mind was relieved 
by leaving a dry matter of history to indulge in the imaginative, and 
equally so after indulging in the regions of fancy by returning to the 
contemplation of biographical facts. This will be a pretty bit for 
Mrs, Wilson and the disbelievers,^ 

C. Mathxws, 

* Charles was building in Wales.— A.M. 

t '^Mathewfl used often to refer with great deligbt," says Mr. Patmore, '(and 
even with a tinge of personal pride (for it would be unjust to call it vanity.) to 
his intimacy with Walter 8cott, whom he visited several times at Abbotsford, 
when the poet was at the height of his fame and popularity as * The Great Un- 
known.* Indeed I do not call to mind a single instance, except that of Scott, in 
which his references to his intimacy with the great and distinguished of the wocfd 
were blended with any appearance of exultation or self-satisfaction. 3ut in the 
case of Scott, he evidenUy piqued himself upon the intercourse, as if be felt it to 
be an honour and a ftivour. He (Mathews) used to imitate the poet's tone, man- 
ner, and mode of speech, in a way that was quite delightful to those who, like 
myself, had never seen that illustrious man. This was the more striking from a 
remarkable iBsemblance which the eyes and brow of Mathews bore to the pur- 
traits, at least, of Scott. I believe I was the first to remark this resepiblance; and 
Mathews was evidently not a little pleased with the observation. It was partica- 
larly conspicuous in a bust of Mathews by Behnes, 1 think," [the bust alluded to 
was Josepirs; and the resemblance spoken of has often bnen noticed.— A. M.J 
'* which used to form a part of his theatrical gallery at Kentish Town." 

X In Mr. Patmore's *« Recollections.** thai gentleman has attributed this account 
to Mr. Mathews's personal e;Kperience, while on a visit to Sir Walter. The mis- 
take was natural, after so long a lapee of time. The faet baa only ehaoged ita 
aatliority.^A. M. 



016 MBMOIKf OF 

The eifeuioBtence of Mr. Mathews's dwelliBg in this letter 
so ^emphatically upon the superiority of the Scottish charac- 
ter, reminds me of several anecdotes related by him in refer- 
ence to the lower orders of that country, who partook of the 
respect which the higher ranks excited in him at all times. 

I remember his telling me a story of his having dined a 
shoit distance from Edinburgh, accompanied by an old laird, 
much in the habit of exceeding discreet limits, when he found 
himself induced by good wine and good company to take 
more of the former than he was justified in doing. On the 
occasion in question, he had taken Mr. Mathews in his car- 
riage to ths house where they dined on a Saturday evening. 
On their return to Edinburgh after midnight, when they 
reached the toll-bar through which they had passed on the 
evening of the day before, the usual demand was made by 
the pretty daughter of the toll-keeper, which the laird resisted 
on the plea that he had paid on first passing through, and 
should not pay again. The young girl reminded the laird 
that it was now another day; that the Sabbath mom had broken 
upon his return; and, therefore she expected a fresh payment. 
But the impracticable laird persisted in his wrong-headed de- 
termination not to pay a second toll on one day. It was in 
vain his friends expostulated and endeavoured to discharge 
the claim, in order to get home. The unreasonable laird 
would not permit his friends or his servants to satisfy the de- 
mand, and he applied the most violent and unbecoming lan- 
guage and epithets to the girl; all which she received with 
great meekness, nevertheless with unflinching determination 
not to unlock the gate without the toll being first paid. The 
fury of the laird, and the continuation of the noise, at length 
induced an old woman in her night-dress to peer out of an 
upper window, with the question ot, " Eh! Maggy, what's 
the gentleman saying?" when the girl wittily replied, " Ah, 
mither! it's no the gentltnnan; it's the wine that speaks!*' 
Strange to say, this observation sobered the laird, who de- 
murely ordered his servant to *' gi'e the lassie her will for 
once^ though 'twas Iiard to pay twice in one day.** 

As a pendant to the preceding picture of native good sense 
and moderation, I add the following anecdote: — 

During some severe weather, Mr. Mathews had hired a 
hackney coach to take him to the theatre where he had to 
act. Something had happened several times to derange the 
baraess, and the driver, a steady old Scotchman, had been 
obliged to descend from his box to put it in order; but a third 
occasion put an end to my husband's patience, besides giving 



CHARLB8 MATHEWS. 817 

him some alarm lest he should not arrive in time to diess^ 
He looked out of the coach-window, and perceiving the man 
very deliberately tying some rope together, to effect the ne- 
cessary repair, he somewhat angrily called out that such de- 
lays were very provoking; and being unable to induce the 
man to hasten his operations, he exclaimed in a sharp tone, 
** Be pleased to remember how much time I am losing/'-— 
**Vary weel, sir,*^ answered the man, quietly and slowly, " and 
you will be pleased to remember.that I'm losing just as much 
time as yoursel'." 

By way of introduction to some matter I am about to in- 
sert, by Mr. Mathews, I am led to observe, that the piece 
called ^* Jonathan in England,'' founded upon the character 
of Jonathan W. Boubikins, in Mr. Mathews's "Trip to 
America," and admirably worked into a dramatic form by 
Mr. Peake's witty and humorous pen, had been eminently 
successful: Indeed it was a most excellent farce. Strange to 
say, however, it proved the cause of partial offence to 
the Americans. Why this should have been, it is scarcely 
possible to explain: since the character which induced a con- 
tinuation of it gave no offence in the entertainment But so 
it was; and without considering that this piece was not more 
Mr. Mathews's than any other in which he had a character 
assigned, he was made wholly responsible for its production, 
and for the first time he was cavilled at as a traducer of the 
American character, or at least the ridimler of it. He was, 
in fact, only representing what in America is considered a 
fair subject of laughter and ridicule, like the gascon of France, 
and the cockney of England, which are quoted by the natives 
themselves as a fair specimen of ignorance, conceit and 
boasting. 

However, those who enjoyed and laughed at Jonathan, W. 
Doubikins, as far as " that 'eer trifle went," in " The Trip,'' 
gravely and severely objected to him on an extended scale, not 
with any outward manifestation of anger during the perform- 
ance, for there the quality of the piece, and the acting in it 
throughout, was such as to defy all disapproval — but one or two 
^rsons putdown their opinions, who found it would be useless 
to attempt putting down the farce. This partial discontent, 
I believe, alone caused the misunderstanding which existed 
among a few misled persons in America, respecting the ten- 
dency of Mr. Mathews's Entertainment on the subject of 
their country. The most direct apd noticeable attacls;, how;- 
ever, came from too clevex and liberal a pen to be treated with 
silence* 

«7* 



U9 mmuoim (» 

TIm jourmH Kl(e the £dinl>tirg;hK duaHerly, tnd WcstiiuiMleplle^ 
¥iew>» ve in the hahtt of speeulatiag^ constuntljr on all that ocean 
in Americm as if the affairs of America were as familiar to them is 
their alphabet, most of them urging, whatever they urge at all, with 
an air of authority; and yet all but one or two are quite sure to fall 
into some atrocious blunder whenever they treat of the people, the 
garemment, or the resources of Americas and a large part, wlienev«r 
they apeak of any thing that relates to America. One da^ we are 
(old about the island of Virginia by a British senator, who is neither 
laughed at nor conlradicted; another day we are told by the Quarterly 
Review that Mexico is in South America; and a little time after, by a 
literary man of great powcr» that each of the thirteen States of North 
America will do. so and so, if this or that should occur; while another 
gif^d writer talka of New England as if it were a single Slate, Such 
&ing8 are disgraceful to the age, and very disg^ceful to this country. 
It is high time fur those who perceive the truth to interfere; some- 
body 8lM>uld undertake to correct the evil in a serious way; and» if 
others will .not, f must. 

I shall confine myself now to Mr. Mathews. Before I speak of 
him, however, it may be well enough to say a few words about some 
of the peculiarities whereby the people of the Eastern States, cm- 
N«w Englanders, who are the true ** irolher /onafhana,*^ or geauine 
Yankees of tite Western World, ace set apart lui a ** peculiar people,*' 
somewhat over-zealous of good works, and altogether distinguiahed 
from the people of the Southern, Western, and Middle States of the 
Confederacy. New England^ at the time of the Bevohitioii there, was 
composed of only four States, namely, Massachusetts (the parent of 
all*) Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. I'hcse were 
alto^ther settled by the English. After a while^^ Vermont was admit- 
ted mto the General Confederacy; and having derived her population 
exclusively from the original stock of Englisii, became of course a 
part of the New England circle. Within a few years, Maine, which 
has always been a district of Massachusetts Proper, has become a State 
by herself So. that New England is now made up of six confederate 
republics, namely, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New 
Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. 

The people of this part of the United States of North America are 
the " genuine Yankees," or the real »'. brother Jonathans '* of ihat large 
country, and are very unlike their brethren of the South. All their 
habits are English ; and yet, were I called upon to characterize them 
in a few words, without qualification, I would say, that they are the 
Scotch of America. They have all the Scotch probity and the Scotch 
hardihood; like the Scotch,. they arc spoken of as the moral and reli- 
gious people of a great empire^ There is no chivalry among them, 
and little or no romance ; but they abound in vigorous peculiarity ; 
they deal in broad, sensible distinctions,,, matter of fact, and stubborn 
truth. For those who love nature, whatever it may be, and wherever 
it may be, a world of serious enjoyment would be found in a study of 
the Sew England character, It affords a variety of combinations, 
■uch as I never met with any where else.. Permit mo to give an ex- 
annple or two. One day you will encounter a personage half hypo- 
crite, half puritan, praying and cheating i» the same breath, puffing 
hip wares, and praising his Maker to the very same tunc, doing what- 



OHARLBI MJLTKBWB. 319 

ever he do^ with a devoat Mrimis look, and both ejei turned np, an 
that half the time 700 would aee nothinjg^ but the whiten; wearing a 
broad^brimmed Quaker hat over a youthful Tiaage, red cheeks, and 
pieaty of hair ; two qr three watches for ever in sight, and a flashy 
waistcoat, *• for sale," over a coarse *• everyday one ;'* always ready to 
preach, or pray, or sell, or " swap," or " truok," or •« trade " with any 
body, for any thing; to pitch a hymn in the street, or pitch a copper 
in church; one *• saddlebag,* * if he have no dearborn,* crowded with 
hymn-books and relijrious tracts, which he has undertaken to •* give 
away gfatis " for the Bible Society, in his progress through the west, 
em territories, but which he is careful to ** give away gratis *' only to 
auch aa are abhi to take of himself and horse, or himself, horse And 
cart, BO long aa he may think proper to tarry, without money and 
without price; the other crammed, of course, with wooden nutmegs, 
horn gunflinta (both on the road,) blue clay indigo (from the best mal 
nnfactory,) and a sort of patent medicine, which he sells one day fyr 
the hair, and another for the itch ; to this man for his razor strop, and 
to that for his corns ; to this girl for perfume, and to that for a bug^de- 
atroyer; undertaking to **9ait his customers" in every case; and if 
the wares that he puffs off be not good, to make tJiem »« good for no- 
thing " on his " return.'* But such people never return if they can 
help it ; and if they should, where is the difficulty of making what- 
ever they please good far nothing 7 Another day you would foil in 
with, or perhaps tall out with, a huge, brawny, white-headed fellow, 
who, under a simple speech, and a look of stupid, foolish, good-natured 
cariosity, would conceal a temper so cool and sharp, so inquisitive, 
watchful, and sagacious, that before yoa well knew what he was about 
you wouki 6nd that he had overreached you, while you were most upon 
your guard, or, as they have it in their country, when they have out- 
witted a very cautions traveller, tltat be had »♦ guessed you up a tree." 
While another day, perhaps, you would come athwart a steady, short, 
plain.looiing, broad-shouldered njan, with heavy eyebrows, and a 
small, positive mouth, a person you would swear of good sense, few 
words, and a very business-like way of doing matters, whatever they 
might be, whether momentous or trivial, serious, or profane. In re- 
aJity, however, you would soon discover him to be, to your cost, if you 
spoke of the revolutionary war in America, of the sights that were 
seen, or the sounds that wore heard before it broke out, a man full of 
dark enthusiasm, — of settled, stern, savage enthusiasm, — of deadly 
prejudice, though quiet as the grave, and of a more inbred, undoubling, 
- religious belief, than you had ever supposed it possible for a human 
creature to have, in tiic legendary lore of New England, — witches, and 
witchcraft, together with a store of miracles, wrought for the pilgrims, 
by the God of Jacob and Joshua, up to the breaking out of the mighty 
rebellion, whereby the decided manifestation of his hot and sore dis^ 
pleasure toward the mother country was made, before all tiie nations 
of our earth, as they believe in the United States of North America. 

And so too, if you choose to turn aside from the eastern, or New 
England people, and journey toward the south, you would encounter 
in the first place, on the main road, after leaving Connecticut, the 
clumsy ostentation, the true hospitality, (he warm-hearted show, fuse, 
and uproar of the wealthy New Yorkers. Then the qu^t, grave wags 

* A small cart, or light wagon. 



9^0 VBHoiRfl or 

of the New Jeney people. Then, the itaid cold impudenoe, the sober 
▼anily, the singuhur good tonse, the ineapportable method of the PeiiD- 
tylvaoiane ; the nothingnesi of the Delaware-inen, who are, like every 
body else, wherever they may happen to be, the self-satisfied, indolent, 
gentlemanly, sapercilioas Mary lander (or Middle-ender, as he is called 
at home, partly because Maryland is one of the middle States, and partly 
becanse the sound of Middle*ender is quite near enough to that of 
Marylander, for every-day use, with a very indolent peo|Se in a warm 
climate;) the hot and peremptory Virginian, full of generous blood, 
which he is ready to pour out, like his generous wine, /or any body or 
Ufilh any body, caring no great matter which; ready, like the Irish- 
man, to quarrel, or drink, fight, or laugh, with any body on either side 
of the bouse ; a prodigal in every thing,— -life, money, talent, and 
character; a boy at his birth, something more than a,child, for he has 
authority over men before he is able to wag his head; a boy at his 
death, happen that when it may. 

Then, if you turn off to the right in your pilgrimage, and cross the 
Alleghanics, you will encounter the great body of the Western people, 
every individual o^ whom, by the way, is a great body by himself; or, 
in other words, you will encounter the men of Kentucky (old Ken- 
tuck,) of Tennessee and Ohio, of Illinois and Missouri, who are all 
very much alike : hardy, overgrown, brutal, and brave, with little or 
no refinement, great energy^ stout hearts, and strong heads ; the gi- 
gantic advance of that population, which is rolling onward for ever 
and ever, like a second universal deluge, toward the mighty Pacific. 
Or, if you turn away to the left, when you have done with Virginia, 
the ancient dominion (&o called because four out of the six chief magis- 
trates of the feudal union have proceeded from old Virginia,) you will 
meet, one after the other on your way, the dark, sallow, warm*hearted, 
showy, talkative, riotous North Carolinian ; the more fervid, rash, and 
haughty South Carolinian, the indulgent, imperious, declamatory, abso- 
•lute Georgian; the. half-built, half naturalized, half-educated Louisiani- 
an — all of the southern race, and the greater part " chuck-full " of 
impertinept valour, troublesome civility, fine words, eloquent ideas, 
good feeling, and boyish, headlong precipitation. 

Thah much to give the reader a general idea of the varieties which 
are found in the American ciiaracter. I have not exaggerated, I be- 
lieve, and I am very certain that I have not intended to exaggerate, 
for I dislike every sort of caricature, which is not avowedly a carica- 
ture.* 

Every body knows the character of Mr, Mathews the comedian, for 
hearty, generous drollery. Every body knows that, remarkable as he 
is for the richness, breadth, an^ humour of his grotesque portraitures, he 
isyet more so, perhaps, for scrupulous and particular fidelity. His Irish- 
men, for example, arc not Irishmen in general, nor the Irishmen of the 



* We insert this piece of criticism on our favourite droll on account of its ori- 
gin. Tbough an Aoierican must be the hest judge of tbe correctness of Mr. Ma- 
tbewB's delineation of the American character, we still think that tbe strictures 
of the party ridiculed ought to be received wiib a grain of allowance. All that we 
can say is, that if we have been taken in, senon e vero it was so admirably im* 
Bgined that we question wbetber we should have been half so mucb amused with 
the Uuth.— E9. 



CHARLS8 MATHS W8. 92 i 

8ia^, nor the Irishmen of eohgt or farces, or bad novels, ]bat thej 
axe the Irishmen of this or that particular county ; if not altogether 
true, they are quite sure to be more true than the absurd counterfeit 
Irishoieu which are perpetrated on the stag^e. Of course, therefore, 
when we are told that Mathews, the celebrated comedian — a tlieatre 
in himseli — has been to America on purpose ; that he has got up a 
sort of peculiar entertainment ibr the very purpose of showing up the 
real brother Jonathans, or genuine Yankees of our earth, we should be 
justified in looking for uncommon truth, great individuality, and great 
precision, if nothing more, in his portrait of a New £nglancier« for the 
genuine Yankee, or brother Jonathan, which Mr« Matthews undertakes 
to show off, is a New Englander, as every body knows, and yet, after 
the practice of a whole year, with leisure and opportunity enough the 
while for correcting any prodigious blunder into which he might have 
been leB by haste, or by his great inexperience of the real Yankee* 
character,* while pcrfuntung his " Trip to America,** the first fruit of 
his labour, out he comes with a new piece, in which, though it is gok 
up, and brougiit forth deliberately, afler the practice and observation 
of a whole year (not in America, it is true, but in Great Britain, where 
those who learn to swim on a table may learn to study the Yankee 
character to great advantage,) he puts off upon the multitude of this 
country for a New Gnglandcr, a true brother Jonathan, or, in other 
words, a ^^ genuine Yankee,'* a fellow that proves to be a negro dealer 
and a slave-holder, and while he wears a large straw hat, a sealskin 
waistcoat, and a heavy greenish brown, or brownish green cloth coat, 
reaching to his feet, brings a negro for sale into Great Britain, walks 
the stage as if the world were his own, talks much about liberty and 
equality, shakes hands with every body that comes near him, wallops 
the "nigger," whenever he gets " mad ** about any thing, or any body, 
talks politics with a servant of the individual to whom he has brought 
letters of introductioo, declares that he was " raited in f^rmount,** 
»• born all long shore,** and says, " / reckon, I guess, I calculate, en- 
quiry, to home,''* %Vc. 

Now, honest and faithful as Mr. Mathews undoubtedly is, good ha. 
moured as he is, and exact as he generally is in the rich portraiture of 
individual or national character, there was nothing at Bartholomew 
Fair, to my knowledge, either last year, when it was crowded with 
wonders in every possible shape, or this year, when there was a Ya. 
hoo, or a mermaid in every booth, and you could not lift up a ragged 
bit of drapery without surprising a pair of undoubted giants, or the 
largest man alive, packed away tete-d-tite, with a dwarf, the smallest 
ever heard of, who had been exhibited all over Europe, or heM " forfeit 
a shilling to every body as wan*t satisfied,*' absolntely nothing to 
cqoal the native New Englander of Mr. Mathews, nothing to be 
compared with his native Yankee, as a matter of humbug or mis- 
chief. " The wild American brethren, imported by particular desire, 
and allowed tp be the greatest curiosities in the world !'* ** the Chinese 
liady ;*' ** the real Nero, the largest lion that ever was, tame as a lap- 
dog, larger than the largest cart-horse, having a throat like a turnpike 
gate, with every hair as big as a broom-stick, and every tooth like a 

* Ht was in Aaierica but a fsw nnoirths, and amoDf tlis real Yankees, or brother 
Jonalbaas. but a few weeks at most.— A. M. 



322 MSM0IR8 or 

miUstone ! the. «€ry Wallace what ^f the dogs!** — ^**the Circassian, 
eaoght wild in the great woods of America, whiter than snow, with 
pink eyes, and silver hair!" — ** all alive! a penny a piece ! all alive!** 
were nothing to the real Brother Jonathan^ •* caught *' in the woods of 
America by Mr. Mathews, and ** brought out,'* with much trouble, and 
great expense, at the English Opera House,* about a twelve-month 
ago, where he was exhibited,' night after night, and week after week, 
to overflowing houses. 

I would not say all this, were it not, in my deliberate opinion, a se- 
rious duty, for I attribute no bad intention to Mr. Mathews whatever ; 
but I know the people of America, and I know, that until they are 
much better understood here, these very absurd caricatures will pass 
for portraits. They have already among the great mass of the people, 
and would yet, perhaps, among the better informed, were it not for a 
I few native Yankees, who are to be met with every day in the streets 
of London, without being set upon by the boys on account of their 
speech, their garb, carriage, or behaviour. It is high time to take Mr. 
Mathews to task. His portraiture of the Yankee is generally misun. 
derstood here, and he knows it. Hk knows very well, that a wretched 
caricature, which he got op in a frolic, is received in a pernicious way 
by the multitude here, and yet he persists in multiplying the copies. 
He knows in his own heart — I say this without qualification — he 
knows, and has known it for a whole year, that his Jonathan is a very 
poor and very feeble counterpart, unworthy of America, unworthy of 
Mr. Mathews as an actor, and altogether unworthy of his country. It 
is untrue, and he knows it, in all the great points which go to make 
up either a good portrait or a good caricature; it is neither one thing- 
nor another ; it is neither a likeness nor a picture. Mr. Mathews, 
therefore, cannot complain, or cannot with propriety, if one of that peo- 
ple, whom ho has been showing up for so long a time without a re- 
buke, should, after the forbearance of a twelvemonth or so,t undertake 
to show him up in return. There is no other way lefl. I would laugh, as 
my countrymen do, and as I did for the first year, but laughing won*t 
do; we are called upon to prove that Mr. Mathews has caricatured us 
in a wretched style, and that is no laughing matter. He has had full 
swing, fair play, full houses, and a fair profit, I hope, for his labour. It 
is now my turn. I will be heard. I am a native Yankee, and I can- 
not help saying to Mr. Mathews that we are tired of being laughed at 
after such a clumsy fashion. But let me lay my finger on a few of 
the particulars in which Mr. Mathews has erred egregiously. I might 
say, to be sure, look about you; I mioht ask the people of this country 
to call to mind the Americans, or Yankees, whom they have met with, 
and judge for themselves about the truth of Mr. Mathews's portraiture ; 
but, as few real Yankees are ever seen here, and as they are chiefly 
seen by the merchants and sailors of this country, there would be but 

'•' In the aforesaid after^pieoe, called " Jonathan in England.**— A. M. 

t About a twelvemonth ago I had occasion to Apeak of his *<Trip to Anoeri- 
ca,** and of his Jonathan also, but I spoke of both as bits of absurd pleasantry, 
with a few capital touches in thera. If they bad passed for Jokes, 1 should not 
have taken this trouble, but as they have not, and are still viewed seriously by 
the mulikude, I shall contrive to expose the absurdity of both whenever I tluiik it 
worth my while. 



CHARLES MATHEWS. ^3 

a very £ew persons here able to jadge of the American or Yankee cha- 
racter by personal acqaalntance with it, and of these few there would 
not be one, perhaps, who might not with propriety imagine that na* 
tive Yankees at home are a different race from the native Yankees 
who travel, and of course, that Mr. Mathews, whose fideNty and powet 
he is acquainted with, has hit off about as good a likeness of 
the real brother Jonathan as he has of the Irishman or Scotchman, or 
Frenchman, who appear to be a part of himself^ a part of his perambu- 
lating corps of oddities. 

It Would not be enough to ask this question, or appeal to facts gene- 
rally known, while engaged with Mr. Mathews, and so I shall adopt 
another couree: 1 will enumerate a few of the great errors, which, with 
ordinaiy care, might have been easily avoided by him. 

