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MEMOIRS 



OF 



CHARLES LEE LEWES, 

COM£DIAN« 



VOL. I. 



MEMOIRS 



OP 



CHARLES LEE LEWES, 



CONTAINING 



ANECDOTES, 

HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL, 



OF THE 



ENGLISH AND SCOTTISH STAGES, 

DURING A PERIOD OF FORTY TEARS, 



WRITTEN BY HIMSELR 



IN FOUR VOLUMES. 
VOL. I. 



3LnnDon : 

Printed por RICHARD PHILLIPS, No. 6, Bridg*- 

STREET, B^ACKFRIARS. 



1805. 
"Bj T. Gillet, Salisbury-square. 



\v\\iSk 



ADVERTISEMENT. 

Previously to my submitting the 
following pages to the Public, the re- 
gard which I feel for departed talents, 
and the natural impulse which induces 
me to exhibit the claims of those ta- 
lents to posthumous fame and admira- 
tion, render it expedient that I should 
explicitly inform the public, that I have 
neither directly nor indirectly been con- 
nected with a late publication which 
has appeared under the title of " Comic 
Sketches ;" and that I am wholly igno- 
rant of the means which were employ- 
ed to procure the " light and minute 
triifles" of which that Work is com- 
posed. 

This declaration will prove the de- 
gree of authenticity which attaches to. 
the publication above named ; and E 



ADVERTISEMENT. 

hope I shall stand justified for having 
exerted my humble efforts to rescue 
the fame and talents of my deceased 
parent from unjust depreciation. The 
world, I imagine, would deem mc 
wanting in duty and filial obligation, 
were I silently to look on, while ma- 
lice, or ignorance, or both, were at- 
tempting to lessen that portion of po- 
pular regard, to which a character of 
so much public estimation is entitled. 

With respect to the biographical 
sketch prefixed to the work called 
" Comic Sketches,** it is unnecessary 
to trouble my readers with a minute 
detail of each fictitious particular: I 
shall therefore leave the author to the 
enjoyment of his superior inventive 
powers. I will, notwithstanding, be 
bold enough to say (even in contra- 
diction of this false biographer), that 
whatever clouds hung over my father's 



ADVERTISEMENT- 

latter days, and however great was the 
contumacy and tyranny which he ex- 
perienced from managerial Nebuchad- 
nezzars, Mr. Lee Lewes was a man 
unrivalled in the comic line of his_pro. 
fession : and although doomed at fre- 
quent periods of his life to witness the 
encouragement given to foreigners and 
adventurers of every denomination, 
while his native genius was suffered to 
languish in the very capital of the king- 
dom, there are many living testimo- 
nies who will subscribe to the truth of 
this assertion ; and I am prompted to 
make it from a thorough conviction > 
that his natural requisites, judicious 
conception, and acknowledged hu- 
mour, have placed him in the list of 
celebrated English comedians. 

Impressed as I am with the delicacy 
of the undertaking which I have as- 
signed myself, and sensibly alive to the 



ADVERTISEMENT. 

difficulties I have had to encounter in 
preparing the following sheets for the 
press, the liberality and candour of the 
public will, I trust, make allowance for 
impediments which it was impossible I 
could anticipate or prevent. 

Encouraged by the hope that my 
motive will be duly appreciated, and 
having noticed the avidity with which 
theatrical anecdotes are read, I feel 
some degree of confidence in present- 
ing these authentic records to the pub- 
lic ; and if they should afford satisfac- 
tion to the numerous admirers of my 
late father, I shall have cause to felici- 
tate myself on the success of my efforts, 
in rescuing these genuine dramatic 
anecdotes from oblivion. 

John Lee Lewes. 

Liverpool f June 1 805. 



PREFACE. 



TJAVING promised to.^vc a sketch 
. of my own life, as far as it iscoiw 
ziected with the stage onlyy it is neces- 
saiy that I should apologize for saying 
a little more concerning so unimport- 
ant a subject; and as the conductors of 
the London theatres seem, determined 
that I shall profsssionally die in the mcr 
trc^plis, it may not be improper (by 
way of my dying speech) to add also 
any birth, parentage, and education. . 