The siraw hat, for example, which Mr. Mathews*s he- Yankee ap- 
pears in, was never worn, t dare say, in America, with such a g^rb as « 
Mr. Mathews wears it with, and is hardly ever seen to the east of New 
York city, never, I might say, except in the heat of summer, about the 
Wharfs, and among the wealthy merchants, or dashing lads of the 
larger sea ports, where it is the mark of high fashion or downright fop- 
peijr. It is very common, to be sure, in the city of New York, where 
Mr. Mathews arrived, and where he stayed for a long while to study 
the character of the Yankees, who dwell far north of New York, but 
is worn there With lig^t summer clothes, or at least with a town-made 
coat, and is never met with even then except in the yellow fever sea- 
son, a little before and a little after. The sealskin, or fur waistcoat, 
may, possibly, have been heard of by Mr. Mathews as the peculiarity 
of some body some where, — a madman or a humorist; but of a truth, it 
is no more a part of the New Englander's garb than a suit of tar and 
feathers, or a sheepskin would be. The colour, material, and fashion 
of the dress are true, very true indeed for one species of the New Eng- 
land /ar/ii«r, but are quite absurd for a slave-holder, a slave-merchant, 
or a slave-dealer, and are more than absurd if looked upon as at all cha- 
racteristic of a •* real Yankee;'- but Mr. Mathews has made his Jorui' 
than a real Yankee, a native New Englander, and, what is more, while 
he makes him a slave-holder, he has " located " his birth-place in Ver- 
mont, where, oddly enough, there never was either a slave or a slave- 
holder. In each of the other New England States,* all of which are 
now at op?n war with slavery, and all of which are free from it in 
every way, there have been slaves at one period or another, but in the 
State which he has hit upon, oddly enough, as I have said before, there 
never has been either a slave or a slave-holder. 

So much for this part of Mr. Mathews's portrait of a genuine Yan- 
kee. But 1 have not half done; for while he appears to have been 
"raised" in Vermont, our Yankee adds, that he was born "all along 
shore." Now Vermont is no where near the shore; it is on the Canada 
frontier in the backwoods of America; and the people who are bom 
"all along shore," as they would have sti-angers believe, are of Massa- 
chusetts, on the Atlantic frontier, north of Cape Cod. 

Again; the habit of shaking hands, which, by the way, is more com- 

* Except Maine, which is a new State, carried out of Massachasetti. 



834 MBMOIRB OF 

mofi here thtn H is any where in America, to my knowtedge, for it oc- 
ean between people both at meeting tnd separatlnp^ here, when they 
tre not even welt acquainted, so far aa 1 can perceive, and are not of 
the same sex. But what I was going to say is, that in America the 
people who shake hands with every body live at the nortli, while those 
who buy and sell " niggers '* live at the south. Vet more : the. habit 
of accenting the word inquiry not on the second, but on the first syl- 
lable, is confined altogether to the middle states, if not altogether to a 
part of Maryland and a part of Pennsylvania. It may occur in the 
south, and I have heard it from a Kentuckian, but I am quite sure that 
no man ever heard it in the north from a native Yankee. The habit of 
saying tliat a boy was ** raited^** instead of saying that he was ** brought 
up," IS an absurdity with which the New Englander twits the southern 
people. It is never heard in the noith. Mr. Mathews's Netv Eng- 
lander saj s, " 1 ealculaitt I reckon, I guess j to home " (for at home,} 
&c.; now, the southern people say, "1 reckon;'* the western people, 
•*I calculate;** and the northern people, or Yankees, "/o home — I 
guess,*' 8cc. And a part of these very words are so peculiar and ex- 
clusive, that in America they are looked upon as the chief ear-marks 
whereby the people of one part of the country are distinguished from 
those of another; and yet Mr. Mathews, whose fidelity and quick per- 
ception of truth, like his intuitive perception of the ridiculous, are pro- 
verbial, has crowded all these words together, and put them into the 
mouth of tiiesame individual. What if I were to get up a character in 
my way, and make him swear and scold, now in Welsh, by St. Patrick! 
now in Irish, by St. Andrew! in Scotch, by St. George! or in English, 
by St. David!— now, with a "Plaise yer honor's glory?** now wjth a 
«• Dee*l tak ye, mun;*' " Heer iss te goot ash;*' or, a •* Demme, that's 
your sort!** and call it a native Englishman, prepared by myself, or 
under my own eye, from actual observation? — what would you say of 
me? 

It would be easy to prove that Mr. Mathews has not only missed a 
large part of the delicate shadows, and sharp marks, pr minutiae, that 
go to make up a fine portrait, while copying the native Jonathan, lyit 
that he has even failed in preserving the broad and obvious peculiari- 
ties wliich are indispensable to a spirited caricature,— to such a carica- 
. ture as might have been made with half the powers of Mr. Mathews, 
had he been less precipitate. By hunying, he has got up a Jonathan 
who bears little or no resemblance to the native New Englander, and 
much less to the native American of the south; and, what is much 
worse, in every way, he has brought forth a combination of peculiari- 
ties, moral and social, such as were never seen together in the same 
person, I do not say in America, but any where — I do not say while he 
was in America, but since the world was made. 

In a few particulars, however, Mr. Mathews has been happy and 
vigorous. A part of the language, a part of the character, and all the 
tone, if we look upon the sketch as a sort of individual, not a national, 
portrait, are very good, and very true. A little more courage, how- 
ever, a little more hearty good-will in delivering his blows, would not 
have been amiss. They would have toki better for both parties^ nay, 
for all parties. If you strike at all, strike hard. 

Many a powerful bit was given by Mr. MatheW8{ but all were given. 



CHAISES MATHEWS. 325 

-•a it were, by a sort of accident, as if he had rather not provoke a re- 
turn; as if, to say all in a Word, having a heavy hand, a good subject, 
a strong arm, and a solid heart, he could not help, if he hit bis man at 
all — whatever was his inclination— he could not help hitting him 
hard. 

But enough:— The Brother Jonathan of Mr. Mathews, take him al- 
together is about as fair a specimen of the real North American diaraC' 
ter^ as an accumulation of all the absurd peculiarities, national, indivi- 
daal, and provincial, of the English, Irish, Welsh, and Scotch would 
be of* the British character, if they were all worked up together, and 
brought forth upon the public stage in the shape of a John BuU* 

False notions concem.ing a whole people, whom we are eontinuidly 
meeting in the great business of life, on the great thoroughfaies of sea 
and earth, — whatever those notions naay be, whether serious or trivial, 
and however they may have been "caught up, whether in malice, or 
£^ood humour, deliberately, or in haste, or in mischief, or in sport, are 
always ntore or less injurious to ourselves, and more or less prejudiciai 
in the cause of humanity. 

To this attack Mr. Mathews made the following reply, in 
the same periodical publication: — ^* 

Sib, 

Having read in your last number an article, at the head of tirhichmy 
name appeared in letters alarmih$|^ly large for my nerves, written with 
the express intention of exposing the " errors which prevail" in Eng' 
land respecting North America (and into which errors I am stated to 
liftve led the public,) I feel myself called upon, averse as I am from 
publisliing in reply to any animadversions upon me, to enter into a sort 
of deience of my character — not as an actor, for nothing would induce 
me to obtrude myself upon the public in that capacity — but as a man 
charged with wilfully misrepresenting the American character. 

The writer of the article professes to be a " native Yankee,'* and he 
directly accuses me of uttering, knowing to be forged, certain counter- 
feit portraits and clumsy absuixl caricatures orhis countrymen, thereby 
ridiculing the whole nation, and having the tendency of being ** pre- 
judicial to the cause of humanity." He asserts (and I fully agree with 
him) that errors prevail here upon the subject but he adds, that to me 
<• a large part of the errors are owing." This is rather hard, and, I 
tliink rather ungrateful to a man who has taken such pains as I hare, to 
remove them, both in public and in private; who has been twitted by a 
part of the English press with uttering whining, mawkish, sickly sen- 
timents in favour of America, merely because he intended to return to 
the country (this was liberal!) The native Yankee " asserts that my 
portrait of the Yankee is generally misunderstood here, and that " I 
know if He says, I know in my ^* own heart that it is a poor and 
feeble counterfeit, unworthy nof America, unworthy of me," &c. He 
certainly has been polite enough to say that he attributes no bad inten- 
tion to me. This is like saying of a man — he is a liar, he has wilfully 
misrepresented facts, he has uttered forged notes and counterfeit 

♦ To the editor of the Enropean Magazine. 
VOL. I. — ^28 



326 MEMOIRS ow 

coin {but I believe he bad no bad intention. Howeyer, I am not o^ 
fended. 

When I first read the article I am certain that the c^oaeat obicrver 
would have said my 

** Countenance waa more in aorrow than in angeri' 

end, notvKthitaiiding^ the mrenefla I feel at being- charged with wilful- 
ly miarepreflcntrng, t aUow the gpeneml fairness and candour of the ar- 
ticle: and ^ IS the temperate and concifiatory tone of the letter, and the 
gentlemanly spirit it evinces, that has induced me^to reply to it; and 
which I resolved upon fdr two reasons. First, to assure all those who 
may have been Hed into error by me," that I, generally speaking, agree 
with the writer in his opinions concerning Hie coimtry; and, secondly, 
as it gives me an opportunity «f replying to attacks made upon me by 
a portion of the American T>re^s, to which I have disdained an answer, 
and which I never condescended to notice on their own account. 
Could I have anticipated that I should ever be provoked to defend 
myself from the charges brought against me, 1 should have preserved 
some of these elegant moreeaux<, as remarkable for their tnith and cor- 
rectness, as for the choice and beautiful language in which they are 
clothed. Indeed, 1 lament that I cannot quote them as polished spe- 
cimens of the language common to both countries; but they were con- 
signed to the fiames, after they had been read to me by a ** d d 

good-natured friend," as Sir Fretful says. •« Vagabond, itinerant mimic, 
a silly buifocm, who, in return for hospitalities and kindness received, 
has ridiculed the national peculiarities;" &c. **1'%)is wretch, who was 
applauded beyond his merits,** Uc, f shall only utter three words, at 
the conclusion of my letter, to those gentlemen of the press who call 
names. But, as there are many matter-of-fact sort of people (and 
Heaven defend me from all suchJ) who believe, in the simplicity of 
their hearts, that I have been «s ucigrrateful as I am declared to be by 
some of these worthies, let it be understood, then, that 1 undertake 
this task for them; and tffiit I address myself to thc«e whose good opi- 
nion 1 value, wishing to set the matter r^ht in their eyes as far as I am 
able. 1 am induced to it in consequence of the article in your maga- 
zine; which, from its very appearance of fairness, is calculated to effect 
the mischief which these worthies hoped to effect, but which their 
own vulgarity and abuse, I am confident, defeated in the eyes of those ■■ 
whose good opinion I wished to retain. 

Now, Mr. Editor, what " 7" chiefly complain of is " misrepresenta- 
tion;" and, to quote the ••Native Yankee," I attribute no bad inten- 
tion to him; but, where I wish to set him right, and, through him, my 
friends in America, is, that he ingeniously (perhaps by mistake) mixes 
up the characters represented in <* Jonathan in England " with my por- 
traits of American character in my own Entertainment, called "The 
Trip to America;" and though, from the way in which they are jumbled 
together by him, those who read tl>e article in America will believe 
that all •« the errors into which I have led " the English, all the wilful 
misrepresentations, all the clumsy caricature — for with such proceed- 
ings am I •• charged withal "—form part of what I must be allowed to 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 327 

eall my Entertainment I do not mean to say that he absolutely useitf 
It; but he has not explicitly distinguished them. 

Now I beg it may be distinctly undecstood that I hold myself per- 
sonally responsible for all I uttered as an individual exhibitor in the 
** Trip to America;*' but I am no more responsible for the tendency of 
the cliaracter o^ Jonathan W. Doubikins in the farce, or the efTecta, or 
the errors it may produce, than Mr. Cooke was responsible for the sen- 
timents uttered by him in Sir Periinax M'Syeophant to the Scottish 
nation; or my friend Liston, for his droll delineation of Lubin Logt to 
the citizens of I^ondon and Southwark. With as much propriety might 
A ** native ** Scotchman have written against the former, charging him 
with having led the English into tlieir errors against his countrymen ; 
or a ** native " cockney have taken up the cudgel for all the inhabitants 
of Tooley street in the Borough, for the ridicule brought upon them 
(and all England) by his faithful portrait of a vulgar cockney. 1 have, 
no doubt there are many of my everto-be-dreaded matter-of-fact peo- 
ple who say, <*Rca11yk Liston should not insinuate that all the people 
In London pronounce the v for the w^ and leave out the h before the 
vowels."* 

The Americans laughed heartily at Lubin Log^^m I to infer that 
they took that for a poilrait of all Engli&hmen } Cookers Sir Periinax 
was enthusiastically applauded there — they were pleased to approve 
of my Morbteu, and be amused with my ridicule of cockney slang, 
Scotch and Welsh dialects, and Irish brogues. Are the North Ame« 
^•icans, or the Yankees of the East, lo be the only people in the world 
hat are to be exempt from such, representations? Must they, ezciu- 
/.vely, be secure ffom showing upT 

Tour correspondent, after pronouncing my portraits to be counter- 
/eit, allows that a psut of the language, a part of the character, and 
«' all " the tone — if we look upon the sketch as a sort of individual, not 
|L national, portrait, are very good, and very true.*' Why, who^ in the 
fiame of common sense, (excepting your correspondent,) ever even 
insinuated that Jonathan (for to this one cliaracter he stick% like a 
fusty weathercock) was a national portrait f . i do not inform you, Mr. 
f^itor, nor my accuser, for he knows better^, as he says of me, « in his 
heart,'* — but my friends across the Atlantic — ^that I asserted the con- 
Irary in my own account of my visit to the eountiy. <* He knows,** 
fuid he ought to have quoted, me fairly^ if he will write from memory, 
that my explanation of a real Tankee was a ciounterpart of my own 
description. Do I not make M', Pm/tingion (whom I have contrast- 
ed with Jack Thpham, as a ''sensible, gentlemanly, well informed 
American," defeating in argument a silly, impertinent, English coz- 
comb) set him pght when he calls idl Americans ** Yankees f* Do I 



* I snnat vstase mm Httie aaMdoto Iwre to lUuairate ilifs olMenraUoa* aa4 to 
prove bow Hind a BenoD may become fur want of ear (a defect I euspect my Mfhw 
of, from hie aeeertioa that enquiry le aot tlie eemmon prnaanciatloo, aad rmUtd 




ilwehl ^ MM-iatottdown. aii4 4elltlMcooklo||2S[t} 
it.aadMBglt«F«f^*'** BoveovMttiieladyhea jwlfeoTIdStoB's] 



portratt^ 



828 HEHOIRS OF 

not put in his mouth the information that the people of New Yprk atu) 
Philadelphia, and others more south, themselves, call tho^e of the eas- 
tern states " Yankees?" Do I not " show up " Tbpham and Brai/ a» 
much more ridiculous personages than any American in my "Trip," 
excepting Doubikins? I give him as a specimen of a real Yankee;^ 
and if the *• Native " means to assert that the squirrel story is not ge- 
nuine, and that the phi'aseologj' is not piH"e and correct, I assert that if 
M. I say boldly, aiul without vanity, if he believe it tflibe incorrect, I 
will back my ear, and observation of peculiarities of pronunciation 
Ugainst his. But here he would insinuate that I make Jonathan Doubi- 
kins out a *• negro-dtfaler, and a slave-holder, raised in Vermont, bom 
all along shore there," &.c. I have one short answer to this — It is false! 
I did nothing of the kind — not one of the charges are true. I will not 
retort, and say, «* he knows it;" but he has a bad memory, or he has not 
* the disposition to do me justice. I introduce Jonathan fV. Doubikins^ 
for the purpose of telling the story of the squirrel, which was furnished 
by Americans as an eastern story, knowing full well that I intended to 
make use of it in England. I do not mention, or hint at, the words 
** slave or negro-dealer,** during the whole description of his charac- 
ter. I never say one sy.jlable about " Vermont,'* or, " all along shoie 
there." The words ai-e these: •* When 1 lived to Boston,"*—" When 
my uncle Ben lived to Boston, he called on me one day, and he says, 
says he, Jonathan, says he, — for he always called me Jonathan, though 
I was baptized Jonatiian W. down to New.haven, i believe." Not ano- 
ther syllable, upon my, moat sacred word of lionour, my dear Editor- 
not one monosyllable, my dear friends in New York, Philadelphia, &c. 
on my oath, is never uttered about his residence or birth-place, either 
in my own Entertainment— where I only am responsible — or in the 
.farce called "Jonathan in England,** (observe this, I pray, I entreat) 
where 1 never will allow I am responsible. I do not say where he waa 
bom, but where he was baptized^ He rajght have be6n born, or 
•• raised," (for they do say " raised ^ in every part of. tbp country \ 
have visited, be assured, Mr. Kditor) — he might have been born at 
Newington-butts, near London, and still christened at Newhaven. 

In the afterpiece, the third or personation act, I introduced a poor 
persecuted runaway negro,— for 1 took a fancy to the race: Icouldnot 
help thinking,, with Uncle Toby, a negro has a soul — God*s image, 
though carved in ebony. This character I called jSgammenon; the 
scene Natchitoches. Fifty dollars are offered for his apprehension by 
Doubikinfiy^ who goes on, a visit to that place, and says he is in search 
of his "help** "(observe this.) He sisiys he purchased him. of Wfich 
Benf and when Uncle told him he hacl a'nigger to sell, and says, "Do 
you want one?** 8cc Jonathan replies, •* Oh, yes; for I have more than 
the other • helps * can do.** Does this prove him a dealer or driver? 
The dealer is his Uncle Ben. "This is the hesd imd front of my of- 
fending/' Where / was accountable have 1 not made out my case so 
far? '. 

' Now for the &rce, the great bone of contention, the sore place. Mr. 
Arnold engaged me at the English Opera House as an actor, on the 

* Will lie have tfte f mpnd^niDe tib f^ll me they il4>- «ot e^y, *^Iiiired tp Boaton?** If 
the '' Native " tiiivk Uii» diBgracefuK I can infor^t taiia that tb^ fieople in tha 
West of England have ttie same peculiarity. 



CHABI^ES MATHEWS. 

nMMt libenl terms ; such terms that I coald not oonacieotioasly clecUne 
perfbrroiajgr any character he wished. I was engaj^ed for a few nights 
only. The only new character prepared for me was Jonathan W, Sou- 
bikina, with whom my visiters " At Home '* wec^ so amased that Mr. 
Peake thought he woakl tell well as the hero of a farce.. If I had re- 
fused to act the pari, from any such delicate feelings as actuate your 
correspondent, Mr. Arnold must have UMt conniderably by my engage- 
ment. I will not enter into what scruples I, did, feel about it My 
first consideration was to act justly by my empbyer.. I thought I had 
said and done enough to satisfy the most fastidious American, in my 
compliments to them *^ At Home." X. was informed all those who had 
heard my " Trip " were satisfied ; and I was weak enough to believe and 
hope that, after I had paid myjust tribute te their good qualities, we might 
m the drama be allowed to indulge in a little har/nless laugh at the pe- 
culiarities of some of the natives,, as we. have done with other nations 
without offence. I am quite sure none was ever contemplated by me. 
The author constructed a most ingenious plot, and applied to me to 
furnish him with some phraseology, peculiarities of pronunciatioi^, &c. 
I was at a great distance- from London, and preferred furnishing him 
with materials ready prepared than be at the trouble of copying from 
my own memoranda: — ^vocabulary published in America,. and a comedy 
written by Greneral Humphries, an. American! called ^* The Yankee in 
England." From this latter Mr. Peake copied many, of the oddly- 
turned phrases and sentences that I, had not already, uttered in the cha- 
racter. Mr. Peake has given, me permission to make this known; but 
I must, in justice to him,, say that the whole of the plot, and every sen- 
tence in the other characters, were from his own original invention 
— and a most amusing and ingenious farce I shall always think it. 

But, whatever ofiensrve matlcr my "Native Yankee" can discover 
in this, he must not attribute to us. The onns must remain with Gre- 
neral Humphries.. Wicked man, to caricature his own countrymen in 
such a wretched style and clumsy, fashion, and lead the English into 
error! Fie, 6e, Humphries! He says that the farce was produced 
after a yearns consideration,." got up,, and brought forth, deliberately." 
Mark how plain a tale shall set down this *' Native.** 1 arrived in 
town one day before I commenced my engagement on. the 2nd Sep- 
tember, the fsrce was read on the 3rd, and acted in four or five days 
ailerwards. So that, instead of twelve months* thought and prepara- 
tion, I had not more than one weellj and the author did not hit. upon the 
thought above a month before it was acted. 

Now I have already stated I could not refuse to act in this piece. I 
thought it capital, fm^->-l pity, those who do not think so sincerely. 
The public certainly agreed with me;, and, as he allows,, it was acted 
to overflowing houses. But if my friend — (Lwish he had. signed his 
name, or initials, or X. Y.Z„ for 1 don't like to be calling him " Yan- 
kee ** so often, though he calhi me ^ counterfeit**) — ^but if he imagines 
the people of England are so besotted, ao ignorant,. as to believe that I 
ever intended Jonathan as *^ a fair specimen of the North American 
character,** or that they believe him to ,be so, I must assure him that 
they are not such idiots, such matter-of-fact, melancholy, moping, in- 
quiring fellows, who think it a matter of importance whether a straw 
hat was bom in New York, or raised in Virginia or not, or whether an 

28* 



S80 MBMOiRs or 

ugly Hdrdham'*8-thirty'$even'c6i<mTed* coat it worn by a slave-holder, 
drWer, dealer, or a real Yaixkcc — are not ** the people,'* thank Heaven! 
or what would become of me ? No, believe me, there is no snch mis- 
chief done as you suppose; and those ** who meet me on the great 
thoroughfare of sea and earth'* will only laug^h at JbnatAan*s oddities, 
be assured. 

I have made use of a strong phrase, I find, in looking over my let- 
ter; but I will not retract I will prove thai, even in this farce the 
assertion is not true respecting ncgro-deafors. I am afVaid his ear is 
incorrect, or his memory treacherous — but he really should have had 
a certificate of their corteetoess before be brought such grave accusa- 
tions against me. 

JIfr. ledger, the Liverpool merchant, to whom Dovhikin$ brings a 
letter of introduction, inquires where he was born ? His reply is, ^ Do 
you know where Newhaven is? well, it warnH there*** ** Why did 
you ask then ?** says Ledger, Jonathan answers, " Because uncle Ben 
was born there, though I warn*t. I was born, as I have heard, in Var. 
mont state, or thereabouts»-^*test as the Indian said he was born at 
Nantucket, Cape Cod, and ail alongshore there.** There is not one 
sentence in the whole piece that alludes either to his being' a negro- 
dealer or slave-holder. I'he first time the negro is mentioned is thus: 
w I have brought Aggy to look after my turtle." He then says to the 
waiter, " Dp you want to buy a nigger? my uncle Ben told me I could 
dispose of him in England.** After this he feels compunction, and 
says, ^* I do not much like to {Mtrt with the nigger, be is a spry, active 
help; but I want the dollars: perhaps, though, he'll meet with a boss 
that wont larrup him.'* 

Would *' a dealer *' he so ignorant as to. suppose he could sell slaves 
in England? And, if be were„ would he provide himself with only one 
for such a purpose ? The, fact, is, nobody but my sensitive •* native 
Yankee** ever believed him to he a dealer. There is not a word 
throughout the piece on the subject, after the first scene, excepting in 
the second act, where once he repeats, " will you buy a nigger?" and 
Jonathan informs the waiter that he could not dispose of him in New 
York, Philadelphia, &c., as there is no slave-dealing there. I am grave- 
ly told that there are no slaws, or slave holders in Vermont. Why I 
know it as weH as the " Yankee*** and I; have never hinted at it. But 
having proved, I trust satisfactorily and positively, that I did not lo- 
cate the character there, or all along shore, what becomes of all his 
criticism upon my blunders and, misrepresentations? Have I not 
proved I am the "better counterfeit?*' The fact is, that I was 
prepared for these splitters of hairs, these breakers of small flies 
on large wheels, these matter-of-fact fislks, who make trifles, light as 
air, of importance, that I cautiously avoided ** locating '* Jonathan at 
tH, and left the matter in doubt. But, dear feditor, (for I love you for 
calling me your favourite drolK) it is not hard to be thus misquoted and 
garbled? Now how would he like it, if I gave a garbled extract from 
his account of his own country, and cautiously left out all that quali- 
fied his satire.. Egad ! I witl too — he has acted so by me. 

Read, my American friends, whatheitajrsofyoi]« in.ordcr to remove 

* The name of a once popular ** nxtt^ hroii(lit iotO.I3^fe|jon.by GarriekHi nsn- 
iffm of iA on the stase.— A> H> 



OHA1U.E8 MATHEWS. ^1 

the error into whf di I hare led the English. ** In New Engknd,*' he 
says, ** you will one day encounter a personage, half hypocrite, half 
puritan, praying and cheating in the same breath — puffing his ware and 
praising his Maker to the very same tune — with a broad- brimmed qua- 
ker hat, &c. — two or three watches for ever in sight-— and a flashy 
waistcoat, for sale,, over a coarse every-daj one; always ready to preach 
or pray — to sell or swap, or truck or trade — to pitch a hymn in the 
street, or pitch a 'copper in church. Another day you would fall in 
with a huge brawn, white-headed fellow, who, under a simple speech, 
and a look of stupid, foolish, good naturcd curiositj, would conceal « 
temper so sharp, so inquisitive, so watchful, that, before you well knew 
what he was about, yon would find that he had over-reached yon, 
while you were most upon your guard; or, as they have it in their 
country, when they have outwitted a very cautious traveller, * that he 
had guessed you up a tree.* Ai)cr leavj!ng Connecticut^ you encoun- 
ter the clunwy ostentation, the fuss and uproar of the wealthy New 
Yorkers — then the staid cold impudence, the sober vanity, the singn- 
lar good sense, the insupportable metliod of the Pennsylvanians — the 
nothingness of the Deleware men — the self-satisfied, supercilious Ma- 
rylandcr— the hot and peremptory Virginian, ready, like the Irish- 
man, to quarrel or drink, fight or laugh; a prodigal in everything, 
Fife, talents, money, and character-— the dark, sallow, showy, talkative, 
riotous North Carolinian — the more fervid, rash and haughty South 
Carolinian — the indulgent, fxirious, declamatory, absolute Georgian — 
the half.built, half-naturalizcd, half-educated Louisianian, all of the 
southern race, and the greater part, chuck full of impertinent valour, 
and boyish headlong precipitation." 

My friends in America will surely exclaim, *• Defend us from our 
friends !" Now, if I had uttered any of these " varieties of the Ame- 
rican character," what would have been said of me ? I have lefl out 
all the qualifying sentences of the Sketches of Character designedly; 
all that he has written in praise of his countrymen I have expunged. 
Am I not justified in this ? He cautiously conceals what I have ut- 
tered that is complimentary to the American character. 

Now to the minor points. I shaU give on, unqualified contradiction 
to several broad assertions, hazarding boldly my perceptions and close 
observations against even a native. He says, " The straw-hat was 
never worn in America (/ dare say) with such a garb as Mr. Mathews 
wears it with. I dare swear it has been. Xwill swear I took a sketch 
of my dress, to the minutest point, from a native, with whom I travelled 
in a steamboat from New York to Albany. •* The sealskin or fur 
waistcoat " (I don*t wear either, but that is nothing with my critic) is 
no more a part of the New Englander^s dr^ss, &.c." Now mark, he 
says, ** The colour, fashion, &,c.. of the dresa is irue, very tnUy for one 
species of the New England /tfnner,bnk are quite al^urd for a slave- 
holder.*' Again and again I say he never was a shive-bolder but in 
the distempered imagination of my friend with the bad memory — 
and how can he know he is nol a.farmer? I have never asserted 
that Ae is>.iiof. I have not designated^ him at all in ray ** Trip;" but 
, I declare solemnly that, whenever I have been asked if the dress 
I wore in Jtmaihan was common in An»erica, I^havs repIied»"No: the 
man ifom whom I copied the dress was a former.** 

•• The &ct is, that the Americans in the great cities dress so exactly 
like oor8elyes,.that,l was pt}^^ to^fii^d any. characteristic drew that 



382 losjfoiBs or 

woukl Ikb effective for the stage; and I knew that when *' At Home *' 
80cnelhix\g would he expected. frQin me. I haye aeen many such dresses 
even in, Mew York; .but I grant tjicj h^d the same effect that a smock 
/rock has tOi the streets of Londop«. StilLi. is it not fair for me to copjr 
«uch dresses as I reaJIy saw worn ? Nay, if I had seen bat one spe- 
cimen in the country, 1 contend it was allowable. (Did my ^ Native 
Yankee " ever see a man in blue breeches in Tooley -street ?* Per- 
haps not; hut Liston has, I have aa.thpr.ity to say.) Is it to be sap. 
posed, that the Engliah eared a rush whether it was the dress of & 
farmer or a slave-holder, or whether the wearer was "raised" in 
Vermont, in Kentucky, or Tenessec, or Pacatabigo, or Commenes- 
saw, or Hypgbrunpxf? and would they have known the difference if 
they had been informed ? It is splitting hairs — from the straw-hat to 
the nonsense about shaking bands — it is silly quibbling, and the ** Na- 
tive " might have written an article in your Magazine every month 
daring the next year, if he had not placed my name in such capital 
letters and formidable shape,, and, by absolute untruths, endeavoured 
to confirm the Americans in the " errors into which they have been 
led "— rabout me. Now, on the same principle that his argument re- 
specting the dress becomes futile, my simple assertion, which I defy 
him to controvert, that Jonathan is never designated by any body but 
himself as.a " slave-holder ^* "raised all alongshore,'* totally destroys, 
completely dissipates, every tittle of his strictures upon me. Having 
raised all his charges on a false foundation, they must necessarily fall 
to the ground. 

Now, Mr. Editor, though I feel that "I. am bestowing all my te- 
diousncss upon your worship," pray allow me a page or so, in order to 
afford me an opportnnity of quoting a few passages from the " Trip,** 
for the information of my. American friends who have not witnessed 
the representation. They have only read garbled extracts, — ^nay, more, 
they have read matter, which they may have believed was uttered by 
me, which I never saw till.put forth in those catch-six -penny publica- 
tions f which are imposed upon the public as mine, and some of which 
do not contain one regular sentence as uttered by be. 

They ought to hear them«— and my ^Native** opponent should have 
informed them that, in allusion to the Fawkes*s, Fearons, and other 
tourists, I observe, " I cannot, as far as my observation extended, com* 
pliment the majprjlty of them on the justness of their strictures. They 
seemed to me to have lefl England with visionary views and soured 
prospects, to hunt a runaway clerk, to get in a desperate debt, to build 
a brewery at Boston, &c.. Disappointment has generated disgust — all 

* A BUttter-of-raet flriend oft mine., nid, ** Love, Fun, and Fire is a droll force.** 
*' Love. Law. and. Physic, yo.u mean»** said I. ** Ye»— but really Listen goes too 
fbr in JmMm Lag Realty, I think hfm indi>eent.**— ** Indeoeot! you astonish me: 
how ? where r*^** Oh, those Mue breeches ! r 

t These gentry ai« qiiittt aware of the injunction I obtained in the Court of 
Chaneery to prevent their frauds. Th(*y dare not publish what I really write ; 
therefore employ Grubf>Veet.author8 ts fttbricate some roroments upon one of the 
songs which they put f<iith as suag by t», copitHl into the British Press firoai a 
Boston paper, in which I was severely^ handled for singing trash that conveyed 
no notioa of real AoMirican manners. Jte. I had never seen nor heard the sonic 
until it had returned from Boston. Now, though I know it is not n ec ess ar y Ibr 
those sagaeieira eriiiesand kind-hearted men, Messrs. Buckingham of Boston, and 
Coleniaa of New York, to witness a performanee that they Imttmd to abosa. yet, 
tn the inibraiation of the liberal part of the press, who are inclined to ** speak sne 
fhir,** I have thought it necessary to assure them that all ihe pilblicatioiis purport 
i»f tobe my **Trip to Anwriea,** are spnriots. 



CHASLEfl MATRBWS. SSS 

eeeOis' yellow to the jaundiood eye, and tbey baTC cast their own paek- 
et of pique on the backs of the inhabitants.*' 

ilfr. Pennington observes, ^ It is much to be lamented that only the 
poor, the busy, and the speculative oaly visit our shores— the baffled 
trader, who expects to find a palace of liberty in the back settlements, 
— the jaundiced politician, who looks for pcrieetion in a youn^ coun- 
try. Sir, we are but an infant state ; and of coarse, we have the er- 
rors of infancy ; but we have our virtues too^ An enemy looks only 
for the former. Ah ! Sir, when will a traveller come from yoor oonn- 
try who is inclined to speak us fair — who will tell of our kindness and 
hospitality, as well as of our pride and onr prejudice? The pen staba 
deeper than the stiletto, and severs friendship more sorely than the 
fiword. Oh I golden would that pen be, and plucked from the wing of 
peace, tliat would tell how hearty, how truly oar hearts beat towards 
JBogland, how ardently wo long to be leagued in generous brotherhood.** 

I had been but a few hours in Baltimore before I found on my table 
half a pack of cards, from Mr. This, and Dr. That, Counsellor W., &c. 
though I had not, as yet, delivered one letter of introduction. This 
surely speaks volumes to those who doubt American politeness and 
hospitality, and needs no comment from me, I am sure. I could quote 
many others; but I. sliatl now only instance the concluding sentiment, 
spoken above forty nights in one season, invariably applauded by Ame- 
ricans and English, whom I have " led into error.** 

Mr, Pennington. — "Remember to speak us fair, Mr. Mathews. 
Have your joke, enjoy your mirth, laugh, at our faults and ourfoibles» as 
you have at those of other countries; but let your ridicule be tempered 
by good nature, and in representing one country to the other, do not 
forget that we ought to be cherished to mutual love." . 

•* I will treasure what you have said, sir, in my heart of hearts, Eng- 
land and America are now friends, — nay brothers, — and perish the 
man, say I, that would embitter their affections. Even I, much as I 
love mirth, and lightly aspaa^ i»y volatile houra^ should^pria^ no fame, 
no achievement so dearly as that of being the humble instrument of 
farthering the friendship between the two countries, and standing, as it 
were, a comma 'tween their amities. May the two lands have but one 
heart, and nothing but the billows of the Atlantic divide England from. 
America.'* 

These sentiments T did not utter coldly, and I believe tha,t those who 
witnessed the representation will do me the justice to say that they 
were spoken by one who evidently appeared tofeelslncens^ upon the 
subject. I UMi^ sincere. l(.d^fy the malice of my bitterest enemy to. 
say that I have ever uttered one sentiment in private that was not con« 
sjstent with my public declaration. Kiuiwing, then, the sincerity of 
my feeling toward the countr}' — the gratitude I have ever felt for my. 
reception in public as well as private, wliich I shall always remember, 
and of which I have never failed to express my warmest s^nse in every 
society in which I h^ve mingled, the maw eenseia recti will support me 
against any attacks that may be made upon me by the American press, 
or by mkireppesentations at home* I can refer to some of the most re- 
spectable inhabitants, merchants of Liverpool, Dublin, Bristol, Man- 
chester, Glasgow, &c. that I have eon^rinis4f hy my private testinumy, 
what I have pubjic^ sajd iiV;pniise of tlie virtues of the country. ^ 

I bad the honour of sitting at the same table with tyfoof l)lt.illt^ 



M4 MEMOIRS or 

jetty's mtnislen. I stated how much pleasure it gave me to. inform 
them that t had scarcely ever depaKed trom a dinner-table in America^ 
where English were present, that the health of the King of England 
was not drunk in a bumper. I have flattered myself that I have beea 
the means of reconciling rather than fomenting differences. Is it not 
hard, then, that it should be said that to me a large portion of the er- 
rors that exist here are to be attributed.^ I real!/ was not aware that I 
was a man of such consequence before. 

It is easy and safe to assert such things in print; but whenever a 
man is bold enough to make such an assertion to my face, I shall reply 
simply thus— It is false! I have invariably and consistently spoken in 
praise of the country. 

I have never deviated from this direct, open, honest, and conscientious 
course. This is t! .e first opportunity 1 have had of replying to calumny ; 
and if, after this declaration, the Americans will not allow me to. take the 
same liberty with their peculiarities (and which have literally not exceed- 
ed the ridicule of mere intonation and pronunciation) that t have with 
French, Irish, Scotch, Welsh,. and» above all, the English (who are, I 
think, the most ridiculous persons in my **'Trip,**} 1 say^ if they cannot af- 
ford to be laughed at a little, after all I have said in their praise, why» 
really, I cannot help it, and I do not care one cm/ whether the^ are 
offended or not. But I hope some one on their side of the water wiH 
assure the ** Native " who defames them here, that they are not so weak. 

Having thus published my defence, I promise you, Mr. Editor, / 
never %oiU do so any tnore: and I hope this will induce you to insert 
sll I have written, and forgive me this once. I am most anxious that 
all those in whojse good opinion 1 wish to live, should be acquainted 
with my real motives, my genuine sentiments. As to the venal scrib- 
blers who have defamed me from my first arrival in the country up to 
the present time, from Buckingham of Boston, down to Dr. Coleman 
of New York, I; answer them in the emphatic, expressive words of 
George Colman, the Younger, in his Preface to the " Iron Chcst:i*— 
aentlemen,^MPooh! Pish!! Pshaw!!r 

I am, dear Editor, 

Xour obedient Servant, 

C; M^THCWfl.* 



Tho following letter is from a brother collector and ftiend, 
|}ie Sev. Charles Bumey^ 

TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Mr Bsim Si V 
TheBttllockf itaitiTod MdinniegoodoMef bat though tM lean 

• TUs^Mbaeo** reaiaiaad aawiswievBd — A. IL 
f fSMtiaii oTaa. a«Bie«| actoraf Miat trntm* 



CHASLBS UJLTBKWB. $8$ 

to-be ndlked«aK>ii; the prize c«tile» yet tcmy not be entnisted to anj 
casual drover. 

The goiit has been hard at me nnce the cloae of December, and has 
liberally oomprited a Ckristmas box and a sew year's gift, under 
rnie and the same benefaction. Oh! these are tare economical times! 

Can you dine with us on Sunday? I shall be at leisure from duty 
after half past one. Dinner at half past four. If you should not find 
it convenient to favour us with your company then, I shall be able to 
get out next week, when I will leave this faUetto for you. Most glad 
2iall I beg to borrow, for my cousin to copy, Garrick in *< The Roman 
Father^'* and in **Miss in her Teens," for they have escaped my re* 
searches^ and the aearchera whom I have employed. 

Always, my dear sir. 

Yours, very faithfully, 

C. BvmHXT. 

Aecteiy House, Jan. 4th, 1^26. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Abbotsforcl, Jan. 10th, 1836. 
I fear you will have been mitch disappointed at not hearing from me 
to-day, but the punctilios of the Edinburgh -folks prevented my getting 
Sir Walter's letter until too late to write to you, so that I could hear 
while I remuned here. They are so much more religious than any 
other of his majesty^s subjects, that a stranger who is not aware of their 
customs may wait for a letter about forty hours. A letter which ar- 
rived in Edinburgh at seven o'clock Saturday night, which in eveiy 
other city in the kingdom would be delivered on Sunday Morning, is 
kept until Monday. All this time I was in direful suspense. 

The reason why I toldjrou not to direct to Abbotsford without hear- 
ing from me was, th«* some doubt had been thrown upon my going 
there by my hearing that Sir Walter was very ill. On Sunday we dined 
at Mr. Scrope's, and I was mentioning my uneasiness about my letter 
and Sir Walter's illness, when I was cheered by the following commu- 
nication: — ** Oh! make yourself easy about that, for I had a letter from 
him yesterday written on Friday, inviting me to meet you on Monday 
to dinner, and I shall be very vbappy to give you and your son seats in 
my carriage." You may suppose how my mind was set at rest; and 
here we are, in enchantment. It could not be, I knew, -and tlierefore 
regret is useless; but I felt that if you had been with us, you would 
have been repaid for all miseries in getting here. It is a castle fit for 
the magician of the north to inhabit. 

Our reception was warm and kind after our cold and cheerless jour- 
ney through a country covered with snow. Mr. Scrope, to my horror, 
took his own horses all the way, and we travelled about four miles an 
hour. However, it was luxury by comparison with our Journey by any 
other means. I know not how you fare in the aoothy but to-day it b a 
white chaos, all snow above and below. 

Very funny — ^lia, ha, ha! while I was writii^ as per other side. Sir 



MB XBHons or 

Watty came in and aakl* ^* Did not you say you wi^ed to wnte to Edin- 
burgh? If you do, it must be within half an hour/* I left your letter 
to do so. Mr. Scrope, thiiikii^ it a sheet of blank paper, took it up, 
and wrote on, until turi|in|^ orer leaf, he saw my hand^writingp. We 
bad neither of us time to copy, so must run the risk of double postage.* 

C. HjLTBawa. 



1*0 MRS. MATHEWS. 

Newcastle, Jan. 14th, 1826. 

1 fear you have been in a fidget about nie» but I have been more un- 
easy, if possible. Wo were shut up by snow from communication with 
you. It is four miles to the post town from Abbotsford, and without 
a special messenger had been sent, for which 1 could not ask, I could 
not get a letter sent to you. Our party all broke up yesterday to oiur 
great gpief. Sir Walter was obliged to go professionally to Edinburgh, 
and 1 was trundled into a cold post-chaise, to be conveyed into some 
road where coaches to Newcastle travel. Scott kindly sent Charlie in 
his own carriage to Selkirk, where he was to meet the mail. You may 
suppose what 1 felt after such a party, to be left quite alone for the first 
time. When I came lo Kelso, I found the only coach that travelled 
from Friday till Sunday had been gone two hours. So I posted on into 
the mail road. On arriving at a lone bleak house, I was told that the 
only coach conveyance to Newcastle would arrive there at six next 
morning, so here I stayed. I remembered my night at Lille though I 
was as cold here, and comforted myself by comparison; but I was 
obliged to sit in my great coat. Such a room ! such eatables I all alone ! 
We ought all to be fotxed from bome, even you, into such miseries, to 
know how to value our blessings. How life can be worth'preserving 
without comforts, I cannot understand. My economy forced me up at 
half-past five! Oh! my fingers! and the waistcoat buttons, on a bleak 
muir in Scotland! Oh! all in the dark, — ^no fire,-^only an ostler, — on 
the chance of a seat in the mail! Room for one. In 1 bundled; three 
of them confined within their own atmosphere all niglit. Phew ! But 
here I am, thank God! and well, and feel my blessings in not sneezing 
and coughing all day, as other folks do. How is the weather with you > 
All were delighted with Charles at Abbotsfoi-d. We «* tumbled '* 
every night, all fun. He has made lasting friends in Edinburgh. Scott 
is quiie delighted with him, and so is Mr. Scrope. You ought to love 
me for the rest of my life for what I have suffered in ** providing for my 
family '* these last few days. My poor hip will not bear such weather 
as this. 

C. Mathews. 

* Mr. Scrope. since this book has been in the press, baa written a most deligbt» 
ful work uiion Deer StaUang —A. M. 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 337 



CHAPTER XXIII. 



Mr. Mathews'* return" to London. — Letter from him to the Duke of 
Montrose: embarrassing' request. — Frequent visits of the Duke and 
Duchess of Montrose to Mr. Mathews's "At Homes." — Zealous sup- 
port by Mr. Mathews of the Theatrical fund. — ^Letter from Mr. Ma- 
thews to Mr. Richard Lane: illegible names. — Mr. Mathews's seventh 
" At Home," at the English Opera House. — ^Prog^mme of the En- 
tertainment. — Remarks on the Performance. — Letter from Dr. Kitch- 
ener to Mr. Mathews: the "Cook's Oracle," the « Housekeeper's 
Ledger." 

On Mr, Mathews^s return, to prepare for re-opening the 
English Opera-house, an unexpected and novel intimation 
there embarrassed him exceedingly and occasioned him to 
address the Lord Chamberlain privately, in the following 
letter:—. 



TO HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF MONTROSE. 

Mt Lord Duks^ 

On arriving in London for the purpose of completing the arrange- 
ments for my new entertainment, I have been thrown into the ntmost 
confusion and alarm by the intelligence which Mr. Arnold has com- 
municated to me, that your Grade has called upon him for a written 
copy of the whole matter to be spoken by me, in order tb receive your 
Lordship*s licence. 

Without presuming to enter into the question whether an entertain-' 
ment delivered wholly by one person can, by any possible construc- 
tion, be deemed ^* an entertainment of the stage," I still beg leave 
most respectfully to state the extreme awkwardness of the position in 
which I am placed by this requisition. 

In all my performance for so many years past, it has ever been cus- 
ternary for the several characters wmch I have selected to be arranged 
and strung together in something like the order of a rtory, by one or 
two other persi^ns; that is to say, a plan has been laid oat, which a£. 
forded the opportunity of introdncing characters, anecdotes, and inci- 
dents which I have intended to delineate : but of these there are hun- 
VOL. i.^ — ^29 



338 MEMOIRS OF 

dreds which hare never yet been committed to writing, and (rf* whidi^ 
indeed, I could giye no idea on paper. Your Grace has^ I beliere^. 
more than once honoured my peiformance with your presence } and 
your Lordship must, therefore, be aware bow utterly impracticable the 
attempt would be to convey any idea, in writing, of the assumptionv 
of character, the imitations of manner, and other peeoUarities^ of whicb 
it is composed. 

These, it is well known, have never been persMuil, nor in any way 
offensive to any individual. On this I have always prided myselff 
and, when I state, that several of my entertainments have been given 
by me at Carlton Palace, by His Majesty's express command, ^for&t 
the Royal Family and select parties, it cannot, I conceive, be for a 
moment supposed that any thing like immorality, or politics, or any 
impropriety, ever has been, or ever could be attempted by me. These 
facts, however, I should not urge for a moment, but should cheerfully 
obey your Lordship's order, were it not for the annoying difficulty, 
which I have before taken the liberty to state, and which, I confess, I 
feel to be insurmountable. 

Having stated that I have so frequently had the honour of giving^ 
my entertainment privately before His Majesty, 1 feel assured that 
your Grace willnot consider it improper if I venture to say, that the dif* 
ficulty to which I have alluded may possibly be overcome, if your Lord" 
ship would condescend to hear, rather than to read me /.and allow me, 
on any evening you may be pleased to appoint, to go through ray new 
entertainment in the presence of your Grace and family, and thus to 
enable you to form a far more accurate judgment of its nature^ than 
could possibly be derived from any thing that could be written. 

I trust your Lordship will not consider this appeal as in any way^ 
improper or intrusive. 

I have the honour to be, my Lord Duke, your Graee's most respect^ 
' ful and obedient humble servant, 

C. Mathews. 

Whatever might have actuated the Duke to make the desire' 
known which drew forth Mr. Mathews's appeal, the latter 
had due weight, and produced the most gratifying result^r 
His Grace not only gave up the point of reading the new 
matter, but also declined, in the most kind form, the offered 
recital of it; observing, that he and his family intended to hear 
it in public, and would not lose any part of the gratificatioir 
on which they counted by a private reading of the Entertain- 
ment. The Duke added, that he had perfect reliance on Mr^ 
Mathews's good taste and feeling, and should no more ques- 
tion it. 

Ever after this his Grace and the Duchess of Montrose 
regularly visited Mr. Mathews's *' At Homes;" and, on such 
occasions, his Grace generally did him the honour to go 
round to his dressing-room in the course of the evening. 
■ One of the songs never written daton to this day, either by 
author or singer, was " Londoa at Five in the Morning," to 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 339. 

^e tune of the dance in " Speed the Plough," which tune 
Mr. Mathews sung to Charles in the carriage while they 
posted, who composed words to it, which words his father 
learned from his lips before the end of their journey. 

I never, after this occasion, recollect Mr. Mathews's being 
called upon on account of his individual novelties, by a Lord 
Chamberlain. 

Ever a zealous supporter of the Theatrical Fund, for the 
sake of the less fortunate in the profession, Mr. Mathews again 
overcame his repugnance to a public dinner, and personally 
contributed to the interests of each anniversary. However 
inconvenient, or even detrimental to his interest, his presence 
in London might be, I have known him not only often give up 
most pleasurable engagements, but on several occasions, pe- 
cuniary emolument, in order to add his name and exertions 
to the general stock. He dreaded the task as much as a man 
could do, who loved quiet and air better than a crowd and 
excessive heat, and when an extra task was laid upon him, 
and he was asked to make a speech, he suffered actual illness 
the whole day previous to the hour, from the anticipation of 
the night's attempt. 

On the present occasion he travelled an enormous journey 
to serve this institution, and appeared at the anniversary 
dinner as one of the stewards^ 



My dear Sir, 



TO RICHARD LANE, ESQ: 

1^7 Cottage, March 11th, 1826; 



Many thanks for your kind recollection and fulfilment of your pro- 
mise. The Hogarth is a gem, an unlooked-for treasure. I hare re- 
tained one of each of the packets of duplicates and returned the re- 
inainder, ^ you requested; also two from Ildgfkxl and his friend 
Mzudff,* They remain wrapped in the mystery they court, hy 
the pains they take to conceal themselves. We have had numerous 
conjectures h^e to-day. Broderip says the nobleman is evidently Lord 
Sghfgpxl — Mrs. Mathews, the Duke of Pxflu^ and 1 agree with her. 