Whether I. have come naturally 
l^y this scenic death^. or have beea 

VOL. I. B 



{ 



ii -PREFACB* 



, guilty of felo de se ; or, whether the 
managers not having 'die fear of the 
epublic before their eyes, have wilfully 
ai^d .maliciously buried me alive, it is 
•for'the coroner of Taste to derermine. 
Tf I should be able to prove, as 1 trust 
I shall, that I have not laid violent 
hands upon myself, and that design 
•only has deprived me of life (by being 
deprived of " the means -whereby I 
Uve") it wiH flhen not be difficult for me 
to csfllto the remembranceof the public 
many a favourite actor and actress pre» 
'maturely forced by the divan of a thea- 
*re into the hands of the scenic sextcn ; 
and likewise many that may probably 
.follow,^'if I may be allowed4o judge by 
the ratio of proportions^ fou^ided ou 



PREFACJ. • ill 

the logarithms of this unnatural dran\a<» 
tic mortaUty. 

* 

I know it hz% been said byjnany, 
who are iinacq;uainted with the real 
cause why I am not employed, that I 
must be uade;: lunar influence, not to 
accept of an engagement. Let me say 
to those observers, who wo^ild so un^ 
kindly deprive me of the exercise of 
reason, that if in the theatric hemisphere 
they observe a-deviation from general 
laws, it is but fair they should endea* 
vour.to illustrate it from local circum- 

* 

^stances, or some partial operation, 
and not rashly lay the cause x)f my 
jlon-employment at the chaste door of 
Diana J by placing me within the sphere 

I* 

of the moon's attraction. Ho^'cver I 

B 2 



Iv VreVa'ce. 

itiiy taVe ^ieti tiioiight to be under 
the influence of this instnuating deity, 
itnist thkVyWthe cbursebf the'follow. 
frig pigds, rshail be 'alJIe to effect area- 
Sonibfe cbiiViction, that Vztn riot so fit 
' idr tlie 'sffdit'ivautiodty as the ekercise 
^clf "6iat profession, which to me, 
Troiii ifsliifancfy, has IJcdn laborious iSer- 
vitiide and incessant toilj and has 
'only served to; convince me, that when 
ai adtor has liiade such progi^ss_ in his 
irt,'as'^6 enable'Tiim to Stand alone, the 
whim, or the caprice of managers, will 
soon sKewliim that he has rio Solid 
foundation ; all is delusive and airy. I 
liave seen merit become the Sport of 
managerial passion, and the Sinstltest 
twigs *f novelty have T)een ihtfoduded 



Pa£FAC£/: V 

to si^persede and oppose its p^ssagj;. I 
confess the crosses I have encountered, 
haye been more di^cuh; to digest, in, 
the progress of ipy professional ambi^ 

tion^ than it wa3 hard. &r me to curb 

' . . . .' , . ^ ■ 

the. natural prppension that led, me to 

it* • 

This preface, I will be bplid to say, 

■ « 

stands before the pag^^ of truth. A 
very, ingenious, critic, on the utility of 
biQ^iraphy, has observed, that " It. is 
not from the secret history of the green 
roQOX^ the artifices of managers, the 
petty cabals and private intrigues of 
actors and actresses, their humility in 
distress, or their uinst^acUness in pros- 
perity, that nEiuch a^vantagp or instruc- 
tion is to be derived/^ 

»3 " 



Vl PkEPACB. 

Sensible of this remark, I am free 
t6 confess, that the follo"^^ing pages 
will " not add to the stores of wisdom/* 
but presume to hope they may enlarge 
the sphere of dramatic anecdote, and 
extend the bounds of scenic whim, hi- 
therto generally confined to the terri- 
tories of the green room. 

I have endeavoured to raise the 
laugh at the expence oi folly ^ and sure- 
ly a man^ who has all his life-time been 
the devotee of folly, ranging over a 
great part of the globe as her humble 
instrument, has a right to think him- 
self entitled to act a ^ principal charac- 
ter in one of her temples. 

If I have failed, I know my reward 
will be the cap and bells : well, even 




PRBFACH, Vii 



tlicHj my intention will in some de- 
gree be gratified,, as by jingling, them 
I may still raise the laugh. 

But to the candour o£ the public I 
submit : they must determine whejther 
the laugh shall be witif me^ or at me. 

To the critic, I tr.emblingly bei>d. 
He need not. h6 told,: that neither my 
gdnius nor education qualifies me for 
purity of style; and though nearly 
sixty years have rolled over my head, 

• « 

Ix hope. he. will not consider me as an 
$Jd offender.. This is^ my first literary 
crime, I will never be guilty of the 
like again. * 

AH Lean offer in my defence is, that 
E am« merely a recorder, and as recor^ 
der most humbly recommend myself 

B 4. 



Viii PREFACE, 



to his mercy. Hoping farther, that 
should he sit in judgment upon me at 
the period of his breakfast, that his tea 
may not be smoked, nor his butter 
rancid. If after dinner, and over his 
bottle, that his viands may have been 
critically dressed, and his vine juice 
neat as imported j my fate will then 
depend on his settled good humour, 
verifying this known apophthegm : 

Quicquid recipituTi recipitur ad modum recipientis. . 






r . 
I ' 




MEMOIRS 



OF 



CHARLES LEE LEWES, Esq/ 



TO all whom it may concern — ^beit 
known, I am not a Welchman^ 
but proud of being the scion of as ho- 
nest a Cambrian as ever ranked with 
the reputable tradesmen of this king- 
dom, but whose classical education qua- 
lified him for the circle of polite arts* 
I was born in New Bond Street, St. 
George Hanover Square, London, on 
the I gth of November, old stile, 1 740. 
My father was honoured by being in 



TO MEMom^ or ' 

• 

mtimate friendship with tfie lite 
Dr. Young (author of the Night 
Thoughts) ; and 1 well remember the 
Doctor^s attachment to me when only 
five years of age, his often taking me 
with him to his house at Welwyn in 
Herts, where I stayed occasionally many 
weeks together. Lady Betty Tou^g 
(his wife) died in the year 1 741. Pre- 
vious to her marriage^^th the Doctor, 
she was the widow of Colonel Lee, and 
daughter to the Earl of Litchfield Her. 
son by the Colonel was my god-father, 
(this, accounts for Lee being added to 
my"" sponsorial appellation); she had 
also a daughter by the Colonel : they 
all three died about the same period, 
which SQ severely aSlicted the Doctor^ 
as to be the sole occasion of his Nigbi 
Thoughts. This particular circumstance 
he thus beautifully .describes, speaking 
of sublunary bliss :— 




CHARlrSS 1££ LEWES. 11 

« 

>** Btisst sublunar3r blits ! — ^Prou J words, and f ain^! 
** Implicit treason to divine decree ! 
** A bold invasion o^ the rights of heaven ! 
'* I clasp*d the phantoms, and I found them air; 
" O had I weigh'd it ere my fond embrace ! 
"What darts of agony had* missM my heart T' 

He has often told me, that whenever 
and wherever the jday of the Revenge 
(written by his father) is performed, 
he is sure to attend the representation, 
if within a day's ride, and always la* 
spentingly shakes his head at the men* 
tion of Mossop in Zanga, that he '' shall 
not look upon his like again f" the 
drawing of which character seems to- 
me to be one of the greatest efforts of 
human genius since Shakespeare. 

It is my pride to mention this cir* 
cumstance respecting the intimacy be- 
tween Doctor Young and my father, 
who by being a schobr, and a man of 
^ csitensivc reading, was well qualified 



Il MEMOIItSOF 

for the conversation of such an en* 
lightened character. 

My mother was the daughter of 
William I^ewthwaite, esq. of Broad- 
gate, in Cumberland. A very near re* 
lation, John Lewthwaite, esq. died 
lately at Whitehaven, leaving behind 
him no less a sum than one hundred 
thousand pounds, and by a flaw in his 
will, sixty thousand of his personal 
estate falls among his nearest relations. 
Before it came to my ears, it was pub- 
Udy talked of that I was one among 
seven others who were entitled to it j 
for some time we thought sa, and 
actually put in our claims from the 
opinions given us by Sir John Scott 
and Mr. Selwyn, and locked up that 
sum in the three per cents, till' by legal 
process we had substantiated our sepa- 
rate claims; but to our great disappoint- 
ment, and to the joy of Sir Gilford 



i 
I 



CHARLES LEE L^WES. I.3 

Lawson, we now find this fortune falls 
to him, and a few others, being of a 
nearer branch* I sincerely congratulate 
them, and with equal sincerity dedare^ 
that rdo not feel one pang at the dis- 
appointment, though the possesi^ion of 
eight thousand of that sixty thousand 
was pointed out te me- but. a few 
inonths since as almost certain, having 
l^en offered one morning two thou- 
sand pounds stock, to be transferred 
to me in half an hour, if I would give 
up my daimi for that coni^ideration. 
X^t not this b& called, apathy ; no, . I 
•have been too long accustomed to the up 
and down hill of life, and to " borrow 
4il my faafppiiiess from hope, which in 
. irksome and disaflpoiiited mofilents will 
not turn to painy if we keep in remem- 
.brance the uncertainty/of events." ? I 
have the honour of' being related by 
ixvy 'mothcr'si«ide ts^thedowage^Xady 