As to the performer who sent you tickets, we should have given up 
flfl hopes of discoverfn? him, if it had not been for his defeating hiji 
own scheme by so plamly pointing out his own residence, 84, iS, R, 

* These words are drawingt from Mr. Lane's Letter; meant as a food-hu- 
moared satire upon a earalen mode of writing, which be often did playfully, to 
piiale those whose letters he eould not nad. His own hand was remarkably 
clear. A. Itf. 



340 - MEMOIRS OF 

Jame$ inmon. **Oh,''Baid I, "it is R. W. rnamn."—" Evidently," 
said Broderip. 

Seriously, I am evidently very much indebted to yon for your very 
kind present. Mrs. Iklathews joins in compliments to Mrs. Lane. 

Very sincerely yours, 

C* Mathews. 



In March Mr. Mathews came before the public at the Eng- 
lish Opera-house in his seventh " At Home. The following 
was the announcement: 

MR. MATHEWS' INVITATIONS. 

Part I, — Exordium on Invitations. — Mr. and Mrs. Fingerfit, R. S. 
V. P. — Mrs. W. Worrit, attached Friend. — ^Various ways of delivering 
Invitations. 

Song — Two-fenny Post, 

Monday. — Ghost of a Tune. — Invitation to Breakfast with Mr. 
Shake ly. —-Masicr Peter, Peter Master.— Nervous Toilette.-— Sir Benja- 
min Blancmange. — Invalid Duet, without harmony, — Friendly Fuges. 
— ^Lady Dawdle's Invitation to a Pic-Nic Party to Norwood. — " Cook*8 
Oracle" — Recipe for concocting a Rout. 

Song — Gipsying Excursion and Quadrilles. 

Tuesday. — Invitation to Dinner at Sir Donald Scrupleton^s. — Guests. 
— Sir Harry Skelter, a disappointed bird of passage. — America, Nia- 
gara: Italy, Vesuvius; North Pole, Noses. — Mr. Popper (Nephew to 
the celebrated Major Longhotc.) — Sporting Anecdotes.— -Staunch Point- 
er. — Invitation to the King's Theatre. 

Song — Visit to the Italian Opera, 
Part II. 

Wednesday. — Mr. Archibald M*Rhomboid. — ^Robin Crankie. — ^The 
late Mr. Mc. Pherson.-^panish Decapitation. — Head and Tale, 

■ 
Song — London at Jive in the Morning. 

Thursday. — ^Invitation to dine with a Friend in a Family way.— 
Mr. Dilberry and the dear little Dilberies. — ^Mr. John Rally. — ^Nurseiy 
Ballads and Smoking Chimney. — Dinner. — ^Brilliant Sonata on the Pi- 
ano-forte by Miss Jane Dilberry. 

Song— '(/rom Ver Freischutzy^hy Master Peter Dilberry. 



CITAltLES MATHEWS. 341 

Friday. — ^InritatioQ to a ^ Rouge et JVbtr'* Tabfe. — ^Harry Ardourly, 
a. Yorkshire Fox Htmter« — Conseqaenoes of Gaming ; the Jail, the 
MadJiouse. — Contrast^-Anothor mad scene* — Invitation to the Hust- 
ings. 

Song; — General ElecUon, 

Saturday.-^lnYiiaXion to join a Civic Aquatic Expedition on the 
Thames. — ^Finale. 

^ Part III. — ^A Monopolylogoe, to be called. 

The City BARofe ! 

iEneas Stirturtle, Purveyor to the Barge, with a Cold in his head. 
Sir Harry Skelter, endeavouring to see something. 
Scully, an AntidHuvian Waterman. 
Mr. Gibletts, a City Adonis. 
•Mrs. Georgina Gritts, a Bone of Contention. 
Mr. Sassafras, an Apothecary — ^Rival to Gibletts^ 
Popper, the Sporting Calendar. 

*^* All the above characters by Mi*. Mathews.-. 

The songs will be accompanied on the piano«.forte by M^ MT. Har- 
ris, who wUl play favourite Rondos between the parts. 



According to the plan I have hitherto pursued, I here sub- 
join a contemporary criticism, on this. entertainment. 

Our old favourite, Mathews's irresistible ** Invitations *' to his " At 
Home '^ attracted a large party of guests. Never were actor i^nd au- 
'dience in better spirits, or more.pleascd with each other. On no form- 
er occasion were the versatile powers of our Proteus more thoroughly 
proved. We had him in. all ages and conditions, doing great justice 
to each character, from Methuaelah to-Maikeica, and from Mathewe to 
the infant " mewling in his nurse's arms,'* 

Our readers can have no idea of the fun of a pic nic party till they 
hear it described by Mathews himself, who attended one by invitation 
from Lady Dawdle, Having lost all their dinner store by the oddest 
set of accidents, they were wot so fortunate as another party, consisting 
of fourteen members, who each contributed a leg of mutton, without 
suspecting that others might hit upon the same fare. So that when 
there were fourteen legs of mutton on the hoard, a. wag proposed thaj;^ 
every gentleman should eat^his own leg. 
29* 



342 «PBifOi»8 OP 

^V Donald Serupktcn U an old Scotch barone^ of a Tciy acefitieal 
character, much incUifed to dootingf and bo iDdistinct in bis inttMnnce, 
that one intelligible wo]:d in nx or seven is as mush as. anj seasonable 

hearer has a right to expect. 

The new piece abounds in the « FU Comiea " as much as any that 
have preceded it; but a single touch in it distinctly marks the hand of 
a master, and far exceeds any thing that Mathews ever did before. His 
visit to the gaming-house contains as impressive a lesson of morality as. 
ever was delivered from a pulpit. On that occasion, ffarri/ Jlrdourfy, 
a Yorkshire fox-*hunter for the first time that ever he entered the doors, 
of a gaming-house, had the mbfortune to win fifteen hundred pounds 
at a Mauge et Nmr table. Success created a passion for the practice, 
which was indulged to the ruin of the unhappy young man's estate ; 
and his mother and sisters were left penniless and unprotected,, when 
he was consigned, first to a jail, and finally to a mad-house. In this 
last abode of misery he fancied himself winning back his lost fortune, 
and on the imaginary success of a cast, he raved aloud, ** I have it! — 
'tis mine! — 1 have recovered my estates — ^my farms — my sisters* por- 
tions! Mother, mother, where are you? Receive {fainting as into 
his mothers arms, ) — mother, receive your prodigal !" After this picture 
it was an effort for Mathews, and for him- alone, to force the house to 
resume its gaiety. " I never after the longest inarch had so great a 
mind for my dinner as I had to cry with him for company. What 
could be the matter with me, an* please your honour,' quoth the cor- 
poral. • Nothing in the world. Trim,* said my Uncle Toby, blowing 
his nose; * but that thou art a good-natured fellow." 

Mr. Mathews commenced by observing that this was the seventh 
season of his being ** At Home " to the public at the English Opera- 
house; that he had served his apprenticeship, but did not wish to can- 
cel his indentures; that he would rejoice if his seasons could, like 
Thomson^s, be immortal; but as he could not hope for more than the 
transitory span of ordinary existence, unless indeed he could change 
his name from Mathews to Methuselah, he would make the best use 
of his time by availing himself of the patronage and favour of the au- 
dience. He had been ruminating one day on the style and title of 
the entertainment he was to present, when chance, which had afford- 
ed an answer to the inquiries of Sir Isaac Newton, by the fall of an 
apple, solved his not less important doubts. Taking up a number 
of cai-ds from his chimney-piece, he determined at once that a week's 
invitations should furnish matter for amusement. Here follows, by 
way of an exordium on invitations, a denunciation of formality and 
nine o'clock dinners, with a sketch of the dinner for advancement 
given by the father, by way of getting the son a place, and of the 
parties for display got up by the mother, in hope that the daughter 
will **go off well," until she is as well known "as the statue at 
Charing Cross," with just as little chance of going off. 

We are then introduced to an old friend of Mr. Mathews, one of 
those old friends who recollects you when you had blue eyes and flaxen 
hair, and first wore trowsers. This is a Mrs, W, Worrit. With her 
he dines and is indulged with repeated proofs of tlie lady's accurate 
recollection of his infant days, and repeated declarations of her de- 
light At seeing him. After some time, he, observes an interchange of 



CHAftUfiS ]f4TX£WS. 943 

neds ftnd wIbIoi amongst the«Mnpipk»y, and vhiipetB ef * ¥oa "-^^^ Kb, 
you ask him;*' until one of Mrs. Worrifs little daughters makes her 
yfimy from the other end of the table with <* her mamtna's compliments 
to -Mr. Hathewsy and wishes he'd have the goodness to be funny.** 

The miseries of reo^Ting numerous communications by the Two- 
penny Post are next described in a song. Amongst those which Ma- 
thews mentions as having reached himself, are one containing novel 
anecdotes from Joe Miller; another asking ibr an order for some one 
who had once met his grandfather's cousin; and a third fron% a casual 
acquaintance* committing his ten helpless brothei3-aii<i sisters to his 
friendly care. 

The imitations now commence. Mathews, having been lately at the ' 
Opera, rises on Monday morning haunted by the ghost of a tune — and 
who has not been haunted in the same manner? He prepares to shave 
i?vith"Non piu andrai" in his headr—cuts his chin furioao — dries it 
pianissimo, and goes forth to breakfast with Mr, Shakeiy, an old vale- 
tudinarian. He is welcomed by Pe/er, an impudent Yorkshire servant, 
w^ho is " vipe-roy " over his master; and, after making his way through 
various impediments, invented for the purpose of excluding the cold 
air, he reached the breakfast-room of his host.. There he overhears a 
dialogue in the adjoining dressing-room betweep Pder and his master, 
which consists on the one side, of complaints, and sufferingR, and of 
blunt replies on the other. The one rela^tes how he dreamed last night 
that the house fell down; the other, without the slightest expression of 
compassion, reproaches him for eating suppers, The master details 
1)0W he thought that, in the fall, the chimney-pot tumbled on his head, 
and fixed itself, like a cap over his eyes; the man reminds him of hjs 
transgression in eating toasted cheese. At length Mr. Shakely makes 
his appearance, and at the same time arrives Sir Beiy'amtn Blanc- 
mange, a brother valetudinarian. 

Their conversation consists of an interchange of complaints. If 
Skdkely has a spasm in the chest. Blancmange has one that cuts all 
through him like a penknife; if one physician has decided Shakely^ a 
to be as bad a case as he ever saw, another has pxxinounced Blanc • 
manges to be as bad as a case can be. 

The rest of the day and night are passed in a gipsying party to 
Norwood, and a quadrille party afterwards. A recipe for concocting 
a route is given, which has the merit of simplicity^ if not of novelty. 
It is only to "put into a room, with a slow fire, a number of well- 
dressed people of both sexes; stir them up well together; t^ien throw 
in wine, lobsters, ham, &c. Take care to make the room as full as 
possible, and the scum will run off of itself. 

In the excursion to Norwood, the principal characters are a gen- 
tieman who wants fun, " nothing but fun;" a Mr^ Dokfal, who is ex- 
tremely annoyed by sitting on the knifes and forks, and other parts 
of the baggage on his seat in the car; and a young lady, who expres- 
ses her satisfaction with the pleasiU'es of the day with a most melan- 
choly look and accent. The principal incident is a race down-liill, be- 
tween a round of beef and one of the gentlemen, and their ultimate 
sousing in a pond. 
At the quadrille party, the most remarkable character is a fashiona-. 



344 KEM0II18 or N 

Ue penoiL wHh a eork leg, whicii ii taken ofl^ with a oorkacrew every 
morning. 

On Tuesday, Matliews dines with Sir Donald SerufieUm, where he 
meets with iSitr Harry Skelter,, a great traveller, and Mr, Popper^ a de- 
termined sportsman. Sir Harry has travelled in almost all parts of 
the worlds except £ng%ind, part of which he has indeed passed through, 
though only on his way to Calais or Grand Cairo; bat in the course 
of his joomeyings he has found nothing to admire. His invariable 
observation is, ** I see nothing in it." Vesuvias is only a humbug — a 
high hill, with a fire at the top. At the North Pole, he had not his 
nose frozen off. Rome had ** nothing in it;" and as to the Pope, 
*Hhere was nothing in him;" he was only as old as Pope the actor, 
and not so fat» 

Mr.. Popper relates a story of his dog Baste, the truth of which he 
positively asserts. Being out shooting on the 1 st of September, he 
missed his dog in a thicket, and returning to the same place in the fol- 
lowing February, he found there the skeleton of a patridge and the 
skeleton of Basto, still in the attitude of pointing. 

The evening » taken up in a visit to the King*s Theatre, and imi- 
tations are given of Velluti, Porto, and De Begnis. Velluti and Porto 
are capital subjects. 

The second part commences with Wednesday, when Mathews dines 
with Mr, M^Rhomboid, a Scotch lecturer.. Mf; MRhomhoid is a mere 
matter-of-fact sort of person, without any taste for wit or humour. Af- 
ter a long delay, caused by the absence of Mr, M^Pheraon, an inmate 
in Mr. M*Rhombaid*8 house, who is occupied "sharpening his teeth" 
in his bed-room, they sit down to dinner, and Mathews, by way of 
preventing total dulness, begins a story. He relates how a Spanish 

nobleman, being condemned to death Here he in interrupted by 

Mr. M^Rhomboid, who inquires for what crime he was condemned. 
Mathews declares that is of no consequence to the story, but the lee- 
turer refuses to hear any narrative in which so important a point is 
omitted; and a ground for condemnation having been invented in or- 
der to satisfy him, Mathews proceeds to relate how tlie family of the 
nobleman promised a reward of one hundred piastres to the execution- 
er if he performed his task rapidly and skilfully. The hour of execu- 
tion arrives — ^the criminaPs neck is placed upon- the block — ^he is un- 
conscious oi having received any wound, and reproached the execu- 
tioner ib/ his supposed delay. The executioner tells him that the im- 
putation is unjust, and desires him to shake his head : he does so, and 
off it falls. " Well," says Mr. M^Rhomboid, with perfect gravity and 
sincecity, " did the man get the hundred piastres V^ 

The story of this execution has been told in another way, and quite 
as whimsically. It is said that, in a certain town on the Continent, 
when the place of executioner was lucrative, a public election usually 
took place to the honourable office, and the several candidates were re- 
quired to exhibit their powers. On one occasion there were three com- 
petitors; the first struck off the head at a single stroke — ^the second 
struck it off also at a single stroke, and caught it on the point of his 
sword— the third made his blow, but the head still remained in the 
same place. He retired four or five paces — advanced again, with a 
pinch of snuff in his fingers, and gave it to the criminal — ^he sneered, 
and the head was immediately severed. 



CHAJUJSS MAXHBWS. 345 

** London at five o'clock in the Morning'* is next deecribed, with 
much point and homour, in a song. The visiter, who has left the hack- 
ney.coach waiting aU night, and who has thus allowed the &ir to grow 
from one shilling and sixpence to twenty-eight shillings and sixpence 
— ^the gentleman who, after spinning out the evening with some friends, 
is reeling home with business on both sides the way — and the imka' 
lions of the various cries as the mor/iing advances, are remarkably fe- 
licitous. To those who are curious in entymological inquiries, it may 
be satisfactory to know that the cat-like cry of mee-oto^ instead of 
milk, is not English, but French, and should be written mueau (half 
water ;) and to our musical readers it may be a piece of valuable infor- 
mation that the strange, half male, half female, voice which is often 
heard in our streets, and which has not hitherto received a scientific 
denomination, is, in fact, a barrow-tone. 

On Thursday, Mathews is invited to dine with his friend, Mr, DiL 
berry^ " in a family way." He is accompanied by Mr. John RaUy^ an 
inaperturbable quizzer. On their arrival, they have first to encounter 
a black female servant, witli a baby Bilberry; and then enters Mrs. 
Dilberry in haste, with her armorial bearings (bracelets) in her hand. 
Mr, Dilberry they find in the dining-room, in the act of drawing a 
cork ; and Mathews exhibits his contortions and strainings with great 
drollery. The guests are soon alarmed by the appearance of eight lit- 
tie knives and forks. The young Bilberries soon follow ; and, after 
delighting their visiters during dinner by their elegant irregularities, 
one of them, after dinner, sings a song, and another plays a lesson on 
the piano-forte fifty times over. Mr, Bilberry, too, attempts a song to 
an Irish air. The great difficulty is to observe the key; and in the 
course of his vocal displays, he jumbles all the keys together with a 
facility which it would puzzle a first.rate singer to equal. 

On Friday, we are introduced to a Rouge et Noir table. The prin- 
cipal character here is Harry Ardourly, a youn^ Yorkshire gentle- 
man. He has just entered the room for the first time. In spite of his 
ignorance of the game, and the rashness produced by wine and high 
spirits, success attends his play, and he retires a winner of fifteen hun- 
dred pounds. Mathews meets him some time afterwards, ruined and 
dejected. His farther visits to the gaming-house have reduced him- 
self and his family to poverty and wretchedness, and the next change of 
scene is to a mad-house. All this was told, or rather, represented, with 
much pathos and effect 

Saturday's diversion consists of a description of a General Election, 
in a song. There are some capital hits in it. 

The third part is as usual, a ^ Monopolylogue." It U called the 
** City Barge," moored near Richmond Bridge. The first character 
that appears is Mneas Stirturtle^ the purveyor to the barge, who has a 
cold in his head, and sneezes a hundred and twenty-nine times. The 
next is Sir Harry Skelter, who sees ** nothing in it,'' but owns that 
there's ** a good house," when he looks towards the audience. The 
third is SetUly, an old waterman, very well executed. The fourth is 
Mr. CHblettSy who is in love with Mrs. Oeorgina Gritts, Mrs. Georgi- 
na follows, and she and Oibletts retire into a neighbouring recess. 
Sassafras, an apothecary, a rival of Gibletts, then enters in a violent 
fit of jealousy. In order to be revenged, he makes a bet with Popper, 
who is inside the barge, that he cannot hit a piece of paper on the door 
of the recess. Popper accepts the challenge, and firesi; Sassafras, 



346 MEMOIRS OF 

nearly at tliesame time, is caug^ht in a man-trap, in a neighbouriiig plan- 
tation. Mr. Mathews enters to put an end to the confusion, and so ends 
the entertainment. 

In praise of Mr. Mathews, it should be remarked, that he lashes 
with becoming seventy the roost prevailing and favourite sins and ! 
foibles of the day. In high life as well as low, from Lady Fidget's j 
route to the milling match at Moseley Hurst, his aim has been to *' shoot 
folly as it flie%" and vice also. I 



TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ, ' 

I 

(With a bottle of neciar.) I 

Very much obliged to you, my dear Sir, for youf notice of "The 
Oracle,"* which the author heard last night. 

Pray do me the favour to present " The Housekeeper's Leg^r " to 
Mrs. Mathews; and I venture also to request that you will read the 
preface; in which I have tried to make my readers laugh, while they 
are learning their lesson of economy; for I hold, that to make a man 
laugh heartily, is to do him one of the greatest kindnesses,{and that he 
deserves to be the happiest man who contributes most to the comfort 
of his fellow creatures. Now, who has made more people laugh 
heartily than yourself? I4>ng m^iy you continue so to do! Yours veiy 
sincerely, 

Wjc. Kitgheni*, 

421, Warren Street, 13th March 18S6. 

*'(TlMCookHiOra(^*' 



CHARLES MATHEWS,. 34V 



CHAPTER XXIV. 



Mrs. Richard Wilson*8 Parties. — Distinguished Guests. — Letter to Mrs* 
Mathews. — Offer to Mr. Mathews from Mr. Price of aft engagement 
at Drury Lane Theatre.— Mr. Mathews at the English Opera House, 
and in the provinces. — Invitation from the Duke of Clarence to Mr. 
Mathews. ^-^Conversation between him and his royal Highness. — 
Lfetters to Mrs. Mathews: a Foreigner's Adventures: Journey to 
Halifax.— Investigation as to the spelling of Shakspeare'snamet'- 
Mr. Mathews's " At Home " at the English Opera House for the 
Eighth Season. — The " Home Circuit" — Programme. — Account of 
the Performance. — "Amateurs and Actors." — A Journal from 
Brighton.-*Singular Visiter.— Letters to Mrs. Mathews: Death of 
her Mother. 

At the close of this season Mr. Mathews indulged himself 
in a few days' holiday in Suffolk, at the house of some very 
old and warm friends, now, alas! removed, with many such, 
who would, had they existed, have proved a solace to me in 
my bereavement! I preserve this brief allusion to a friend- 
«hip of more than thirty years, as a memorial of the once 
happy hours passed in my girlish days in the midst of the 
gaiety so widely spread by Mrs, Richard Wilson's parties, in 
Lincoln's Inn Fields, where the noblest of the land, the 
wittiest and wisest, gayest and gravest, the idle and the busy, 
assembled with one common feeling of enjoyment. There 
have I seen the fine face of the lamented Sir Samuel Romilly, 
with his lovely and amiable lady at his side, smiling, as if 
peace was for ever a safe inmate in his bosom! Alas! for this 
remembrance! Lords Erskine and Eldon, and a long list of 
nobles^ headed by Royalty itself, were frequent, and I may 
say, familiar guests, at Mr. Wilson's table, where all the 
talents were associated. Dear old Captain Morris, with his 
songs and singing, and charming society; Sheridan, and other 
of his nq^d contemporaries^ the youthful Theodore Hook 
and Horace Twiss, (just rising from their teens,) stood promi- 



348 MSMoins of 



nently forward, full of the buoyancy, wit, and talent whicht 
have established their respective positions in the high and in- 
tellectual society in which they both live. Out of the many 
that my " mind's eye" now brings before me, these are 
among the very few that remain to give assent to the truth o€ 
those pleasant hours passed in that most pleasant housel 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Biddleston, 12th JaTy 1826. 

General Grosvenor has given me a frank, or I befieve I should not 
have written, as I have not enough to say wortli paying for. I need 
not say bow delighted 1 was at the receipt of dear Charles's letter. It 
was a God-send upon my arrival here, as, indeed, I was most anxious 
to hear of him. His letter has cheered me: it is all that is delightfal. 
Charming weather. Young is here— desires love— wishes to know if 
you got the books he sent. All the family desire love* FcTcy* is 
better than ever I saw him sinoe his illness, Mrs. Randolph desires 
particular remembrance; wishes you were here. Pressed upon all 
sides to send for you: as I know you won't come» I have made all 
sorts of excuses; but feel embarrassed, as I cannot give such a one as 
I should myself allow to be a real good one under the same circum- 
stances. However, we ate all slaves to something, and a dislike to 
variety is an unhappy specimen. Locomotion is what is Called happi- 
nea$ to me; that is, life and spirits. God bless you \ 

C. Mathews. 



The succeeding letter was the beginning of a negotiation 
with Mr. Mathews to act for a term in the regular drama, at 
Drury Lane, and contains also an allusion to a second visit to 
America, which, however, was ultimately set aside for future 
arrangement, it being inconsistent with Mr. Mathews's views 
at that period. 

London, 15th July 1826. 

Mt DXA« MaTBICWS) 

I have released Bish from bis contract, upon his paying me 2000/., 
and have taken the theatre at my old terms, 10,600Jl per year. I can 
only beg. of you to «ve me a few inigbt» in the next (Season, in any con- 

* Mr. Wilton's oitly son aasM* after hit godfttlnri tbeimsnt Dal» of Nor* 
ttaomberland, prematurely taken front this worM to a better.^i^A. M. 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 349 

tract you may make with Arnold. For God's sake^ bear me in mind. 
I feel that it is unnecessary to make any thing like terms. You shall 
say what they shall be. You and Liston are my great hopes. A let- 
ter from you wxwld influence him: however, do not write it if it be dis- 
agreeable to you. I leave London on Friday, twelve o'clock, and 
Liverpool ten o'clock on Monday. Our American business shall be 
well digested during my absence. Write me a line in return. Excuse 
great haste. God bless you ! 

S. PAICE. 

In the autumn of this year Mr. Mathews accepted a drama- 
tic engagemient for a few weeks at the English Opera, in the 
course of which one of the most genuine farces ever produced 
upon the English stage, was brought forward, in wnich Mr. 
Peake, the author, displayed Mr. Mathews's powers to pecu- 
liar advantage in the character of Trefoil, 

After his engagement, at the English Opera House, Mr. 
Mathews made a short tour. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Liverpool, Oct. 31st» 1826. 