^4 MSHOntS OF 

4St. Attbyn ; and to the present Sir 
John St. Aubyn^ and Sir Frands Bas- 
^et^ I am much indebted, for their ua- 
l>ounded liberality at a yery critical 
moment. At seven years old I was 
placed under the care of the Reverend 
Mr. Miles, at Ambleside in Westmoric- 
land^ from whence I returned to Lon- 
«don, after seven years humming, ^u in 
f resents^ with little more improvement 
than what the discipline of the forula 
imprinted on my palm. Had I, like my 
^sisters, been indefatigable to in^rove 
my education,! might, like them, have 
boasted a polish which has enabled 
them to comfdete the tuterage of some 
of the .first families in the kingdoms— 
Lord Bathurst's^ Lord Hopetown\ 
Lord Lothian's, Lord Buckingham* 
shire^, &c. &c. I left the school ^at 
fourteen years of age, with the charac- 
2ter of being the most vjohtile and casQ- 



CHAHLES LEE X1EWES. ^5 

less. My father, shocked at my non- 
improvement, ^undertook to instruct 
me himself, and, in truth, it needed 
parental authority to keep sucU spirits 
-within bounds : for a little time I sub- 
mitted to the rules -laid down by my 
affectionate psreitt, enforced with ail 
the rigidness of a Spartan-; but high 
spirits win overleap all 'bounds, and, if 
I may be allowed to pun, as I was so 
-early fond of shifting the scene, 'tis no 
^vonder I fixed at' last in the theatre. 

The fir^ stage bite I received was 
by playing Cash in Every Man in his 
Humour, in the Haymarket, about the 
year 1760, Mr. Wilkinson played Kitely . 
'This scenic mania next led me to ap« 
-pedot for a benefit in Mr. Linnet'* com- 
pany, at the Cross Keys, a little public 
house near Chelsea church, in the cba- 
Tacter of Mathew Mug, in Mr* Footc's 
£urxe of ihe Mayor of Garrat« Among 



l6 MEMOIRS OF 

the Humorless ridiculous, and trxjAy 
aukward situations, that country ma- 
nagers have been brought into in the 
course of their pilgrimage through 
this vale of sorrow^ I think that of the 
veteran Linnet,' on the following droll 
occasion, deserves to be mentioned. 

The old gentleman, while at Ham- 
/mersmith, expressed a desire to play 
^t Chelsea, but was informed it was 
under the control of a very inflexible 
magistrate, particularly averse* to giv- 
ing any encouragement to plays, or 
other amusements. .However, notwith- 
standing this seeming insurmountable 
difficulty. Linnet met with a friend,, a 
gentleman who wrote a warm recom- 
mendatoryletter for him to the obdu* 
rate magistrate, and gave him a^ur« 
ance of his meeting with sucQess; 
with this encouragement Linnet boldly 
pushisd to the justice's house, direpti^g 



CHARLES LEE LEWES* 1 7 

his whoie company to proceed to Chel- 
sea, and order a dinner at the Swan, 
and regale themselves ; this mandate 
was cheerfully complied with, and the 
eventful letter was delivered according 
to direction. But what was the pur- 
port of this letter?. Instead of that 
which should secure a welcome and 
support, it was one that menaced the 
reader with a sudden scene of horror. 
^Tis proper to explain^ 

Then thus it was. • The comedy of 
the Bold Stroke for a Wife had been 
played a few nights before, and old 
Linnet, on this occasion, reserving to 
make a grand aj^earance, had put on 
the stage waistcoat he had worn in the 
Colonel ; in one of the pockets pf 
which, a letter supposed to be sent by 
the colonel's friend to Obadiah Prim, 
upon hearing; that the real Simon Pure 
was actually come, which if jiot timely 
V01-. i; c 



l8 MEMOIRS OF 

{Hrevented must ruin the colonel's design 
upon the cautious quaken Judge o£ 
t;he magistrate's surprise at opening the 
supposed letter of reconmiendation^ 
when he found it began thus : — 

** There is a design formed to rob 
thy house and cut thy throat.**— The 
justice rang his bell— a servant appear- 
ed. — Where is the man that brought 
this letter ? — ^Ih the hall, sir.— -Call him 
up directly. — While the servant wias 
employed in going to fstch up the un- 
conscious culprit, old Quorum read on. 

^^ The gang, whereof I am oneji 
though now resolved to rob no more,'* 
— (here old Linnet made his appear-* 
ance;— Well, friond, says the Justice, 
you belong to a g^ngy Jhow many are 
there of you ?— We arc fourteen in aDj 
sir. — ^Fourteen ! and where are you 
all ?— At Tool's, sir*— at the Swan.-^ 

* One Mark Tool kept the Swao public house 
at that period. 



CHARLES LE£ LSWES. 1 9 

Indeed! oh, very well, you have aft 
your tools at the Swan, have you ? PU 
take care of you and your tools pre« 
sently. — ^Many thanks to you, sir. 
Squire — — told me you would encou* 
rage us. — ^Aye, was it he sent you to 
my house ? — ^Yes, sir. — ^Well, and whem 
do you intend to begin this grand af« 
fair? — ^We always begin about seVen 
o'clock, sir.— ^You do ! — here Thomas, 
here, seiase thiis daring, hardened old 
villain*, he and his whole gang are 
coming to rob and murder my family 
this night, and- all their horrid tools 
are at the Swan public house !— I did 
not think this of you (says the servant 
to Linnet). — ^What, do you know the 
fellow, sirrah? — Yes, sir, he*s master 
of the play.-i-A player! and are not 
you an open and avowed murderer? 
Oh Lord, sir, what do you mean 1 — 
Look at this letter, you hang dog ! Did 

C 2 



to MEMOIRS OF 

you not deliver this to mc ? — Who oin 
describe the innoccpt Linnet's astonish- 
ment upon the dbcovery of his mis- 
take ? Oh, dear sir, I beg your pardon, 

here's Squire 's letter, I hope this 

will satisfy you Hold him till I see 
what's here. On the perusal . of the 
real letter, his worship's countenance 
was changed from a savage ferocity to 
a most placid smile. He immediately 
dismissed the innocent aggressor with 
a full permission for his performing, 
with this piece of wholesome advice — • 
Never to forget his part again. 

My probations in the Hay-market 
and Chelsea, as Foote says, '^ like a ' 
link, threw a radiance round me," and 
lighted me to Chesterfield in Derby- 
shire, under the management of one 
Parsons (not the comic hero of Drury 
Lane). My entre was in the part of 
Charles in the Busy Body. The en- 



CHARLElS LEE LEWES. 21 

Gouragcment I received vainly taught 
me to think, that towards the period 
the company left off performing, I was 
perfectly qualified for the Theatres 
Royal. This idea, with a little persua- 
sion from one Jackson, prevailed on me 
to leave the company abruptly with him 
one night, after the play was over;— and 
hereby hangs a tale of curious embar- 
rassment. Mr. Stanton, a respectable 
country manager, was a principal actor 
in the scene, and with whom, a few 
months ago, not having met for twen- 
ty years before, I enjoyed a hearty^ 
laugh at the following story. 

Mr. Jacksonand myself had proceed- 
ed as far as the Peacock, the half-way 
house between Chesterfield and Derby, 
and not being anxious to hasten our 
departure from thence, lo ! and behold! 
in the morning, in came the manager, 
and Mr. Stanton, then the leading per- 

c 3 



2» MEMdlRS OF 

former in his company. So, says Mti 
Stanton, young gentleman (addressing 
himself to me) we have overtaken you 
at last, how will you like to walk back 
again ? — Not at all, says I, because Til 
run away,-— No, you don't, replied he, 
and shut the door. — ^What is all this, 
Mr. Stanton? — ^Ask your coliteague, 
Mr. Lewes. — Come, come, grumbled 
old Parsons, you two gentlemen must 
return with us to Chesterfield, you 
have robbed the wardrobe. — " Who, 
I, Mr. Parsons ?" — I don't know which 
of you have done it.— -The fact was, 
Jackson had, unknown to me, walked 
off with the black breeches he played in 
the preceding night, and vi et armisy we 
were forced back to Chesterfield. ^But 
the manager's sole view was, our be- 
ing two sheet anchors, he did not wish 
to lose us. Jackson^ was to be. fright- 
ened into his staying with the compa« 



CHARLES LZB L£W£S. .-^3 

jiy, by the. manager's promise >iiot to 
prosecute him for the small-clothes. — 
But how to detaui me ? Why, by a 
curious managerial manoeuvre. When 
wc arrived at Chesterfield, the whole 
town had been apprize, of the mana- 
ger's pursuit after his old breeches, and 
a great mob had gathered round the 
inn we were at. — While Stanton was 
using his endeavours to persuade Jack* 
son to stay, and proceed with the com- 
pany to Mansfield, old Parsons slipt out, 
and prevailed upon one Doctor Stasu* 
forth to arrest me for his attendance 
during a slight illhisss. It is to be la- 
mented, that a man of the doctor's 
<:onsequence, should have condescend-* 
cd to aid the cunning of this mock ty- 
rant of a barn ; but so it was. I got 
previous intelligence that the bailiff was 
at the door, up went the window, out 
went Harlequui y but npt wirfxout be- 