Indeed I am at the Waterloo; and right glad to be in a comfortable 
house, for the weather is wretched — heart-breaking. 

I spent a veiy jolly day with Speidell at St. John's, and proceeded, 
on Thursday, to Stratford. Dined with Saunders — and sat up all night 
reading by the kitchen-fire, no other in the house, at the Lion, in or- 
der to be ready for a coach that always came at half-past three until 
Friday morning, when it arrived at five; getting me to Birmingham only 
ten minutes before my Manchester coach started, into which I trun- 
dled with three dumb strangers* 

C. Mathews. 



Hampton Court Palace, 
Nov. 26, 1826. 
Tlie Barl of Erroll is commanded by His Eoyal Higness the Duke of 
Clarence to request the favour of Mr. Mathews's company, on Friday 
evening next, at Bushy House. 

Lord Erroll requests the pleasure of Mr. Mathe^s^s company at din- 
ner, on that day, at six o'clock. Lord Erroll will have a bed re»dy for 
Mr. Mathews, 
vol. L— 80 



350 MBMoms or 

After several previous arrangements (and disarrangements) 
ibr Mr. Mathews to entertain the Duke of Clarence) the. time 
had really come. He accepted Lord ErroU's invitation, and 
OQ the day in question went to Bushy. In the evening he 
aoeompanied his noble host to the duke's palace, and per- 
fbnned to a select party there, returning to Lord Erroll's for 
ihe night. 

On the following morning Mr. Mathews was requested to 
attend upon the Duke; and, on his arrival, was shown into 
the room where his Royal Highness and the DucHess had just 
breakfasted. The latter, with great condescension, said a few 
words in compliment to the entertainment she had received 
on the previous night, and then left the room. The next mo- 
ment Mr. Mathews's eye was fixed upon a large-sized portrait 
of Mrs. Jordan, hanging up (I think over the chimney-piece.) 
The Duke, observing this, said, " I know you have a collection 
of theatrical portraits, Mr. Mathews, which I shall ask to see 
some day. I hope you have not one like tlial?^^ My husband 
did not quite understand the question, and his look probably 
expressed his perplexity, for the Duke added, «' I mean so good 
a likeness, i should be vexed that any body possessed such 
a one but myself — a better it is not possible to find, and I 
should not like any body else to have as good a one." 
V Mr. Mathews replied that it was indeed excellent, and that 
he was not so fortunate as to possess so true a resemblance. 
The Duke gazed upon the picture, saying, with emotion and 
strong emphasis, " She was one of the best of women, Mr.^ 
Mathews;" and my husband felt that the Duke was sincere in 
h«s belief. Indeed there was something so afiecting in his 
maaner of paying this simple and almost unconscious tribute 
to the memory of the mother of his children, that it brought 
tears into the eyes of him to whom it was addressed; which 
the Duke perceiving, put forth his hand, and pressing my 
husband's added, " You knew her Mathews; therefore must 
t have known her excellence." 

After a short and pensive pause, the Duke diverted the 
conversation from the interesting subject into which he had 
been betrayed to the scene of the over-night; and, after com- 
menting upon what most pleased him, the Duke, in his 
characteristically blunt manner, said something in reference 
to his obligations J and not very extensive means to be liberal. 
This was touching my husband on the tenderest point; and 
while he hesitated in what becoming manner he could tell one 
of the Royal family that he did not like payment of any 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 351 

kind out of the regular routine of his profession, even for 
** obliging*^ him, the Duke put a little case into his hand (not 
without some embarrassment in his own manner at the 
awkward position in which it was evidpnt my husband felt 
himself, and said, *^ Mathews, I am not rich enough to remu- 
nerate such talent as yours, or make a suitable return for your 
kind exertions of last night, which delighted us all; but I hope 
you will gratify me by your acceptance of the contents of 
this little purse, for the purpose of purchasing some additions 
to your collection of paintings — in remembrance of me and of 
the original of that portrait.''* 

This was so gracefully though simply expressed, that my 
husband made his bow in acknowledgment, and departed, 
deeply touched at the feeling evidence of the Duke's recollec- 
tions of what had been! 

In relating this fact I feel unconscious that I am committing 
an impropriety; for, to my own feeling, the King of England 
lost nothing of the respect felt for him, by the admitted fact 
ihat the Prince had loved the mother of his chidren. 



TO H. B. GYLES, ESQ. 

London, Nov. 39th, 1826. 

flow is the do{ir* and how are yoti, you puppy? 

You funny fellow! will you jiever settle? What wandering again? 
Lord Mayor*s gentleman, ha! ha! — house, land, all given up, *'ul at 
one fell swoop." I should have written sooner, could I have gained any 
information on the subject Either you are hoaxing me, or have been 
hoaxed— I' know not which. I cannot hear of such a situation. I don't 
know any real City men; but all of whom 1 have inquired doubt its ex- 
istence, and much more the salaiy. 

Yesterday I dined at Mr. Wilson's; and, knowing I should meet one 
or two M.P.*s there, and knowing that as I had nothing to say, and 
very iitik of ihat, my letter would not be worth paying for, I waited 
for that day for a frank. These I inquired of, and the only informa- 
tion I gained in addition was of a nature to make you leave Martley, or 
any other snug thing, and jump at such an office. Cruelty Martin said 
there is such a person about the Mansion-houae, and that be always 
waited at table!! I ' 

I observed the other day that the murderen of the two old people 
near Leatherhead were taken. ** Oh! no," said another. To which I 
replied, ** Why, the papers asserted that the police-officen were fone 
to FBtch*em:' 

* The case contuned a SOL note. 



352 MEMOIRB OF 

Fop being veiy thinrty, and drinking water for a particularly long 
time, induced Peake to say—** A h(q>$U8 lingum. 

TWne, truly, 

Q. Mathews* 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

York, Pecember 20th, 1:826. 

I was last night gloriously repaid for all my toils, and they were 
not trifling. On Monday night, I had one hour and a half at the table, 
and acted in *• Before Breakfast" and ** Jonathan;" travelled here yes- 
terday, and acted " Youthful Days " and ** Before Breakfast." Rather 
tough work. To-night I rest my old bones. I dine at Belcombe's. 
They go to the ball, and I read all alone. I do think [ meet with 
droller adventures than any body else. At dinner, yesterday, a foreigner 
told as droll a story, at which he almost choked with laughter, the dif- 
ficulties he had encountered to get to dinner at five o'clock. That he 
had left Hull that morning at six — the steamer was agoing to blow up 
I believe, however, he could not go on — ^'and we were all put ashore 
at Goole, and we were obliged to walk three miles up to our knees in 
mud, till we came to de ferry; and dere vas only von chaise, vich I took. 
Some of the players vas dere, and dey could not get on." — *« Was there 
a person there of the name of Willson?* said I. — **0h, yes; a fit tier, I 
believe. He is left too. Dey cannot get here to-night. Ha! ha! ha!" 
You may suppose my feelings. I sent away my plate, and was dandled 
up and down, with a sick stomach, in a sedan to the theatre, as soon 
as I could get one, expecting to have the mortification of dismissing 
the house. I have not time to tell the rest of the particulars; but ray 
chaises, they arrived in time, a few minutes before seven, and the re- 
lief made me act in tip-top spirits. 

Having nothing farther to say, /can only say, if you loves me as I 
loyes you> why yoi; are as affectionate as 

C. Mathews. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Halifax, January 9th 1827. 

«^ From Hull, Hell, and Halifax " — the saying is somewhat musty, 
but it must have been of very ancient date if the former was not su- 
perior to the latter at the time. Oh dear! if I could not have cheated 
myself like Johnny Winter with, **Well, there's one comfort — iatwo 
days more I shall be within three days of going home,'' I should ccr- 

* Mr.. Mathewr professional aeryaiit.— A. M. 



CHARLES HiLTHteWS. 358 

tsan\y have sunk under the accumalation of horron» I ms^ call them, 
of yesterday. 

In the first place, I left a comfortable bouse, with the best bed taA 
bed-room I have seen in Yorksliire; and such a doting host I have not 
to my back! He devours up my discourse, but never digests it. He 
can remind me of every thing I ever said to him in my life; and the 
only decorations of my bed-room were varieties of framed portraits of 
myself. Well, such a day! — "all hail!" such blowing, such expecta- 
tions of being blown over! I was obliged to post eighteen miles from 
Liceds. You travelled the road in 1804, when you cried for fear dear 
little Charley would be killed by the jolting. I was stuffing my 
pocket-handkerchief into the apertures of the broken glass of the 
chaise-windows half the way. I had the beautiful anticipation of 
some one in brief authority preventing the performance on account of 
the death of the Duke. Got here in three hours and a half! There's 
posting! 

I found Paddy Manly in doubt as to our acting; ** the nobs," as he 
called them, inquiring if I could not postpone my performance. I said 
no/ if I cannot perform tonight, I would be off to I^ondon by the first 
coach. Indeed I would have popped off directly the morning paper 
arrived if I had not been under promise here; for the miserable wea- 
ther was enough to torture me without threats of shutting up theatres; 
and so we acted. There was 56/, and if many had not given up their 
places out of squeamishness, (several, unfortunately, were military, 
and they could not be expected,) we should have had 80/. it is sup- 
posed. 

Such a town! — such an inn! — such a mucky yard! — with ostlera^ 
chaises, ducks, pigeons, starved cats,, drowned kittens! Oh! apropo9, 
vide " stout gentleman '* — exactly/ only hail, and sometimes snow, for 
his rain. 

By tlie time you receive this, it will be all over; therefore laugh, and 
reflect that then I shall nearly be in clover again, at Smith's; for there 
is real comfort* 

C* Mathsws. 

Mr. We well, having seen a paragraph in a newspaper, 
intimating that Mr. Mathews had made some discoveries oa 
the subject of the ancient method of spelling Shakspeare't 
name, addressed a letter to him, requesting that he would 
oblige him with any information he had collected. In replj^ 
to this communication, Mr. Mathews addressed to him the 
following letter:— 

Ivy Cottage, March 13tb, 1823^. 

Pray accept my apology for my apparent neglect Tou must be 
aware how much my time has been necessarily occupied in the prepa^ 

* Mr. Bmith, a merchant at Leeds, and a very kind friend of my Iraabandat alf. 
txitteit*'*A« of. 

30* 



354 WMonuio^ 

mdon for my new enterUinment, and I tra^tthat will p1^ tpy ezciue 
for not having sooner furnished you with the information yoa req^iiest- 
ed. 

The paragraph which appeared in the newspapers respeictii^g my 
recent discovery of the correct spelling of Shakspeare^s name was not 
quite correctly stated^ an^ as yoM have done me the honour to apply 
to me (conceiving, ap I do, that the most trifling point relating to our 
beloved bard is interesting,) I have much pleasure ip furnishing yoa 
with an exact statement of the information I have gained on the sub- 
ject. It was.through the kindness of Captain Saunders, an enthusiastic 
Shaksperian, then, Chamberlaii^, and since Mayor, of. Stratford-upoiv 
Avon, that I had the m^ansof ascertaining^ bpyond all doubt, the mode 
of pronouncing the name of the bard during his lifetim^. The signa* 
tures subjoined are correctly copied from the council-bpok of the coi^ 
'poration of Stratfprd during the period that Jphn Shakspeare, the poet^a 
father was a member of the municipal bcxiy. The entries in the book 
consist, first, of corporate accounts; and it is remarkable that the volume 
opens with those of John Shakspeare himself, whilst filling the office 
of Chamberlain in 157[,3, and, on good g^unds, presumed to be writ- 
ten with his own hand. Secondly, if the names of the members of 
the common-council^ attending or absent ffom the halls with the re- 
sults of thjeir deliberations. The name of the bard's father occurs 166 
times, under fourteen diiflferent modes of oi;thography; viz. 



1. Shackesper 


. . 4 


8. Shakspeyr. 


17 


2. Shackespere 


3 


9. Shakysper . 


4 


3. Shacksper 


. 4 


10. Shakyspere 


9 


4. Shackspere . 


2 


11. Shaxpeare . 


. 69 


5. Sbakespere 


. 13 


12. Shaxpei: ... 


8 


6. Shaksper 


1 


13. Shakxpere . 


. 18 


7. Sbakspere 


. 5 


14. Shaxspeare 


9 



This then, surely, is conclusive as to the pronunciation of his name; 
for though we> are aware that, in those days, orthography was very 
loose, yet the recurrence of Shaxpeare 104 times, in my mind, proves 
the mode of proi>ouncing his nan^e to be arbitrary. Most person^ ig- 
norant of rules write as they pronounce. 

Of these several spellingsi Shakspere, as in No. 7, is pronounced by 
him alone to be, without doubt, the poet's orthog^phy, from a perusal 
of hb signature .to a deed of sale made in 1613; but Shakspeare has 
been the favourite mode, with little variation, with the commentators 
and biographers. The poet*s will lexhibits this spelling in his last sig- 
nature thereto. The spelling adopted by Heminge and Condell, in the 
first folio edition of his plays, viz. Shakespeare, seems almost without 
authority there-fore: for the lengthening force of the intermediate t oc- 
curs but 13 times out of the 166 instances; whereas the great body of 
testimony is in favour of the short power of the vowel a in the firat syl- 
lable. 

There is much reason to believe that the 8th variety was the spell- 
ing and pronunciation of John Shakspeare himself, and that the instan- 
ces are entered in his own autograph and the 1 Ith variety. Shaxpeare, 
. which is the ]iredominant one, is thus written ii> the common^hali en- 



OBAMLKfi MAXIUWS. 355 

tries by Mr. Heiuy Rogenb whp warn n banister and common clerk of 
the corporation. 

Happx in the opportunity that this communication affords fne of ex- 
pressing my admiration of your praiseworthy ezertTons, I* am, dear air, 
yours (juthfuUy. 

C, Mathcws. 



As every grain gives weight to matter, I add' a recollection of 
my own, that when subsequently visiting Stratford with my 
husband, we were attracted' to a group of boys playing in the 
street, by hearing one of them address his play-feUow as 
Shaxpertj from which it appears that this pronunciation of 
the name is the popular one of the county. 

On the 8th of March the English Opera, for the eighth 
season, presented Mr. Mathews " At Home" to his numerous 
and consistent friends — the public* This was the announce- 
ment:— 

HOME CIRCUIT; oa LONDON GLEANINGS. 

Part I.— Exordiumir-Pexsyniapy Crisis: Civic Explanation of— Jack 
Project.— Schemes.— Delights of Country Acquaintance.— -Visit to Ful- 
ham.— Project's Plan to.raake Mr. Mathews's Fortune by a mere 

Song — Medley of Melodists 

Gleanings— Mr. Demus: ^'Loek at Home.'^ ^Commodore Cosrao- 
gstny: **Look Abroad," — Mr. Zachary Barnacle: <* Look every where." 
Monument on Fish Street Hill, Pompey's Pillar.— St. Paurs, St. Peter's. 
— River Thames, River. Nile.— To^er of Lomjon,, Tower of Pekin. — 
Coffee House Directory — Hermitage Hall, Fulham, 

Song — Short Stages. 

More Gleanings^-^Ex-Justice, Lawyer Muzzle. — Penal Code. — " Do 
you know what you are doing?'-' — Statutes at large. — Mr. S pinks, Rebus 
Writer, Ladies Diary. — Black Eves and Black Act. — Feline Oculist. — 
Benefit of betting. — Leg^l Liabilities. — Mr. Honey man and his Honey- 
moon. — ^Marriage.— Barnacle's Bewailing^: "loosing all our Amuse- 
ments."— -Visit to Theatrical Gallery proposed, previous to wliicb^ a 
Peep at the Auction Mart, and 

Royal Exchange — in a Song, . 



366 idsMofioi tff 

Paut II. 

A MoiropoLTuiGiTi, to introduce the I>kai> o^vd, entitled Mithiwb's 
Dream; or,' the Theatrical Gallery ^ 

In which will be exhibited whole-length Portraits of the late 
MesBTs. 

Suett, in Dicky Chmp^ 

Kemble, in Per^uddofik, 

King, in Sir Peter Teazle, 

Cooke, in Sir Pertinaaf Maesyeopkant, 

Incledon, in The Storm^ 

Cufii imhia aKia, post obit Recollections, depicted from the Life, by 
Mr. Mathews.^The Scene pfainted by Mr. Roberts. 

Part III.— XjrLEAsnres CoaninTsii. 

Leather Lane Parthenon,^ or Mechanical Athenaeum.— >Mr. Sandy 
M*Sillergrip, with his Lecture.— Arts and Sciences made easy. — 
Barnacle redivivus. — More Lamentations.— -Gog and Magog. — Hurdy- 
gurdies.— Decay of Dancing Bears.— Loss of the Lotteries. — Things 
that were — 

<Scmg— Things that were not 

Fresh Gleanings— Thames Expedition.— Commodore Cosmogany*s 
Colloquies— Red House, Battersea; Golden House, Bhurtpore.- Bat- 
ter-sea, Black Sea, Dead Sea, and Red Sea.— Pigeon-Shooting: Tiger 
shooting. — Yauxhall Hams: Westphalia Hams. — Visit to the Exhibition 
proposed.— Sketch in water Colours.- Joe Hatcli, the Thames Chan- 
cellor, Boat Barrister, and Regal Legal Waterman.— Somerset House— 

<yong---Royal Academy. 

Additional Gleanings— Mr. Aspinall and his Man Andrew.— Per- 
sonification of Fear.— Castellated Mansion. — Alarms and Alarum Bells. 

Prevention is better than Cure. — Gypsies. — Robberies forestalled. — 

Mr. Muzzle: more Statutes.— Mr. Spinks: reiteration of Rebuases.— 
Compounding Felony— Real Cockney Gleanings. — 

Song^-Epp'ing Hunt. 

Messrs. Cosmogony, Muzzle, Spinks, and Mathews.— Finale. 
The Songs will be accompanied on the piano-forte by Mr.. James T. 
Hams, v.hp.will play favoprite Rpndps betweeo^Uie Faits. 



CHARLES MATHEWS* 367 



Extract from '' The Times,'' of 9th itfarcA, 1827, 

English Opera House. 

Mr. Mathews, after reaping a rich harvest in forei^ countries, places 
his scenes and adventures of cltaracter at home, within the sound of 
Bow bell, where he finds that to the acute observer, much remains to 
be explored. His chief associates are Commodore Cosmogony, a "tra- 
veller," with as exhaustless a fund of invention as Major Longbow him- 
self^ and so attached to the rare sights to be. met with abroad, that be 
owns no acquaintance with the Monument, St. PauKs or the Thames; 
Lawyer Muzzkj a walking digest of the statutes at larg^, who, for the 
sinnpiest action, can quote a law which makes it penal; Mr. Zachary Bar- 
noe/Ss, a pessimist, and <9/7tnA», a village tradesman, addicted to the muses^ 
who retails bad jokes and stale conundrums, to which Mathews contrives, 
however, by his inimitable manner, to give more effect than the most 
original wit and humour would have produced in other hands. A butt 
like this always forms a part of Mathews*s dramatis personae. Various 
other characters are introcluced in the course of the adventures, which 
include a journey to town in one of the ** short stages," the various in- 
terruptions in which, with the agqny of an inside passenger, who has 
an engagement (military time) to dinner, are described with great hu- 
mour. A. visit to the Royal Exchange, given with g^at spirit; a scene 
at the auction mart; a visit to the Royal Academy; and the mysteries, 
in full description, of the Epping Hunt. One of the best occasional 
delineations of character, is that of J^ Hdtchf a waterman, who is also 
termed the Thames Chancellor and Boat Barrister, a fellow (we pre- 
sume a real portrait, though we have not the good fortune to know the 
original,) who lays down the law of his craft, promotes and allays quar- 
rels, and gratifies his fare with a " long tough yarn " of his own adven- 
tures. A Mr, Jspinailf who is in constant dread of thieves, and who 
sends out his servants to any suspicious fellow he sees with a supply of 
money or clothing, to prevent his being robbed and murdered, is hu- 
morously drawn. Several songs are interspersed in Mr. Mathews's 
best style of humour. The evening winds up with a monopolylogue, 
called " Mathews's Dream," or •* The Theatrical Gallery," in the course 
of which he introduces imitations of Suett, Kemble^ King, Cooke, In- 
cledon, and other eminent performers, now no. more. 

Mathews's Theatrical Gallery has been a " palpable hit." He has 
never done any thing more ably; it is food for every mouth, and is at 
once the most agreeable.and roost finished mode of conveying a per- 
sonal inriitation. . Mr. Mathews has herein a double gratifipatioq ; for, 
in eliciting the unbounded applause which his performance does, he is 
only receiving, in a multiplied degree, the admiration of those nume- 
rous visiters to the "Real Simon Pure " at Kentish Town, his own 
residence, in which bis genius, industry, and propriety have erected a 
monument to their owner's character, that will render it illustrious 
' for ever and ever. We cannot imagine a more gratifying circumstance 
to any man, than the homage which is nightly paid to Mr. Mathews 
in this Monopolylogue; and it must be an earnest to him, that, highly 
as his abilities are rated by every one who saw him, it is an admira- 



346 ICEMOIRS OF 

nearly at tt^esanie time, is caught in a man-trap, in a neighbouriftg plan- 
tation. Mr. Mathews enters to put an end to ttie confusion, and so ends 
the entertainment. 

In praise of Mr. Mathews, it should be remarked, that he lashes 
with becoming severity the roost prevailing and favourite sins and 
foibles of the day. In high life as well as low, from Lady Fidget's 
route to the milling match at Moseley Hurst, his aim has been to « shoot 
folly as it flieff,'* and vice also. 



TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 
( With a bottle of nedar,) 

Very much obliged to you, my dear Sir, for your notice of " The 
Oracle,*'* which the author heard last night. 

Pray do me the favour to present •* The (lousekeeper's hoger " to 
Mrs. Mathews; and I venture also to request that you will read the 
preface; in which I have tried to make my readers laugh, while they 
are learning their lesson of economy; for I hold, that to make a man 
laugh heartily, is to do him one of the greatest kindnesses,{and that he 
deserves to be the happiest man who contributes most to the comfort 
of his fellow creatures. Now, who has made more people laug^h 
heartily than yourself? hong may you continue so to do ! Yours veiy 
sincerely, 

Wm. Kitgbeneiu 

43, Warren Street, 13th March 1826. 

**(TlMCook4iOr«6kL*^ 



CHARLES MATHBWS. 34T 



CHAPTER XXIV. 



Mrs. Richard Wilson^s Parties. — Distin^ished Guests. — Letter to Mrs* 
Mathews. — Offer to Mr. Mathews from Kr. Price of an engagement 
at Drury Lane Theatre. — Mr. Mathews at the English Opera House, 
and in the provinces. — Invitation from the Duke of Clarence to Mr. 
Mathews.— ^Conversation between him and his royal Highness. — 
Letters to Mrs. Mathews: a Foreigner's Adventures: Journey to 
Halifax.^^Inve8tig^tion as to the spelling of Shakspeare's name. — 
Mr. Mathews's ** At Home " at the English Opera House for the 
Eighth Season. — The " Home Circuit" — Progiimme. — Account of 
the Performance. — " Amateurs and Actors." — A Journal from 
Brighton. — Singular Visiter.— Letters to Mrs. Mathews: Death of 
her Mother. 

At the close of this season Mr. Mathews indulged himself 
in a few days' holiday in Suffolk, at the house of some very 
old and warm friends, now, alas! removed, with many such, 
who would, had they existed, have proved a solace to me in 
my bereavement! I preserve this brief allusion to a friend- 
ship of more than thirty years, as a memorial of the once 
happy hours passed in my girlish days in the midst of the 
gaiety so widely spread by Mrs. Richard Wilson's parties, in 
Lincoln's Inn Fields, where the noblest of the land, the 
wittiest and wisest, gayest and gravest, the idle and the busy, 
assembled with one common feeling of enjoyment. There 
have I seen the fine face of the lamented Sir Samuel RomiUy^ 
with his lovely and amiable lady at his side, smiling, as if 
peace was for ever a safe inmate in his bosom! Alas! for this 
remembrance! Lords Erskine and Eldon, and a long list of 
nobles, headed by Royalty itself, were frequent, and I may 
say, familiar guests, at Mr. Wilson's table, where aU the 
talents were associated. Dear old Captain Morris* with his 
song^ and singing, and charming society; Sheridan, and other 
of his nq^d contemporaries^ the youthful Theodore Hook 
and Horace Twiss, (just rising from their teens,) stood promi*- 



348 MEMOIRS OF 

nently forward, full of the buoyancy, wit, and talent whicb 
have established their respective positions in the high and in- 
tellectual society in which they both live. Out of the many 
that my " mind's eye" now brings before me, these are 
among the very few that remain to give assent to the truth o€ 
those pleasant hours passed in that most pleasant house L 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Biddleston, 12th JaTy 1825. 

General Grosvenor has given me a fnnk, or I believe I should not 
have written, as I have not enough to say wortli paying for. I need 
not say bow delighted 1 was at the receipt of dear Charles's letter. It 
was a God-send upon my arrival here, as, indeed, I was most anxious 
to bear of him. His letter has cheered me: it is all that is delightfill. 
Charming weather. Young is here — desires love— wishes to know if 
you got the books he sent. All the family desire love. Percy* is 
better than ever I saw him sinoe his illness. Mrs. Randolph de»res 
particular remembrance; wishes you were here. Pressed upon all 
sides to send for you: as I know you won't come, I have made all 
sorts of excuses; but feel embarrassed, as I cannot give such a one as 
I should myself allow to be a real good one under the same circum- 
stances. However, we are all slaves to something, and a dislike to 
variety is an unhappy specimen. Locomotion is what is CaJkd happi- 
neu to me; that is, life and spirits. God bless yon !' 

C. Mathews. 



The succeeding letter was the beginning of a negotiation 
with Mr. Mathews to act for a term in the regular drama, at 
Drury Lane, and contains also an allusion to a second visit to 
America, which, however, was ultimately set aside for future 
arrangement, it being inconsistent with Mr. Mathews's views 
at that period. 

London, 15th July 1826. 

Mt OXAB MA.TttlEW8) 

I have released Bish from bis contract, upon his paying me 2000/., 
and have tak«n the theatre at my old terms, 10,600il per year. I can 
only beg. of you to save me » few ^igltt» in the next season, in any con- 

* Mr. WilBOD't only son iiaaieA after hit godllrtlnr, the imsfiit iMs^ 6t Nof 
tbomberiand, prematurely Ukea flroBk tliii worM to a totttr.<i--A. M. 



CHARLSS MATHEWS. 349 

tract you may make with Amcrfd. For God*s sake, bear me in mind. 
I feel that it is unnecessary to make any thing like terms. Yot* shall 
say what they shall be. You and Liston are my g^eat hopes. A let- 
ter from you would influence him: however, do not write it if it be dis- 
agreeable to you. I leave London on Friday, twelve o*clock, and 
Liverpool ten o'clock on Monday. Our American business shall be 
well digested during my absence. Write me a line in return. Excuse 
great baste. God bless you ! 

S. PWCE. 

In the autumn of this year Mr. Mathews accepted a drama- 
tic engagement for a few weeks at the English Opera, in the 
course of which one of the most genuine farces ever produced 
upon the English stage, was brought forward, in which Mr. 
Peake, the author, displayed Mr. Mathews's powers to pecu- 
liar advantage in the character of Trefoil, 

After his engagement, at the English Opera House, Mr. 
Mathews made a short tour. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Liverpool, Oct. 31stj 1826. 

Indeed I am at the Waterloo; and right glad to be in a comfortable 
house, for the weather is wretched — heart-breaking. 

I spent a very jolly day with Speidell at St. John's, and proceeded* 
on Thursday, to Stratford. Dined with Saunders — and sat up all night 
reading by the kitcben-^re, no other in the house, at the Lion^ in or- 
der to be ready for a coach that always deime at half-past three until 
Friday morning, when it arrived at five; getting me toBirmbgham only 
ten minutes before my Manchester coach started, into which I trun- 
dled with three dumb strangers. 

C* Mathews. 



Hampton Court Palace, 
Nov. 26, 1826. 
Tlie Earl of Enroll is commanded by His Royal Higness the Duke of 
Clarence to request the favour of Mr. Mathews's company, on Friday 
evening next, at Bushy House. 

Lord ErroU requests the pleasure of Mr. Mathews's company at din- 
ner, on that day, at nz o'clock. Lord ErroU will have a bed ready for 
Mr. Mathews. 
VOL. L— 30 



352 MEMOIRB OF 

Fop being very thinrty, and drinking water for a particularly lon^^ 
time, induct Peake to say—** A hgmu lingua. 

Thine, truly, • 

C. Maths wv* 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

York, Peceraber 20th, 1:826. 

I was last night gloriously repaid for all my toils, and they were 
not trifling. On Monday night, I had one hour and a half at the table, 
and acted in "Before Breakfast" and "Jonathan;" travelled here yes- 
terday, and acted •• Youthful Days " and «* Before Breakfast." Rather 
tough work. To-night I rest my old bones. I dine at Belcombe's. 
They go to the ball, and I read all alone. I do think [ meet with 
droller adventures than any body else. At dinner, yesterday, a foreig^ner 
told as droll a story, at which he almost choked with laughter, the dif- 
ficulties he had encountered to get to dinner at five o^clock. That he 
had left Hull that morning at six — the steamer was agoing to blow up 
I believe, however, he could not go on — ** and we were all put ashore 
at Goole, and we were obliged to walk three miles up to our knees in 
mud, till we came to de ferry; and dere vas only von chaise, vich I took. 
Some of the players vas dere, and dey could not get on." — *« Was there 
a person there of the name of Willson?* said I. — <*0h, yes; a fit tier, I 
believe. He is left too. Dey cannot get here to-night. Ha! ha! ha!" 
You may suppose my feelings. I sent away my plate, and was dandled 
up and down, with a sick stomach, in a sedan to the theatre, as soon 
as I could get one, expecting to have the mortification of dismissing 
the house. I have not time to tell the rest of the particulars; but my 
chaises, they arrived in time, a few minutes before seven, and the re- 
lief made me a<?t in tip-top spmts. 

Having nothing farther to say, /can only say, if you loves me as I 
lores you, why you are as affectionate as 

C. Mathews. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Halifax, January 9th 1827. 

<^ From Hull, Hell, and Halifax " — the saying is somewhat musty, 
but it must have been of very ancient date if the former was not su- 
perior to the latter at the time. Oh dear! if I could not have cheated 
myself like Johnny Winter with, " Well, there's one comfort— ia two 
days more I shall be within three days of going home,'' I should ccr- 

• Mr.. Mathewi* profeMional ■ervant.— A. M. 



CHARLES MATHBW8. 351 

kind out of the regular routine of his profession, even for 
** obliging*^ him, the Duke put a little case into his hand (not 
without some embarrassment in his own manner at the 
awkward position in which it was evidpnt my husband felt 
himself, and said, *^ Mathews, I am not rich enough to remu- 
nerate such talent as yours, or make a suitable return for your 
kind exertions of last night, which delighted us all; but I hope 
you will gratify me by your acceptance of the contents of 
this little purse, for the purpose of purchasing some additions 
to your collection of paintings — in remembrance of me and of 
the original of that portrait.'** 

This was so gracefully though simply expressed, that my 
husband made his bow in acknowledgment, and departed, 
deeply touched at the feeling evidence of the Duke's recollec- 
tions of what had been/ 

In relating this fact I feel unconscious that I am committing 
an impropriety; for, to my own feeling, the King of England 
lost nothing of the respect felt for him, by the admitted fact 
ihat the Prince had loved the mother of his chidren. 



TO H. B. GYLES, ESO* 

London, Nov. 39th, 1826. 

How is the dojf, and how are you, you puppy? 

You funny fellow! will you jiever settle? What wandering again? 
Lord Mayor's g^entleman, ha! ha! — house, land, all ^iven up, "all at 
one fell swoop." I should have written sooner, could I have gained any 
information on the subject Eilher you are hoaxing me, or have been 
hoaxed — I' know not which. I cannot hear of such a situation. I don^ 
know any real City men; but all of whom 1 have inquired doubt its ex- 
istence, and much more the salary. 

Yesterday I dined at Mr. Wilson's; and, knowing I should meet one 
or two M.P.'s there, and knowing that as I had nothing to say, and 
ttery Utile of that, my letter would not be worth paying for, I waited 
for that day for a frank. These I inquired of, atnd the only informa- 
tion I gained in addition was of a nature to make you leave Martley, or 
any other snug thing, and jump at such an office. Cruelty Martin said 
there is such a person about the Mansioa-houae, and that hc» always 
watted at table! I! ' 

I observed the other day that the murderers of the two old people 
near Leatherhead were taken. <* Oh! no,- 'said another. To wbich I 
replied, ** Why, the papers asserted that the poUce-officen were fone 

* The case contained a 50iL note. 



352 MBMOIRB OF 

Fop being very thinrty, and drinking water for a particularly lon^^ 
time, induced Peake to say— *< A h(q>$U8 lingum. 

Thine, truly, • 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

York, Pecember 20th, 1:826. 

I was last night gloriously repaid for all my toils, and they were 
not trifling. On Monday night, I had one hour and a half at the table, 
and acted in "Before Breakfast" and "Jonathan;" travelled here yes- 
terday, and acted " Youthful Days " and " Before Breakfast." Rather 
tough work. To-night I rest my old bones. I dine at Belcombe^s. 
They go to the ball, and I read all alone, I do think [ meet with 
droller adventures than any body else. At dinner, yesterday, a foreigner 
told as droll a story, at urhich he almost choked with laughter, the dif- 
ficulties he had encountered to get to dinner at five o'clock. That he 
had left Hull that morning at six — the steamer was agoing to blow up 
I believe, however, he could not go on — **and we were all put ashore 
at Goole, and we were obliged to walk three miles up to our knees in 
mud, till we came to de ferry; and dere vas only von chaise, vich I took. 
Some of the players vas dere, and dey could not get on." — *« Was there 
a person there of the name of Willson?* said I. — "Oh, yes; a filtler, I 
believe. He is left too. Dey cannot get here to-night. Ha! ha! ha!" 
You may suppose my feeling^ I sent away my plate, and was dandled 
up and down, with a sick stomach, in a sedan to the theatre, as soon 
as I could get one, expecting to have the mortification of dismissing 
the house. I have not time to tell the rest of the particulars; but my 
chaises, they arrived in time, a few minutes before seven, and the re- 
lief made me act in tip-top spirits. 

Having nothing farther to say, /can only say, if you loves me as I 
loves you, why yoi| are as affectionate as 

C. M ATHSWS. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Halifax, January 9th 1827. 

•'•From Hull, Hell, and Halifax " — the saying is somewhat musty, 
but it must have been of very ancient date if the former was not su- 
perior to the latter at the time. Oh dear! if I could not have cheated 
myself like Johnny Winter with, " Well, there's one comfort— ia two 
days more I shall be within three days of going home,'' I should cer- 

* Mr., Mathewi* profeMional Krvant.— A. M. 



CHARLES HiLTHfiWS. 358 

tainly have sunk under the accumalation of horron^ I may call them, 
of yesterday. 

In the first place, I left a comfortable house, with the best bed taA 
bed-room I have seen in Yorksliire; and such a doting host I have not 
to my back! He devours up my discourse, but never digests it. He 
cacn remind me of every thing I ever said to him in my life; and the 
only decorations of my bed-room were varieties of framed portraits of 
myself Well, such a day! — "all hail!" such blowing, such expecta- 
tions of being blown over! I was obliged to post eighteen miles from 
Leeds. You travelled the road in 1804, when you cried for fear dear 
little Charley would be killed by the jolting. I was stuffing my 
pocket-handkerchief into the apertures of the broken glass of the 
chaise-windows half the way. I had the beautiful anticipation of 
some one in brief authority preventing the performance on account of 
the death of the Duke. Got here in three hours and a half! There's 
posting! 

I found Paddy Manly in doubt as to our acting; «• the nobs," as he 
called them, inquiring if I could not postpone my performance. I said 
no/ if I cannot perform to-night, I would be off to London by the first 
coach. Indeed I would have popped off directly the morning paper 
arrived if I had not been under promise here; for the miserable wea- 
ther was enough to torture me without threats of shutting up theatres; 
and so we acted. There was 56/, and if many had not given up their 
places out of squeamishness, (several, unfortunately, were military, 
and they could not be expected,) we should have had 80/. it is sup- 
posed. 

Such a town! — such an inn! — such a mucky yard!— with ostlers^ 
chaises, ducks, pigeons, starved cats„ drowned kittens! Oh! apropo9, 
vide '^ stout gentkman " — exactly/ only hail, and sometimes snow, for 
his rain. 

By tlie time you receive this, it will be all over; therefore laugh, and 
reflect that then I shall nearly be in clover again, at Smith's; for there 
is real comfort.* 

C. Mathsws. 

Mr. We well, having seen a paragraph in a newspaper, 
intimating that Mr. Mathews had made some discoveries on» 
the subject of the ancient method of spelling Shakspeare't 
name, addressed a letter to him, requesting that he would 
oblige him with any information he had collected. In repl}^ 
to this communication, Mr. Mathews addressed to him the 
following letter:— 

Ivy Cottage, March 13tb, 1823^. 

Pray accept my apology for my apparent neglect You must be 
aware how much my time has been necessarily occupied in the prepa^- 

• Mr. Smith, a merchant at Leeds, and a very kind friend of my husband at aiT. 
txmee»**A* M • 

30* 



a64 WMCIIBB O^ 

ration for my new entertainment, and I tru^^that will plead tfiy. excuse 
for not having sooner furnished you with the information yqa request- 
ed. 

The paragraph which appeared in the newspapers respectii^g my 
recent discovery of the correct speiling of Shakspeare*s name was not 
quite correctly stated; an^ as you have done me the honour to apply 
to me Cconceiving, ap I do, tbajt the most trifling point relating to our 
beloved bard is interesting,) I have much pleasure in furnishing you 
with an exact statement of the information I have gained on the sub- 
ject. It was .through the kindness of Captain. Saunders, an enthusiastic 
Shak;sperian, then, Chamberlaii]^ and since Mayor, of. Stratford-upoiy 
Avon, that I had the m^ans of ascertaining, bpyond all doubt, the mode 
of pronouncing the name of the bapd dpring his lifetim^. The signa- 
tures subjoined are correctly copied from the council-bpok of the cor- 
poration of Stratford during the period that Jphn Shakspeare, the poeJL^s 
fatlier was a member of the municipal body. The entries in the book 
consist, first, of corporate accounts; and it is remarkable that the volume 
opens with those of John Shakspeare himself, whilst filling the office 
of Chamberlain in 157,3» and, on good grounds, presumed to be writ- 
ten with his own hand. Secondly, if the names of the members of 
the common-Qouncili attending or absent fpm the halls with the re- 
sults of th,eir deliberations. The name of the bard's father occurs 166 
times, under fourteen diifferent mpdes of oi;thography; viz. 



1. Shackesper ... . 4^ 

2. Shackespere . . 3 

3. Shacksper . • .4 

4. Shackspere ... . 2 

5. Shakespere . . .13 

6. Shaksper . . . 1 

7. Shakspere . ., .5 



8. Shakspeyr. .. 17 

9. Shakysper ... 4 

10. Shakyspere . . 9 

11. Shaxpeare ... 69 

12. Shaxpe;: .. , . 8 

13. Shakxpere ... 13 

14. Shaxspeare . . 9 



This then, surely, is conclusive as to the pronunciation of his name; 
for though we- are aware that, in those days, orthography was very 
loose, yet the recurrence of Shaxpeare 104 times, in my mind, proves 
the mode of proi>ounping his nar^e to be arbitrary. Most person^ ig- 
norant of rules write as they pronounce. 

Of these several' spellings, Shakspere, as in No. 7, is pronounced by 
him alone to be, without doubt, the poet's orthography, from a perusal 
of his signature .to a deed of sale made in 1613; but Shakspeare has 
been the favourite mode, with little variation, with the commentators 
and biographers. The poet's will exhibits this spelling in his last sig- 
nature thereto. The spelling adopted by Heminge and Condell, in the 
first folio edition of his plays, viz. Shakespeare, seems almost without 
authority there-fore: for the lengthening foi-ce of the intermediate e oc- 
curs but 13 times out of the 166 instances; whereas the great body of 
testimony is in favour of the short power of the vowel a in the first syl- 
lable. 

There is much reason to believe that the 8th variety was the spell- 
ing and pronunciation of John Shakspeare himself, and that the instan- 
ces are entered in his own autog^ph and the 1 1th variety. Shaxpeare, 
. Which is the predominant one, is thus written in the common^hall en- 



0HABU8 1UTKIW8. 366 

tries by Mr. Ueiuy Bogen, who was t^ butister and common clerk of 
the corporation. 

Happy in the opportunity that this communication affords me of ex- 
pressing my admiration of your praiseworthy ezertibns, I' am, dear sir, 
yours &thfully. 

C. Mathiews. 



Aa every grain gives weight to matter, I add a recollection of 
my own, that when subsequently visiting Stratford with my 
husband, we were attracted' to a group of boys playing in the 
street, by hearing one of them address his play-fellow as 
Shaxpere^ from which it appears that this pronunciation of 
the name is the popular one of the county. 

On the 8th of March the English Opera, for the eighth 
season, presented Mr. Mathews *' At Home" to his numerous 
and consistent Mends — die public. This was the announce- 
ment: — 

HOME CIRCUIT; or LONDON GLEANINGS. 

Part I.— Exordiumtr- Peciiniary Crisis: Civic Explanation of— Jack 
Project. — Schemes.— Delights of Country Acquaintance. — Visit toFul- 
ham.— Project's Plan to .make Mr. Mathews's Fortune by a mere 

iSbng^— Medley of Melodists 

Gleanings— Mr. Demus: ^'Loek a/ \Hbm«.**— Commodore Cosmo- 
g!any: ^* Look Abroad.^ — Mr. Zachary Barnacle: « Look every where.*'' 
Monument on Fish Street Hill, Pompey's Pillar.— St. Paul's, St. Peter's. 
— ^River Thames, River. Nale-r-f owrer of London, Tower of Pekin. — 
Coffee House Directory — Hermitage Hall, Fulham. 

Song — Short Stages. 

More Gleamngs^Ex-Justice, Lawyer Muzzle. — ^Penal Code. — " Do 
you know what you are doing?'* — Statutes at large. — Mr. S pinks, Rebus 
Writer, Ladies Diary. — ^Black Eves and Black Act.— Feline Oculist. — 
Benefit of betting. — Legal Inabilities. — Mr. Honey man and his Honey- 
moon. — ^Marriage.-^Barnacle's Bewailings: «* Losing all our Amuse- 
ments."-!-Vi8it to Theatrical Gallery proposed, previous to wlucb» a 
Peep at the Auction Mart, and 

Royal Exchange — in a Song. . 



968 MXMOiRs or 

ton, a« he foiesaw, was quite delightful in the part resigned 
to him* 



I^EAE GtLES, 



TO H, B. GYLES, ESQ. 

Kentish Town, Jan. 12th, 1828. 



I am glad you waited for my explanation before you acted upon my 
hifii letter. I- have often thougbC that I couki a make a very amasing 
volame upon the serious and comic consequences of acting upon sus- 
l^ioion. Nine people out often will be too clever, and understand the 
iKiotives of their neighbours. <* I know the cause of this behavioan** — 
^i Oh, don^t tell mel I know why she did it,^' &a I fall into the er* 
ror, but not so often as my wife. My favourite phrase is, ** Have you 
tvidtnce f" 

That ** confounded applause ** is delicious. " I thank thee, Jew ;'* 
I should never have known it but for you.* My success is triumphant 
— six houses crammed->-pit overflowing every night — ^not a 300 house 
from the second night before — my worst 500. The greatest pit ever 
known (last year,) Kean, 1542. ; fast Wednesday, 1692. 18«. I am 
paid so splendidly that you would be amazed; but ** 1 am forbid^' — 
prison house — ^ I have an oath ;'^ that i«, I am bound in honour) Only 
think-^a run of " The Critic" and " Killing no Murder!"— Unprece- 
dented! With hackneyed pieces, not a seat to be had till Monday-, 
week! 

Mine to thine, — Now write and beg pardon, and that immediately. 

liver sincerely, yours, 

C« Mathews. 

In March, Mr. Mathews, having an engagement to act ir 
Edinburgh, set off at the close of his first part of his Drurj 
Lane engagement to fulfil it, but was taken violently ill pre* 
vionsly to his arrival in York, where he was compelled to 
temain for -some days. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

York, March 17th, 1828. 

I am happy to say that I am now pronounced in a state fit to travel 
with perfect safety. Thank God that tny bodily health and my spirits 



* An error of ^be press io a newspafier acooant of Mr. Mathews's noeptioa at 
l4ane. In describing tlie a[ * 
of ** oonfoandiBg.*'->A. M. 



2"JjyJ^n«'__l.n dejjcribingtlie applause, they need the word *'eoDfottnded,*'ia< 



sx. 



CHARLES KATHEWS. 

hava ^iipported me tbiroaghoat the tri&l! My greatest anxiety has 
been for Marray. I should have gone to-day, and, in fact, am well 
enoagh; but Belcomb^ (^ oh, if ever there was an angel!*') wishes to 
make assurance doubly sure, and has prevailed on me to go to-mor> 
row, and then only to Newcastle ; and, if I do jaot feel still equal to 
th& journey, I will stop. 

We of the fidget family have our advantages unquestionably. It is 
perhaps, as Croaker says, ** because we grieve for our misfortunes be- 
fore they arrive that w^ don't feel them when they oome;" but certain 
it is, that my spirits, si^jcct as they are to depression without cause, 
appear ip rally under misfortune — they have not forsaken me for a 
«.UigIe mj^ment since my confinement^ 

C. Mathbws. 



TO MRS. MATHBWS. 

Edinburgh, March 21st, 1838. 

Gonsiderij^S: that at this time last Friday I was laid on my back, 
^ivith the perfect conviction that I dare not stir for a week (for that was 
my sentence from Sir Astley Cooper, wben I was on the wing for 
IM^anchester,) and that I am now two hundred miles farther north, with 
one night's faligno over, and SOU in my pocket, I think you may have 
x^asoa to ^* thank God it was no worse," and rejoice. 

Two postponements, you may suppose, did not help our first night's 
house; and my old friend and adjunct, the snow, arrived on the same 
day with myself. I told you sa The weather was delicious all the 
time I was in bed. I commenced last night with " Ollapod," and ** Be- 
fore Breakfast." The farce went capitally. To-day I rest, and am 
happy that I am not compelled to go act. I am in clover at Murray's 
—every comfort that I can wish. 

I have procured Hhe certificates of both marriage and baptism at 
Yo^k.^ I found out from Juhufiy Winter that Young had been doing 
good by stealth, and will blush to find it fame, I- dare say. He only 
knew poor John by my description, and he gave him 2K having sent 
for him while passing through York. He proposed to me,^at the meet^. 
ing for the Brunswickcrs, that fpur or five of us should club and allow 
Wintet about 10/. a year; but not a word that he had himself relieved 
him. * 

Your kind assurances and affection are most gratifying to me. I 
4m most delighted that you were spared the horrors and fatigue of a 
journey, and tlye additional disappointment of not overtaking me. h 
am grateful for your determination. 

I am now PERFECTLY restored, without fear of relapse. I promised 
Belcombe to see the celebrated Liston* on my arrival He has seen 
me, and pronounces me well. Therefore be at ease, 

CMATinpEifS.. 

• Tbe 8!iirgeos, and nslattoa to die great eomedian«r:A\ H. 



I'^Q MSMoins or 



TO MRS. MATHEWa 

Glasgow, March aist, 1838. 

I 'Write UrannouQce my safe arrival here last night in petfeet health* 
and spirits. All is well* and prosperous. 

"You deriF" found me out in four minutes and a half after my ar- 
rival and was very mad before we parted, swearing he would never get 
drunk any more — *'he was so ashamed of his behavipur before that an- 
gelic creature when Hook made him drink too mucl|.** He got yery 
tipsy with whisky toddy in repenting of hii former- sin. God bless 
you! 

C. Mathews. 

My husband, on his way homewards from the north, just 
after assize tiqie, on entering the mail, w.as fortunate enough 
to find only two gentlemen, who, being seated opposite to 
each other, left him the fourth seat for his legs. This comfort 
was a very unusual instance of good luck to my husband, who 
never entered a public coach without encountering either a 
baby in. arms, a sick child, or a man in a consumption. The 
gentlemen passengers were very agreeable men. One, a 
Scotchman, always a safe card. At the close of the evening, 
the latter encased his head and throat in an enormous fold of 
white lineii, and then sunk back to sleep, looking like the 
veiled prophetj while the other, an Englishman, was charac- 
teristically satisfied with a "comfortable*" My husband, 
who was never a wrapper-up, sat prepared to receive the 
night as a friend rather than as an enemy, content and happy 
at the advantage already mentioned. 