C4 



d4 MSMOIRS OF 

iog perceived by the ofEcer. I had no- 
thing for it but my heels, with John 
Doe and Richard Roe at my back — 
but procul este propbani^ away I scoured 
over two fields, with not less than 
two hundred of the mob following, 
whom I afterwards learned meant to 
rescue me had the caption taken place. 
Einding my breath fail me, and a 
river being near, in I jumped, and 
laid hold of the branch of a tree that 
hung over close to the water ; in this 
situation remaining for a quarter of 
an hour, with only my bead and hands 
out of the water, till the pursuit was 
over. When it was completely given 
up, I went shivering to a house about 
two hundred yards from me, where I 
was humanely rubbed down, and put 
to bed between two blankets. This 
was on Saturday ; as soon as the clock 
struck twelve, I was determined to 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 25 

■ • • • 

have my revenge upon old Parsons, sd 
forth I sallied in the queer habiliments 
my good rustic host had lent me ; a 
pair of thick yarn stockings, greasy 
patched leather breeches, a long red 
waistcoat, and his best grey cloth Sun- 
day coat, with a large slouched beaver 
umbrella, that wanted only a crape hat- 
band to sanctify it for a funeral. I 
found him with the doctor and a num- 
ber of tradesmen, at a house where 
they used to meet every Saturday nigl\t, 
without any regard to the following 
sacred day ; for here would they cele- 
brate their nightly orgies, till the early 
hours of Sunday generally sent them 
reeling to their beds. I was by no 
means a welcome visitor to either the 
old sly manager, or his colleague the 
doctor. At the moment of my abrupt 
obtrusion, the waiter happened to be 
carrying in a large bowl of punchy 



26 MEMOIRS OF 

which I snatched from him, and with 
it saluted this ^' King of shreds and 
patches.'* It must be observed that he 
was (at the moment I sluiced him) 
either dosing, or fast asleep, and I sup- 
pose dreaming, for the shock had such 
an effect, that he fell with his face upon 
the floor, and, being pretty well drench- 
ed, must have fancied himself fallen in- 
to the river, and in danger of being 
drowned, for he instantly began sprawl- 
ing with his legs and arms, as if in the 
action pf swimming, and called out 
lustily, a boat ! a boat ! and had actu- 
ally swam half across the room, before 
he could be convinced he was in no 
danger of suffocation. I then began 
to reproach the doctor, a general scuf- 
fle ensued, and ended in my being 
forcibly conducted to the cage in the 
market place. And here I must lament 
that provincial towns cannot accom- 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 3/ 

modate nocturnal disturbers of the 
peace, like the parish rendezvous houses 
in the metropolis, where a Dogberry or 
a Verges, over a gallon of porter, can 
cure a black eye^ a bloody nose, or a 
broken head, and afterwards submit 
themselves to be kicked, and the regis- 
ter of their proceedings torn to pieces, 
as lately happened in Covent Garden 
watch-house, between those mighty 
Gothamites, and the manager of a 
theatre royal in London, a principal 
actor, and a favourite author. Not so 
with poor pilgarlick ; I had no one to 
appeal to ; the wind whistling through 
jny airv cage, till daylight brought 
round me tag^ ragj and bob-tail. Up 
stood orator Lewes, and to the rabble 
told his " unvarnish'd tale.** They 
lieard me, and they wished it had been 
otherwise — they wished " my redemp- 
tion thence,** and " swore *twas piti- 



28 MEMOIRS OF 

fill, 'twas wonderous pitiful.** I so far 
** beguiled them of their tears,*' they 
would actually have pulled down tlie 
cage to effect my freedom, had I not 
assured them such a measure would 
have added to my distress. However, 
I was soon released, the heads of the 
town having taken up the matter, and 
it ended in the doctor's withdrawing 
his writ, and the manager apologizing 
to me, for being the cause of volunta- 
rily ducking myself in the river ; and 
after an apology from me to him for 
interrupting his slumber, by forcing 
the bowl of punch on him, instead of 
in him. I then went to London for a 
few weeks, and aftewards joined the 
same company at Mansfield ; and here 
I had riot been many days before Mn 
Stanhope, the chief magistrate, a gen* 
tleman of the Chesterfield family (who 
when in Londoa always lodged at my 