Just as the trio had sunk in to. their first forgetfulness, before 
the. coachman or guard could "murder sleep'' with the 
startling intimation of ** Going no farther!" they were 
awaked by the sudden stoppage of the vehicle, a light at the 
door- of an inn, and a party of rough discordant voices, 
bidding, however, a cordial farewell to a large, becoated, and 
portentous stranger., who, in a^ broad Yorkshire dialect, 
wished his companions *< a good night," reminding them that 
he had paid his share of the reckoning, when, to the great 
discomfiture of our three inaides, the door of the mail was 
opened, and the fourth passenger invited by the guard to 
enter without farther loss of time. 

Siaee the three gentlemen had " dropped off," the weather 
had suddenly changed from frost to snow, A heavy sleet 
had fallen; and the man we have mentioned quitted the open 



CHARLES MATHBW8. 87l 

air, and entered the coach with, appropriately enoafi|fa, a 
frieze coat on, powdered all over with the effects of the 
weather. All shrunk from the danip stranger , who felt all 
the aciive embarrassment which attends ttie entrance into a 
dark carriage, amongst an uncounted party, in a total ig- 
norance of the whereabout the vacant seat, and which no 
courteous hand directed him to. He was pushed, first by 
one, then the other, and at last my husband forcibly, in 
keeping him off from his own person, lodged the huge, 
rough-coated animal into the space he was destined to fill* 
All were discontented at this intrusion, and sufficiently 
chilled and disturbed to be in a very ill-humour with the 
odious/oMf/A. They, however, s6emed tacidy to agree not 
to speak to the new comer, but endeavour to regain their 
before happy dnconsciousn^ss. But they had not been 
spending a jovial evening, as he had whose ** absence '^ they 
would have " doted upon." He was in any thing but a 
sleeping mood; and after a minute's rustling about, in order 
to settle himself y treading upon my husband's toes, elbowing 
his neighbour, begging pardon for his so doing, &c. all which 
was received with a smlen silence, he asked, in a voice which 
seemed thunder to the sleepers, while he held the pull of the 
window in one hand— i" €oompariy ! oop or down?*' An^ 
swer made they none. 

Again he inquired, still dubious of what might be " agreea- 
ble," and desirous to prove himself a polished gentleman^ 
* Coompany! oop or down?" Still receiving no answer, a 
jmothered oath bespoke his disgust at such an uncourteous 
-etum for that polity consideratipn for his follow-passengers; 
md, with some exasperation of tone, he repeated, "Dom 
t? — ^I say, Coompany — oop or — down?'*^ Still not a word'; 
nd, with another '* dom,^* he allowed *^ t'window " to remain 
^ouxn. 
It was clear to the half-perceptions of the drowsy travellers 
lat he of the fneze coat had laid in enough spirit to keep him 
om chilliness, and they hoped the potency of his precaution 
ould soon make him unconscious, as they were disposed to 
3. But, no: still he was resdess and talkative. All at once 
owever, a 

" Change came o*et the spirit of his dream;" 

e, it appeared, for the first time, perceived the alteration in 
le weather. His Excitement at the door of the little inn, where 
3 had ltd his firiends, had caused him totally to Overlook 



972 MEMOiBB or 

the snow; and he saw it now with all that stupid wonder 
widi which isuch persons receire the most natur^ transitions, 
and he exclaimed, in audible soliloquy, " Eh! ma God! — 
what's this? whoigh! the whole country s covered wi snowf — 
eh! it's awM. Coompany! — wake up and see t' snow! — 
eh! they're aH asleep. Good God! whoigh it's wonderful and 
^wful! — Good Lord, what a noight — what a noight! Eh! 
God presarve all poor creters on the western coast this 
noight!" Then roaring "out once more, in increased vehe- 
mence of tone, *^ Coompany! wake, I say, and see t' noight! — 
Eh! they're dead, I reckdb! — eh, ma God! what a noight! — 
awful, I reckon!" 

In this manner did he go on, until the patience of the Eng- 
lish gentleman was tired dtit, and he at length spoke: — " I 
wish, sir, you'd show soitie feeling tor vs, and hold your 
tongue. We were all asleep when you came in, and you've 
done nothing but talk and disturb us ever since. You're a 
positive nww^n/'tf." 

"Eh!" said he of the frieze coat; "1 loike that, indeed! 
dve as much right here, I reckon, as others — dom/ awve 
paid my fare, ^rnt I?*' said he, (his voice rising as he 
remembered his claims to consideration,) " I'm a respectable 
man— my name's John Luckie— I owes nobody onything. 
1 pay King's taxes — ^I'm a respectable man, I say. Aw help 
to support Church and State." 

On he went, with all the senseless swagger of cup valour 
and s6lf-laudation, till he of the " comfortaEU^* again grum- 
bled out his anger. Again the huge drover (for such he was) 
thundered forth his rights and summed up his title to respect 
^ — "Eh! dom! — what have i done? I comm'd into t' coach 
loike a gentleman! didn't I? I was civil! wasn't I? I said, 
Coompany^ oop or down? Ye none o' ye had the politeness 
\o answer! ye were not loiht gentlemen!!! Dom! Fse a 
Respectable man — I've no book-laming, but I pay King's 
^xes! My name's John Luckie: I care for nobody. I'm a 
Respectable man, I say." Then looking again out of the 
window, and relapsing into his ejaculatory mood arid stupid 
^abstraction, — " Eh! what an awful noight! Lord be merciful 
to all mariners this noight! Lord be merciful to all poor souls 
^n the western coast!" he hiccupped out, and again the gentle- 
man assailed with a command that he would be sile7it. John 
Luckie at this became every moment louder and more intolera- 
Ible. At length his sense of oppression became so strong that 
his independence reached its climax, and he declared that he 
would not hold his tongue, or be quiet—" no, not for Baron 



CUAftLES 1IATHBW8. 373 

HiillcXtk himself, nor if the gwat Mi. Brougham (or, as he 
pronoanced the name Mr. Brvffum^) hitmelf was in t' 
coach." 

My husband, who found all tendency to sleep broken up 
by this obstreperous fellow, now conceived a desire to amuse 
himself with- his fellow -passenger; and, just ?a John Luckie's 
last declaration was uttered, Mr. Mathews leant forward to 
him, and in a half- whisper said, with affected caution, " Hush! 
you are not aware, but you have been speaking all this time 
to Baron Hullock himself!" The drover seemed to quail 
under this intimation: — <* Whoigh! you don't day so?" — 
" Fact^ I assure you; and opposite to him is Lady HuUuck?" 
(The Scotchman with the white drapery over his head began 
to titter at this. " Whoigh! good God! don't tell me that I 
Eh! ^hat shall I do? Good Lord! what have I said? Art 
thou sure?" — ** I am indeed,'.' said Mr. Mathews; " they are 
ISaron and Lady Hullock, and / am Mr. Brougham." — 
'" Eh!" said the man in a tone of actual terror, " let me go!" 
*— and struggling to open the coach door — "let me go! I'm 
no coompany for sitch gentlefolks; aw've no book-laming. 
Let me get out here, guard! Stop! I woint roide here ony 
longer!" The guard was insensible to this; and on went the 
coach, and still John Luckie struggled; and in his rough and 
clumsy movements a little of my husband's ventriloquy 
proved a useful auxiliary to urge his welcome departure; and 
a child suddenly cried out as if hurt. " Eh! my God! what, 
is there a bairn i* t' coach too? Eh! my Lord Baron, pray 
forgive me, I meant no offence. My name's John Luckie. I 
said, coompany oop or down? I meant to be civil. Eh! my 
Lady Hullock, I hope I've not hurt thy bairn." The child's 
cries now increased. *' Eh! ma bairn, where ort thee? 
Bom! what must I do? Guard! stop and let me out! Eh! 
what a noight! Guard! I'm not fit coompany for Baron 
Hullock and Mr, Bruffem, I know. Let me out, I say!" 
At last his voice reached the higher powers, and the coach 
stopped, and as soon out rolled this porpoise of a man, who 
again begging the Baron and his Lady to overlook hie 
rudeness, and asking pardon of '* Mr, Brufftm^'* he was witl^ 
some dijQGiculty hoisted upon the top of the mail, and off it 
drove. 

The two inside gentlemen (who had been trying to stifle 
their amusement) now laughed out, and thanking Mr« 
Mathews for his device, they all three composed themselves, 
only now and then catching by the wind a broken phrase 

VOL, I. — 32 



374 1KB1IO1R0 oir 

from John'Luckie, as he gave vent to his feelings to the 
coachman and guard: — " Baron HuUock" — " Bairn "— " My 
Lady HuUock " — ** Mr. Bruffem," &c.; all which must have 
puzzled his listeners, without, who doubtless attributed his 
account to the quantity of rum-toddy which they might 
suppose had filled his brain with such unreal moekeries. 

When the sleeping trio awoke, they found John Luckie 
had been dropped at his destination, where he would again, 
no doubt, recount, with a flourish of his own, his adventures 
with his dignified fellow-paSsengers, '* Baron and Lady 
Hullock, and' Mr. BrufFem." 



DSAB MiTHKW9, 



TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Brighton. 



How can yoii wonder that a foreigner should fail to find you out at 
your friend's house,* when it is well known that Bloomsbury is a terra 
ineogmia even to Englishmen, since it has been placed under ban and 
proscription by Theodore Hook. How people with the smallest pre- 
tension to fashion can find their way to the Britisli Museum, I cannot 
understand. Quere, are there any fashionables among its visiters? 

Don't pretend to be indifferent to excitement, when you know you 
cannot live without it. Almost all professors (like the house-painters 
and chimney-sweepers) have their own ]ieculiar diseases^ the histrionic 
malady being an insatiable craving for stimulants of some sort; and the 
most successful performers being generally the most subject to the 
complaint. I have elsewhere said — 

" That if one tolerable page appears 
In Folly's volume, 'tis the actors leaf, 
Who dries his own by drawing others' tears, 
And raising present mirth makes glad his future years." 

But thi« fnust have been said for the sake of the rhyme, for my reason 
knew well enough that, even if it were true as to tragedians (which 
I doubt,) the eornic actor generally saddens himself by enlivening 
others, a fact which has been abundantly confirmed from the day of ther 
celebrated Italian Buffone down to our own. This may seem rather 
hard, as he reverses the fate of many a poet, who dies to live, while the 
performer — 

« His life a fla^, his memory a dream. 
Oblivious, downward drops in Letlie's stream," 

* When in London for a day or two, Mr. Mathewi usually aUyed in Gower 
fitreet, at airtcnd'tboute, wliece he received hii morning vi8iten.^A. M; 



CHAHLBS MATHEWS* 375 

as soon as ever the bre&th is out of his body you must recollect, amieo 
-mio, that he has bis apotheosis while he is living', and a glorious one it 
is. Take for instance, *• Mathews at Home;" ins theatre crowded to 
the ceiling^, himself the focus of thousands of riveted eyes, and hold- 
ing such an absolute power of fascination over the passions of his au- 
dience, that at a single bidding they shall either melt into tears or burst 
into roara of irrepressible laughter, while the wiiole building seems to 
vibrate with their tumultuous applause. Is not this an apotheosis? and 
IS their any mortal society, or resource, that will not appear stale, flat, 
and unprofitable, after such a deification ? This is the feeling, coupled 
with the lassitude occasioned by over-exertion, both mental and bodily, 
that creates the craving for stimulants, which the sufferers have too 
often sought in the bottle, the dice-box, or in reckless dissipation. 
How natural! I had almost said, liow venial is the mistake; and yet 
how little indulgence does tlie public evince even for eiTore of its own 
creation. We are like weak mothers who spoil their children, and 
then whip them for being spoilt. 

You should thank Heaven fasting everyday of yourlife, that you have 
never been templed to seek relief in any of these perilous expedients, 
but have found a sufficient resource and stimulant in the formation of 
your Theatrical Museum and Picture Gallery. Every man should have a 
hobby; but to you it is indispensable; and it is fortunate that you 
selected one which delights your friends as well as yourself. There 
you sit at Kentish Town, (1 promise never to call at Hlghgate again) 
with a crowd of Thespian heads all around you, yourself enacting the 
part of audience, and listening with delight to the eloquent associations 
with which you are encircled, associations that embrace the whole 
range of modern histrionic and artistical talent. This is the only enter- 
tainment worthy your ei\joyment, after a triumphant and convulsed 
bumper at the Stmnd; and you have shown your good sense, as well 
as good taste, in selecting it. 

It is the want of this hobby that makes you so fidgety and nervous 
when you are absent from home; and Brighton only finds more favour 
in your eyes than other places because it is more gay and stimulant, and 
offers more numerous substitutes for the museum. How often have I 
heard you exclaim, ** There is nothing out of London like Brighton hi 
the season. The whole town is a fair. If I lean out of my window at 
the Old Ship, I nod or chat to every fifth man that passes. If I mount 
my little white nag, and ride from Kemp Town to Brunswick Terrace, 
I am sure of half a dozen invitations to dinner. Thi? I call enjoying 
life." 

But the medal had its reverse, even at Brighton. How inexorably 
have I heard you anathematise " the infernal dark hour or two before 
dinner!" How angrily have [ heaixl you condemn the folly of seven 
o'clock meals, and how beseechingly have you implored an early hour 
on receiving an invitation. This was all from your want of constant 
excitement, and your inability to occupy the gloomy houre that inter- 
vened between the ride of the morning and the hilarious table of the 
evening. In short, you wanted the museum and gallery, your books, 
pictures, and home. And yet you are not of an excitable temperament, 
and ai'e not aware that you require stimulants more than other people! 
If you had said perfoimers instead of people, I might have cpnqcded, 



376 MEKQiRS or 

the point; but 3r|>ur asserting it broadly, witliout any qualifi€<ilion,. only 
proves, that whatever else you may know, you don't know yourself. 
Which of us does? I do; for I am sure, that in spite of all my saucy, 
long-winded epistles, 1 am, dear Mathews, 

Really and truly youra, 

IIORATIO SXITB. 

Mr. Smith's discernment is especially shown in this let- 
ter. He looked completely into my husband's nature. When 
he said stimulants were necessary to his happiness, he spoke 
the truth; nay, his healili was dependent upon them. Excite- 
ment was the one thing needful to hold up his mind, which 
invariably sunk without it. This made him the sensitive 
creature he was. Nay, his genius was nursed and kept alive 
by what, in a less mercurial constitution, would have been 
called agitation. When Mr. Smith congratulates him upon 
his one hohhy^ which stood so exclusively instead of less 
worthy excitement; for, as he says, he neither sought 
Stimulants in " the bottle, the dice-box, nor in reckless dissi- 
pation." Mr. Mathews bad been, I believe a tolerable 
billiard-player; but his lameness made it latterly too fatiguing 
an amusement to be pursued, even when he found a table in 
a Prince's house. He did not rightly understand any game 
at cards, or, indeed, any other. Nor did he like them, unless 
he found himself, at any jovial season in the country, amongst 
a party of young people; and then his enjoyment of a round 
game was even childish. He would be noisy and full of all 
sorts of absurdity, and gather up his earnings with boyish 
delight, in order, when the game was^ XMi^ri to give them 
away; or else, sometimes, to pocket his gains with affected 
triumph, in imitation of a child'^s chuckle, though he would 
not till the end part with his fish for money, however he dis- 
tressed the table by his monopoly. Indeed, like Goldsmith, 
his behaviour to children was that of the most simple child. 
He generally addressed them in the tones and manner of 
childhood, always making himself the age of those to whom 
he talked. At first the little creatures would look surprised, 
sometimes frightened; but this effect soon wore off as he 
persevered; and it always ended in his being accepted as a 
playmate. The first wonder over, ever after he was con- 
sidered by them as a boy, for sucTi was his voice and manner. 

I remember our travelling into Suffolk once, with Mrs. 
Richard Wilson, on a Christmas visit, and stopping at a village 
inn for refreshment, while the horses baited. Soon after, we 
saw my hiisband near the door, with half a dozen boys of 



CBAKL98 KiLTBEWff. 377 

about eight years old, playing at marbles, bawling and 
'wrangling about the game, in their childish manner, and 
every one of his companions as grave and earnest with him 
as if they were all of the same age, and used to him all their 
lives. There he was. ** You Bill Atkinsl I say, you've no 
right to that taw." — '* I have," said Bill. — "I say, you, 
haven't!" — "Ah! you cheat! I won't play with you no 
more." And thus eventually he picked a quarrel with one of 
them, and offered to fight. He was met with spirit by the 
boy in question, and, finding this, he resumed his good- 
humour, and made a present to his adversary of the marbles 
be* had won, and left them all pleased with the farge boy. 
We inquired how he became so regularly installed amongst 
these urchins in so short a time. He told us that he went up 
to them as they were playing, and, assuming the tone and 
words suited to their age and the occasion, asked if he might 
play with them? They all looked up with something •like 
alarm mixed with wonder, and stared at him in silence for a 
minute. He reiterated his wish to join them, and they all 
looked gravely and sheepishly at each other. He still urged 
them, till at last, after some demur, the smallest of the party 
boldly cried, " Let him play!" — " Very well, said another? 
encouraged by his friend's example; "very well; but have 
you got any marbles?" — **No," said the new comer; "but 
I've a penny." — " Well, then, let him buy some of yours, 
Tom; you've got plenty to sell." The bargain was soon 
completed, and he knuckled down, soon learned several of 
their names, and thus we found him with them. It was most 
diverting to observe how completely the boys had ceased to 
regard him as any thing but what he- said he was No 
giggling* no suspicion, but a thorough confidence at last in the 
reality of his being a child, though of "larger growth" than 
themselves. As he quitted them, he said he must go to his 
" Ma," and joined us; the boys looking after him and at us, 
for a moment, but immediately resuming their play, seemingly 
without any reflection upon the incident. 

With some children (at the houses where he familiarly^ 
visited) he never allowed himself to appear other, when they 
were by, than one of their own age, and with this, after the 
first surprise, alarm, or perhaps, laughter, they fell into the 
effect as completely as if they had forgotten his size. In fact, 
his face bore litde contradiction to his tones, words, and man- 
ner: such was the wonderful power he possessed over his 
features, that he had command of every possible expressiokO. 
that belongs to the human countenance from puling infanc\t 



378 MEMOIRS or 

to impotent old age, from inanity to the highest point of ur- 
tellectual meaning. A little girl of Mr. Rowland Stephenson's 
for several years never doubted his being what he seemed to 
be, and invariably called him " that boy-»man." 

To those who were too shy to talk with him, he talked for, 
holding a colloquy with himself, which seldom failed to stir 
up the mw-represented into something like self-defence, when 
any opinion or act of theirs was distorted, or not agreeing with 
their own feelings or expressions; then followed an earnest 
dialogue, which generally ended in perfect good will, and a 
belief in their equality in understanding and years. 

I cannot give a stronger instance of his power in this way 
than a deception he practised upon Mr. Liston, who, from 
long and intimate knowledge, must have been pretty well ac- 
quainted with all his friend's varieties of voice, &c.; — Mr. Ma- 
thews called on some sudden business one day when Mr. 
Liston was making a rather late toilette* He was in haste» 
and after waiting a few minutes for Mr. Liston's appearance^ 
who had been apprised of his. call, asked leave to go up to? 
his friend's dressing-room. There he knocked, and in a 
child's voice requested to have the door opened, as he had a 
message from Mr. Mathews to deliver. Mr. Liston, believ- 
ing that his own boy stood at the door, desired him to go 
down and say, he would follow him as soon as possible. 
The boy, however, persevered in his request to be admitted; 
and his father persisted in refusing, till at last, harassed with 
the child's unaccountable perversity and unwonted disobe- 
dience, parental patience could extend no farther, and half- 
wondering, half-angry at the boy's pertinacity, hastily ap-- 
proachod the door, uttering severe reproof at such a brawling- 
importunity, and instead of little Johnny ^ he found his full- 
grown baby friend! 

Mr. Leigh Hunt well describes Mr. Mathews's power of 
imitating children, and at the same time touches, in his own 
delightful manner, upon other points of excellence in him, 
who has left behind him nothing; of his talent but the memory 
of what it was.* 

♦"Among the visiters at Sydenham was Mr. Mathews, the come- 
dian. I have t\ad the pleasure of seeing him there more than once, 
and of witnessing his imitations, which, admirable as they are on the 
stftge, are still more so in a private ro9.m. Once on a way, his wife 
used to come with him, and charitably made tea for ust. 'I'he other 
day I had the pleasure of seeing them at their own table; and t 
thought, that if old Time, with unusual courtesy, had spared the 
^^eet countenance on the one, h^ had given more force and Intereft 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 379f 

I did not want Mr. Leigh Hunt's " Sweet Remembrancer" 
of the happy days alluded to, which I shared in at the '* Merry 

to that of the other in the very plotighingf of it up. Strong lines 
have been cut, ami the face has stood it well. I have seldom been 
more surprised than in coming close to Mr. Mathews on that occasion, 
and in seeing the bust that he has in his gallery of his friend Mr. 
lL.iston. Some of these comic actors, like comic writers, are as un- 
farcical as can be imagined, in their interior. The taste for humour 
comes to them by the force of contrast. The last time I saw Mr. 
Mathews his face appeared to i^e insignificant to what it was then. 
On the former occasion he looked like an irritable in-door pet; on 
the latter, he seemed to have been grappling with the world, and to 
have got vigour by it. >1is face had looked out upon the Atlantic, and 
said to the old waves,* * Buffet on; I have seen trouble as well as you.*^ 
The paralytic affection, or whatever it was, which twisted his mouth 
when young, had formerly appeared to be master of his face, and given 
it a character of indecision and alarm; it now seemed a minor thing; a 
twist in a piece of old oak. And what a bust was Mr. Liston's; the 
mouth and chin, with the throat under it, hung like an old bag, but the 
upper part of the head is as fine as possible; there is speculation, a 
tooth out, and an elevation of character in it, as unlike the Liston on 
the stage as Ltwr is to Kmg Pippin, One might imagine Laberius 
to have had such a face. The reasons why Mr. Mathews's imitattons 
are still better in private than in public are, that he is more at his ease 
personally, more secure of his audience (**fit, though few '*) and able 
to interest them with traits of private character, which could not be in- 
troduced on the stage. He gives, for instance, to persons wliom he 
thinks will take it rightly, a picture of tl.ie manners and conversation 
of Sir Walter Scott, highly creditable to that celebrated pereon, and 
calculated to add regard to admiration. His commonest imitations are 
not supeificial; something of the mind and character of the individual 
is always insinuated, often with a dramatic dressing, and plenty of sauce 
piquante. At Sydenham he used to give us a dialogue among the 
actors, each of whom found fuult with another for some defect or ex- 
cess of his own: Kemble objecting to slippers, Munden to grimace, and 
£0 on. His representation of Incledon was extraordinary; his nose 
fieemed actually to have become aquiline. It is a pity I cannot put 
<if>on paper the singular gabblings of that actor, as represented by Mr. 
Mathews: the lax and sailor like twist of mind with which every 
thing hung upon lura,4ind his profane pieties in quoting from the Bible, 
for which, and swearing, he seemed to have an equal reverence. He 
appeared to be charitable to every body but Mr. Braham. He would 
be described as saying to his friend Holman, for instance, * My dear 
George, don't be abusive. George, don't insult; don't be indecent; by 
G — d I you should take the beam out of your oWn eye ! What the devil 
is it! You know in the Bible something' — (the a very broad) — * about 
a beam, my dear George — and — and— and a mote — ^you'll find it in any 
part of the Bible; yes, George, my dear boy, the Bible, by God!" 
(And then with fervour and reverence) — « The Holy Scriptures, G — d 
d — me!* He swore as dreadfully as a devout knight errant. Bra 
^m, whose trumpet blew down his wooden walls, he could not endure. 



380 MBuonu aF 

Bachelor's " cottage, at Sydenham for so many years, dur- 
ing which I might aptly have quoted the lines in one of 
O'Keefe's operas — 

« Of all the days that f have seen, 
I dearly love but one day— 
And that's the day that comes between 
The Saturday and Monday.'* 

for then our little carriage was in readiness, early in the af-^ 
temoon, to convey us to this rustic dwelling — all simplicitjr 
without, all brilliancy within. There, hebdomadally, were 
found a knot of the £rst talents of the age; and, amongst ihe- 

He is represented as saying^ one day, with a strange mixture of imagi- 
nation and matter-of-fact, that <* he only wished his beloved master, 
Mr. Jackson, could come down from heaven and take the Exeter stage 
to London, to hear that d — d Jew!** 

As Mr. Hook made his extemporary verses on us all» so Mr. Mathews 
one day g^ve an extempore imitation of us all round; with the excep- 
tion of a fierce young critic, who happened to be present, and in whose 
appearance and manner he pronounced, that there was no handle for 
mimicry. This may have been intended as a politeness towards a com- 
parative stranger, perhaps as a piece of policy; and the laughter was 
not missed by it; at all events, the critic was both good-humoured and 
self-satisfied enough to have borne the mimiciy; and no harm would 
have come of it. 

One morning, after stopping all night, I was getting up to breakfast, 
when I heard the noise of a little boy having his ftice washed. Our 
host was a merry bachelor, and to the rasiness of a priest might, for 
aught I know, liave added the fraternity ; but I liad never heai^ of it, 
and still less expected to find a child in his house. More obvious and 
obstreporous proofs, however, of the existence of a boy with a dirty 
face could not have been met with. You heard the child cry, and ob- 
jecting; then the woman, remonstrating; then the cries of the child 
were snubbed, and swallowed up in the hard towel, and at intervals 
out came his voice, blubbering and deploring, and was again swallow- 
ed up. At breakfast, the child being pitied^ I ventured to speak about 
it, and was laughing and. sympathizing in perfect good faith, when Mr. 
Mathews came in, and i found that the little lu-chin was he. The 
same morning he gave us his immortal imitation of old Tate Wilkin- 
' son, patentee of the York Theatre. Tate bad been a little too merry 
in his youth, and was very melancholy in old age; he had had a wander- 
ing mind and a decrepid body; and being manager of n theatre, a hus- 
band, and a rat-catcher, he would speak in bis wanderings 'variety of 
wretchedness;* he would interweave, for instance, all at once, the sub- 
ject of a new engagement at his theatre, the rats, a veal pie, Garrick, 
and Mrs. Siddons, and Mrs. Tate, and the Doctor. 1 do not pretend to 
pve a specimen, Mr. Mathews alone can do it,**— /^/g^ Hunt*a **Lordi 
Bj^ranandJUs Cuniemporarie9». 



CHARLES MATHEWS. 381 

perpetual advantages I derived from being the wife of a clever 
man, I was allowed the delight of always being a partaker of 
these intellectual treats. Our excellent and kind friend, Mr. 
Thomas Hill's well-regulated hospitality was the theme of 
every body's praise and pleasure who ever visited him; and, 
with one exception just made, his house was the resort of the 
highest order of intellect and literary acquirement. The ac- 
commodation of Mr. Lee's house and table did not, luckily, 
admit of more than could conduce to their mutual pleasure. 
£ach party was well chosen and assorted, never exceeding a 
dozen; and I had the honour to occupy the only spare room. 
All other guests who were too fastidious to be content with 
the accommodation of the neighbouring inn returning to town. 
Now and then a lady would share my short interval of draw- 
ing-room retirement; but this did not so oft occur as it other- 
wise would, had the distance from London been less, or the 
cottage more accommodating of beds. Thus five times out 
of six I was the only lady; and I monopolized all the advan-. 
tage of such society, being allowed always to outstanding 
custom, and seldom finding myself waiting tea for the gen- 
tlemen, whose courtesy was strained to answer generally the 
first summons from the drawing-room. 

What happy days were those! — days of unmingled plea- 
sure, laid up in grateful memory of the friend who dispensed 
so much happiness to my early days, even though only for 
the sake of my dear husband, whom he had known from his 
boyhood. Those who, like myself, have survived the Syd- 
enham Sundays, will, like me, remember them with retror 
spective gratification; for, although I was the only one pre- 
sent who did not contribute to the treat, yet those who did 
were not without their reward. 

The following brief but pleasing letter was written in con- 
sequence of Mr. Mathews having studied a new character 
expressly for Mr. Harley's benefit at Drury Lane. 

TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

91, Great Russel-street, Bedford-square, 
May 29th, 1821. 
My dear Mathews, 

I have to convey to y<m a leash of facta. 

Fact first — Oldlkirt sat upon you like an old friend : and all who 
honoured my ^ At Home " were unanimous upon that point.* 

* Jonathan Oidskirt, in the comedy of ** Who Wants a Gaioea?*' His usual part 
of Solonum Oundy was performed by the JEft'ii^/Sciard— A. M. 



9B^ MEMOIRS OF 

Fact teeond — I sincerely thank you for your kind co-operation last 
evening. 
Fact thirds 

I am, dear Mathews, 

Your obliged and faithful servant, 

J. P. Harlet. 
To G. Mathews, Esq. &c. Sec, 



I feel pleasure in being able to present the reader with an-^ 
Other of Mr. Horatio Smith's admirable letters. 



TO C. MATHEWS, ESQ. 

Brighton, 10, Hanover Crescent. 

Our iiery friend, " The Copper Captain," saw you last Wednesday, 
told you he was coming to Brighton, and yet you neither charged him 
with message or mission for me. How is this ? Are you in a pet 
with my last letter 7 with my last letter wherein I took you sharply to 
task for asserting that you did not require excitement more than other 
' men? Luckily you are never sulky — to little fumes and peevish out- 
Vreaks you will hardly deny your liability; but, as these never last 
longer than '* one with moderate haste coun( ^ hundred,^* do let me 
hear from you soon, ** if thou lov'st me, Hal.** To put you in good hu- 
mour again, I must tell you that Mahomet, yesterday, pointed out to a 
friend of mine a suspended crutch, which he asserted to have been 
yours, and that he had enabled you to throw it away by shampooing 
yon! There! if this assertion of your restored eqoicravity does not 
lessen your equanimity, nothing will. So don't get into a passion, or 
you never will get out. 

After despatching my last saucy letter, it occurred to me that ages 
and 8Dras have their peculiar diseases both mental and corpereal, as 
well as the different trades and professions; and that the epidemic of 
the present century is that very craving for excitement which I have 
attributed to theatrical performers. ^ that you and your Thespian 
brethren, if my notions be correcti only share the general contagion ; 
though in your case it may assume a more inflammatory type. Histo- 
rians have noticed that a similar intellectual activity and hungering 
for stimulants characterised the sixteenth century, — a restlessness 
which they have attributed to the Reformation and the Discovery of 
America: the former giving a new freedom, development, and impetus 
to the reasoning faculties of man; while the lattef*, by the romantic ad- 
ventures and marvellous discoveries with which it startled the world, 
gave an inappeasable excitement to the imagfinative faculties. With- 
out the former we might never have had Milton*s ** Paradise Lost," 
nor without the latter, Shakspeare*s ** Enchanted Island,*' which was 
actually suggested by a published voyage td the Straits of Magellan. 
There is a fine passage apropoi to this subject at the beginning of Haz- 



CHARUS lUTHSWS. 399. 

litt's Lectures on the Elizabethan Dramatic Literature ; bat I forget 
the exact turn it takes, and I hav^nt got the book» 

Well — the nineteenth century has many similar characteristics. The 
French Revolution, with the wars, convulsions, and marvellous changes 
it engendered, was a political Reformation ; and, instead of discovering 
vne new world, the improvements in optics, and the consequent perfec- 
tionment of telescopes and microscopes^ have drawn up the curtain of 
Nature, and revealed to us hundreds of new worlds^ and myriads of 
animated beings either in the heavens above or in the earth beneath, 
until we are all ag'og for prodigies and marvels. Steam-boats and rail- 
roads too liave given us a new dominion over time and space ; and the 
improvements in both expand with such rapidity that nothing seems 
impossible, and we have all made up our minds to stare and keep 
moving, without exactly knowing what we are to expect, nor where 
we are to stop. All is feverish restlessness, a hungering and thirsting 
after excitement; mental dram-drinking is the rage, and we swallow 
stimulants till we are all intoxicated together. The steam-engine and 
the rail-road pervade the moral as well as the physical world. All it 
hurry scurry, slap-bang, dash! whiz! Books are written in a week^ 
and read in an hour — ^fortunes are made or lost in a morning. Com* 
merce is ruinous speculation ; the stage is all melo-drama and dia> 
blerie; the pulpit appeals to the passions — ^not the reason; society is a 
maddening vortex, there is no repose, no sobriety, no quiescence in any 
direction; and yet we are all crying out for more excitement, more 
stimulants, more intoxication! Verily, the whole world ought to be 
fined for drunkenness and sent to the tread-mill, — and so ends my 
diatribe. 

I must not end my letter, however, without repeating what I so 
strenuously urged upon your attention when we last parted in Castle 
square, that you should, by all means, and without loss of a single day^ 
follow up the happy idea of your auto- biography. I pronounce it meo 
periculOf to be a happy idea in every sense ; for it is sure to be happily 
executed — sure to make your readers happy — sure to contribute to 
your own happiness; and the recovery ofthatlong-lost file of playbills, 
containing a record of your whole histrionic life, till within these three 
years, does seem to be an occurrence expressly contrived by your good 
genius to urge you to the undertaking. If you do not acpept the omen, 
take the consequences — that^s all. 

Haud inexpertuB loquor as to the delight of composition, even in fic- 
tion ; but how immeasurefy more absorbing must it become when you 
are your own hero, and narrating nothing but the truth! Who has 
seen so much of men and things? — who's life .has been so fertile of 
jest and jollity? — so conversant with pleasant hoaxes and realities, and 
who possesses so rich a fund of sparkling anecdote to enliven his nar- 
rative ? You will absolutely revel in delicious recollections and asso- 
isialions, and will keep your own present, and all future tables, in a 
roar, by recalling tables that you have similarly convulsed. If all this 
^I to move you, recollect what a thumping price you will get for your 
book ; and remember, more especially, that, if you heed not my io« 
junctions, I shall cease to subscribe myself, dear Mathews, yours truly, 

Horatio Smith. 



384 MEMOIR? OF 

I shall not enter into the particulars of an event which was 
decided upon at this period, but leave my husband's succeed- 
ing letter to explain it to the reader. 

TO HBNRY B. GYLES, ESQ. 

Dbae Gtllt, 

I am delighted to hear you tay yoa are settled, and sincerely hope 
that yoa may be in the same mind two years hence. I had acted Old - 
skirt on Saturday night, and, coming home, found your letter with the 
quotations. Ha! ha! droll enough! How you will be astonished! 
Prepare for wonder! You are the first, too; nobody knows it yet bat 
four on earth. Don't look over leaf— don*t mention it now. Will you 
believe it? You wont Well, then, I have taken — no, not taken — bat 
it's all as good as done ; that is, I shall have it — ^but nothing settied 
yet — ^that is, not signed — but it's all right! I know you will stare 
more than you have made me stare. I am about to commence mana- 
ger! — I am to have the Adelphi with Yates! Ha! stare! do! and say, 

when he, that has so sworn! Yes, he 1 cannot enter into partica- 

lars, but you must think. 

I will come and see you-^I will. I have a friend at Wooton, who 
has asked me. I have often promised Colonel Berkeley, who remind- 
ed me last Saturday of it, &c. I will come, — indeed I will, this sum' 
mer. 

My wife's love to your wife. Ever thine. 



Kentish Town, June 17th. 



Mat. 



Pre-eminently successful and lucrative as his eng^ment 
at Drury Lane had proved, the size of the stage made acting 
a serious suffering to him; his lameness having increased ex- 
cessively, and in proportion to the frequency of performing, 
Mr. Price offered him a renewal of his late engagement for 
the following season, on the same liberal terms, but this share 
in the Adelphi offering a source of gain, with only a partial 
exertion, and with less bodily pain, from the contracted 
sphere of action, he was induced to refuse Mr. Price's future 
co-operation. When all arrangements were complete re- 
garding the new partnership, Mr. Yates and my husband set 
forth together on a tour, combining their forces for their mu- 
^al profit. 



CHARLES XATHfiWB. 365 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 



Brightoo, 17th July, 182& 

Brighton ii empty — io says eVert hody; but otir boxes were crammed 
full last night ; and if the gallery had patronised us, the house would 
have been great. We had abore 80/., however ; and, if we may ^^gur 
for theffuture from our first strut in union, Yates and I may challenge 
all England. Nothing could be more effective than oUr performance, 
from beginning to end. Really charming and every body satisfied. It 
is really no trouble to me, as you may suppose, after the way I have 
been used to exert myselfi I am boarding at Dr< Yates's, and I sleep 
at an hotel near. The Liston*s are here, and Hook ; and I had a call 
on the first night from D'Eguelle. I have been riding, and reading* 
and douching, and am as hungry as usual. All is well. If a sick 
goose could speak, what vegetable would it mention when you were ^ 

about to kill it? — AMparagus, (Ah! spare a goose.) ^'-^- ^^ ^-—vz 

C. Mathews. 

During these performances at Brighton, Mr. Mathews was 
singing his <* auction song " one night, and in that part of it 
where he solicits biddings for a particular " lot." After sev- 
eral repeated appeals (looking round the house,) sinking 
"only tfiree pounds offered — only three," heard a voice from 
one of the public boxes, which it was impossible to mistake, 
cry out " Four!" He turned to the spot, to which every 
other eye also turned; and, though taken by surprise, was 
not thrown off his guard, but, bowing smartly a la Robins, 
exclaimed, " Much obliged; yours, sir." This bidding was 
made by Mr. Liston, who was seized, as he afterwar<& de- 
clared, with an irresistible desire to put up for a lot, in order 
to surprise his brother actor, and was confounded after he 
had done it, and heard the roar of laughter he had caused, 
and the notice he had drawn upon himself. 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Cheltenham, 27th July, 1828. 

Arrived here to dinner, and went to the play, where we saw the ditf' 
tinguished amateurs in Henry IV. The Colonel in the Prince,* Cap. 
tain in Falstaff, and C. Kemble in Hotspur. 'Pon my word, very well; 
very well indeed— for gentlemen^ The Colonel really gaod, 

• Now Lord Segrave/ 
VOL. I.— 33 



986 niioiRs OF 

We ire foing off to^ay to Berkeley Cutle, to dine. I am beauU- 
folly weU. 

C. Hathbwa. 



TO BIBB. MATHEWS. 

Cheltenham, 30th July, 1829. 

Yoa are an able advocate, and you plead so well for the Diary, that 
I cannot but give my consent; though it is with a pang, I confess* 
You are unwilling to part with the willow yourself, that I can see ; 
bat your arguments are unaswerable. There are so many advantages 
attending the keeping cows, that I should be quite mortified to be dis- 
appointed ; and I am quite reconciled to the sacrifice, after having 
slept upon it : but I hope it will be a very pretty object. An ice- 
house, mind, is my sine qua non for giving up my tree. Many a rage 
that will save me. I suppose such a large tree could not be moved ? 
Such things have been done, I have been told, have they not? But 
whether or not, take him down. I quite rely, however, on the new ob- 
ject being a captivating feature. 

I dined at Berkeley Castle on Sunday, and slept in a bed which was 
put up Uiere in the year 1330, It is a most beautiful place in its way ^ 
the exterior by far the finest part of it. The room in which King Bd- 
ward was murdered remains in the same state ever since that event ; 
not a bit of furniture removed. X had an invitation of the kindest na- 
ture from Mr. and Mrs. Taylor, at "Ooton,'** and for Yates also; but 
it was impossible to go, on account of business. 

Gloucester, the worst town in England, gives us 602.; and here, last 
night, 672. The box people flock to us ; but no pit and gallery. I 
stMuld^think in four years will never be opened. It is all over; Colo- 
nel Berkeley is the only person that can get them into either here. 

There is nothing but ruin and desolation through this country, with 
wet; not one day without, since we started. 

CMathiwi* 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Cheltenham, 3rd August, 1828.. 

We had a "great go'* last night— the amateurs and ourselves^ 
Dawkins, PangZoss ; Colonel, Dick Dowlat; I, Lord Duberley and 
Lmitel^ in ** High Life below Stairs." I never saw a play go off better ; 
and they took to me from the first speech, and roared all through. I 
was much cheered by the presence of the Rolls's, who arrived on 
ThoTiday, and have taken a house. We had near 1202. in the house, 
a sum only to be produced by the Colonel. 

C. Matbxws. 

• Wootton*uBder-£dge.— A. M. 



%J 



CHABLE8 MATHEWS. . 387 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 



Bristol, 18th Ausrnat, 1828. 

Your letter of yesterday gave me a pang which you did not anttci- 
pate when yoa wrote it. The sight of another's hand-writing in the 
•direction gave me a notion of the announcement of some unpleasant 
news; and, until I saw your hand, moved my heart upwards. 

We arrived at Wootton on Saturday ,^and found the Taylors ready to 
receive us. They did every thing to make us comfortable, you may 
be sure; but, in their anxiety to remember all my peculiarities, like 
old Mrs. Young, made some blunders. Mrs. Taylor smiled with de« 
light when I refused .soup and fish, that she had got something on 
purpose for me, that she knew I liked — this was a roast leg of mut- 
ton ! and not roast ducks. Taylor would not let me have a dass of 
Madeira with my dinner. He was sure that I drank nothing bat 
Port ; and, not content with his own, which was only sixteen years in 
bottle, but had made interest with old Austin to send a couple of bot- 
tles of his old twenty -year Port, assuring him that, at dinner, " I drank 
nothing but port.** Afler all tliis kindness, of course I could only 
steal a glass of claret now and then afler dinner. 

I am all in a fuss ; for they would not hear of our quitting till to- 
day. The servant called me yesterday at half-past seven ! and to-day 
we were obliged to be up. Oh ! oh! Yates desires kind regards. 
Affectionately yours, 

C, Mathews. 

Mr. Mathews's list of dinner miseries is a part of what he 
often experienced from over anxiety in his entertainers to 
please what they fancied a fastidious appetite. The fact is, 
this mistake originated in his singularity of diet. It is true, 
he disliked mutton generally, unless it happened to he of a very 
delicate and pure kind; otherwise, the smell of it was offen- 
sive to him. But a roasted leg of mutton was his peculiar 
aversion since his school days, when this meat was daily 
forced upon his then weak stomach, in all its unpalliated 
grossness — ^a " damper,'' soaked in the hissing fat, being in- 
sisted upon as a preliminary to the joint from which it was 
distilled; and could scarcely bear the smell of it at table, 
though he had no great objection to the same boiled. He 
was generally satisfied with roast beef, hot or cold; but if 
not roasted, it was displeasing to him. He was very fond of 
a roasted leg of pork; but held a boiled one in abhorrence^ 
Indeed, any thing that had necessarily, in its preparation for 
eating, been kept any time, his appetite revolted from. Thus, 
he could seldom eat game or venison, and only when consid- 
ered too fresh for the taste of others could he enjoy it either. 
These little peculiarities gained him the reputation for being 



. 888 javonuB of 

a difficult man td please in eating; and he was as often em- 
barrassed, when dining from home, by the officious blunders 
of an over-anxious hostess, as he was by the ignorance of 
others; but even more than either, 'by the waggery of some 
of his friends, to mislead the understandings of diose who 
were desirous to make him comfortable. 

One friendly woman invited him to dine en familie with 
them, with a promise of a plain dinner, always a temptation 
to him, as divested of the usual routine of dishes, would bring 
him quickly to his great treat of the day, namely, his^r*^ 
pinch ofanvff, which he never indulged in until the *' cheese 
was removed." I remember Mr. Bannister ingratiated him- 
self one day with his friend by the offer of giving him only 
his favourite leg of pork for dinner, when it appeared to be a 
boiled one! Another day he was invited to eat beef with a 
friend, which turned out to be salt beef. Innumerable were 
the wellt-meaning blunders, at which he always felt very good- 
humoured, but at the same time, was compelled to declare 
himself, on that day, '* without his usual appetite," or make 
some other excuse for not enjoying his "favourite dish." 
The foregoing account of the dinner and wine at Wootton is 
a fair specimen of the mistakes of hospitality to which he of- 
ten submitted. It was a whimsical fact, that Mrs. Young, 
(Mr. Charles Young's mother,) whenever my husband dined 
with her son of late years, invariably, from an aged memory, 
provided the opposite dish to the one her visiter was known 
to prefer, the roasted leg of pork, the salt beef, &c., were 
sure to meet his eye; while the kind old lady believed, from 
a confused recollection of former days, that she had set be- 
fore him what he most liked. Above all, she was careful to 
provide /7or/cr, (a beverage he felt a disgust for;) and it was a 
favourite joke of Mr. Liston's whenever they dined together 
at any house Mfhere they were not in the habit of visiting, to 
whisper the servants at different periods of the dinner, not 
only to hand him venison side-dishes repeatedly, but to pre- 
sent him with well frothed glasses of porter or ale; and his 
tormentor so timed these offerings, that such supplies were 
sure to reach him in the midst of some remarks he was making, 
or to the interruption of something interesting or amusing 
that he was relating. It was laughable to see the gradusJ 
surprise and embarrassment, and ultimate impatience, of the 
persecuted person at such repeated annoyance, until his eye 
caught that of his funny tormentor; and then he understood 
the cause of such unwelcome attentions, and his annoyance 
ceased, as it always did at the detection of any fun in his 



OHiALW lUTHBWS. 9&9 

«< lUde brother," as he, oci such occasions, called Mr. Liston; 
whose high spirits, contrasted with his generalij pensive 
habit of mind, were as exuberant as a boy*8, when " i' the 
vein," and irresistible as his most successful comedy in 
public. 

It was worthy of notice how many instances of accidental 
detention and other delays of letters affected him through life. 
He was the most anxious being alive about home, when ab- 
sent from it; and he suffered intensely on every occasion of 
doubt. It seemed as if a fatalit y attended him in this way. 
It would be curious to seek the numerous cases of the sort 
which occurred in his many joumeyings, but which I have 
omitted aa equally tedious to recount as to read. The follow- 
ing is one of dozens, however, varying only in manner and 
detail with the circumstances of the time. I really believe 
aueh things occurred to tease and agitate him oftener than 
other people; and, unfortunately, he was so constituted, as 
not to be able to meet them with indifference, or even com- 
posure. He had, as it had been well expressed, " the ago^ 
nizing habit of feeling trifles too acutely." 



TO MRS. MATHEWS. 

Worcester,. August 25lh, I82a. 

I regret very much that I gave you a fidget, as well as myself, yes- 
terday in nfiy letter, but I really tiould not help it. Hear my story. I 
was sure you would write on Saturday : I got up without calling, be- 
eause I wished for your letter. No! — Go again: No! Post-office, 
one from Mr. Price,, theatre — No ! The song I expected — ^I had pro- 
mised William Crisp, and I wished to take it myself to Malvern, 
where I had determined to revel in scenery, if a fine day. Gyles and 
wife arrived here on Friday night, and had agreed to go with me. 
Well, the disappointment about the letter upset me for the day. I 
knew tiie mail would go out before we could get back; I, there-* 
fore, afler being almost satisfied there was not a letter, wrote to you, 
and ordered it not to be put in the post-offiee till the last moment; 
for I said very emphatically, "There is a letter in Worcester for me,, 
if my wife was alive yesterday." 

I waa engaged to dinner at the house of' Dr. Pierrepoitit^ at six 
o*cIock. On my return from Malvern, I felt^ as the time approached, 
that I could not go. I sent Yates on with an excu8e» and wan- 
dered about with the Gyles's until dark. On my return, I was re- 
posing on the sofa, when in walked the waiter. •* A letter for you, 
sir.'* The rascally postman had brought it at three o*clock ! Nacgm- 
TPfinX is necessaiy— you can guess what I felt. 



390 XCMOIBS or 

I Hud, *'I8 execution done on Gorder^'** before Hook wrote it; but 
he has managed the palpable quotation with gKat skilKf 

Now I have bad my hoax I will tell you the truth* The account of 
dinner at the Taylors was not matter of fact I had beef and claret« aind 
they did every thing* in their power to make us comfortable. She is 
a real darling, and he i>erfect Somersetshire. Such hospitality is never 
advertised. I saw fi's letter, and the idea of nmtter-of-fkct people re- 
ceiving such a one struck me; and it has told rig^t well.^ 

All goes well here— 9Qi. on Saturday-j-rcveiy seat let f