CHARLES LEK LEWES. 2$ 

father's) sent for me to his house» 
.where I received from him a severe lee- 
ture, for running about the country, 
and " blacking my^face for the diver- 
sion of children," as he was pleased to 
express himself, with his positive com- 
mands instantly to return to my pa- 
rents, or the house of correction should 
be my portion. — I remonstrated — he 
was peremptory — however I was able 
at last to soften him by a promise, that 
when the benefits were over, (which 
I should much injure by then leaving 
the company) I would return home ; 
which promise I kept. But on my be- 
nefit night in this town a circumstance 
happened, which I cannot pass over. 
The benefits were double, and my 
partner was Mrs. Bates, the wife of the 
well known facetious Bobby Bates. 
Previous to the night of performing, I 
had sold tickets to the amount of about 



30 MEMOIRS OF 

five pounds, which money I constantly 
kept in my pocket, and not being trou« 
bled with much more, I thought this 
sum a pretty plaything. On the night 
of the play I was appointed to receive 
the money at the door, without any 
check taken ; a trusty office, which I 
suppose Mr. Bates thought me con^pe- 
tent to fill, being a novice, and not 
having learned the door-keeping art of 
sinking. On the contrary, for it was 
well known the house would not hold, 
when full, more than sixteen pounds, 
however I brought to book twenty one 
pounds. Here was upUfted hands — 
"What an honest door-keeper I was! 
what a misfortune I had not stood 
there every night ! And though they 
did not directly charge each other, 
who had alternately been employed in 
that important office, with peculating, 
yet did they all agree, that there must 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 3 1 

have been holes in the pockets where 
the money was deposited. Well, the 
charges being deducted, eight pounds 
each fell to the share of Mrs. Bates and 
self, which Bates received. 

The next morning, when I came to 
make up my account, 1 was two pounds 
ien shillings deficient.^ Thus I explain 
it : I had mixed the money I had taken 
for tickets beforp the night, with the 
money received on the night, and 
which I should have been accountable 
for only in tickets. On the discovery 
of this mistake I immediately applied 
to Bates, and insisted on his refunding. 
He said I w^ a very honest fellow, 
and he did not believe I meant to de- 
ceive him, and as to a mistake, he was 
fure: there was none on his side ; as to 
refund^ Master Lewes, I do not uBder>« 
stand that; I hav^ heard of the theatdU 
cal fimd, but refund is quite . out oi? 



ja 7.TJ.M0IRS OF 

the course of things. No, no, posses- 
sion is eleven points of the law, as they 
say ; — a bird in band is worth two 
in the bush. You get no money of 
me. Master Lewes ; you are a y ounker, 
it will teach you how to be honest at 
the door again. In short, I was only 
laughed at by Mr, Bates j so I found it 
necessary to lay my complaint before 
Mr. Stanhope. He seqt for Bates, who 
had the mortification of refunding be- 
fore a third person, the chief magis- 
trate ; when, had he laid aside, but for 
a moment, his natural talent for low 
humour, it might have been settled as 
it ought, between ourselves. I here 
took my leave of this company, and, 
in a few months, entered under the 
dramatic flag of the celebrated James 
Augustus Whiteley. And here I must 
digress ; as no memoirs of this extra- 
<M:dinary gentleman have been published 



CHAJ>,LES LUZ LEWJES. 3^3 

since his demise, the following s^iort 
relation may not pjrove wholly ujqienteE- 
taining to n^y theatrical readers. 

JAMES AUGUSTUS \y^HITELEY, 

was descended from an ojbscuxe stocV ; 
his father was^ private in thieSfc George's 
light dragoons — not (as he boasts in 
his preface to his Intriguing. FootrfjqnJ 
a major in the army ; and while White^ 
ley was very young, reduced to the 
scanty allowance of aji c»(t*pensioner of 
Kilmainham hospit^ The indigence 
of the parent was the consequent neg- 
lect of the son's education ; but a^ 
T^oung James wa$ ^ shrewd, sensible 
lad, he ];iad attra^cted the tJDtice of an 
old limb of the l3iW9 wI^Q being a 
papist, and not qualified for the ezer«- 
cise of his profession in any of the 
courts of judicature, he prudently fol- 
lowed the business of a chamber soli- 

VOIi. I. D 



34 MEMOIRS OF 

citor, or, as they commonly term it in 
Ireland, a lough derug attorney. This 
respectable personage tookyoung White- 
ley into his service, and finding the boy 
of a quick understanding, he put a pen 
in his haiid, and instructed him in writ- 
ing. After some time, the master was 
immured for debt in the City Marshal- 
sea, where young Whiteley paid close 
attendance on him, and became very 
useful in procuring many lucrative jobs 
for him in xht hackney line of writing; 
but on the failure of work in that way, 
on a casual visit of Joe Elrington, the 
comedian, to this mansion of distress, 
a sudden acquaintance commenced be- 
tween them, and Elrington recom- 
mended him to Mn William Rufus 
Chetwood, prompter of Smock-alley 
theatre, Dublin, as one well qualified 
to write out such parts as he might 
have occasion for j upon which an agree- 



CHAR-LBS LEE LEWES. 35. 

merit was struck, and the needy law- ^ 
yer was forced to the necessity of writ- 
ing parts at a penny a length (42 lines 
each), when the unconscionable promp- 
ter charged the manager, Tom Phillips 
(Mr. Garriek's first employer in the 
Dublinr theatre), no less than two-pence. 
However, this intercourse with the 
theatre opened to young Whiteley a 
more enlarged field of action, as he was 
not only principal scribe, his master 
being frequently attacked with the gout, 
but the only confidential messenger his 
master had to fetch and carry the work. 
In short, Whiteley was made free of the 
house, and Thomas Carmichael, then 
prompter's call-boy, as it is termed, 
growing tired of his servile station, and 
ambitious to wield a truncheon, gave 
William Rufus warning to provide him- 
self with another deputy. Upon this 
desertion Chetwpod cast his eyes upon 



35 MEMOIRS OF 

young Whitdey, and tampered with 
him to engage as his call-boy, pro- 
mising most solemnly to make him a 
first-rate actor if he would mind hb 
duty. Fired with the proposal. White- 
ley, without hesitation, closed with it j 
and at the end of the Dublin season, 
without giving the proper warning to 
his unhappy master, still in durance, set 
oflf with the company for Waterford, 
and during his three months abode 
there, made such a rapid progress in 
the scenic profession, that he was soli* 
cited by a widow Parker to join her 
company at Galway, with a pleasing 
offer of a first cast of parts ; or, in the , 
modern phrase, a principal line of- bu- 
siness. This was too flattering an offer 
for our yet c^ow hero to be looked 
upon with indifference ; he therefore 
took leave of the company, carrying 
withiiiin a cennderable number of play- 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 37 

books, farces, &c. well cut, marked, 
and' margined by the successor of old 
Dpwnes.'**' 

Here it will be necessary to inform 
my readers that there was a consider- 
able arrear of salary, or rather wages, 
duetto Whiteley for his drudgery. 
Though his weekly hire, had he been 
regularly paid, would have amounted 
to no more than 7s. yet, notwithstand- 
ing his frequent pressing instances of 
'the necessity he was under for the use 
of the whole, he could not prevail upon 
the manager to pay him, and that by 
several unequal installments, moi^ than 

* Chetwood, it is well known to many, was 
the pupil of Downes, the prompter, who was 
cotemporary with the famous Betterton, Dog- 
^et, Niokes, and had the supreine felicity of 
t giving material instruction to the late Mr. Barry, 
Miss Nossiter, and many other eminent per- 
4brmers» 

» 3 



38 - MEMOIRS OF . 

seventeen shillings and five-p^nce for 
nine weeks servitude. Thus circum- 
stanced, candour must acknowledge, 
that though our hero did not in this • 
case act conformably ta the most rigid 
rules of moral rectitude, yet was he 
not much to blame, as he knew he could - 
pursue no legal course to oblige his em- 
ployer to pay him, he having^.from the 
hour of his entering the town, sheltered 
himself in the Friars, a privileged place, . 
where a snug playhouse was erected 
within its precincts, and for obvious' 
reasons the most eligible spot in - the 
town for the purpose. Conscious of 
not having violated the laws of his coun- 
try, and confident that he had secured 
a sufficient indemnity for the money 
due to him,young Whiteley boldly pro- 
ceeded across the country to the re- 
nowned capital of Conaught, at that 
time notorious through the whole king- 



CHAR1.es lee L£W£S. 39 

dom for being the local residence of the- 
thirteen families, particularly dreaded 
by their peaceable neighbours on ac- 
count of their ferocity, and iipplacabler 
resentment of every supposed affront, 
which nothing but the death of the de- 
voted victim of their ruthless animosity 
could in any shape atone for- But it 
is with infinite pleasure I am able to 
certify, that on some examples being 
made of many of the toughest branches 
of the thirteen distinguished families 
by the salutary laws of their injured, 
bleeding country, that the whole pro- 
vince is in a fair way of following the 
example of their praise-worthy nei^h- 
hours of Ulster. But to return from 
this digrefssion, and look after our hero, 
who, upon joining Mrs. Parker's com- 
pany, made his first appearance in the 
Cure for a Scold, compiled from Shake- 
speare's play of that name, and 6uU 

D4 



40 MEMOiks Of 

Iodc*s'Cbbler df Preston, made into a 
balhd ftrce, Whitcley was pk)sses8ed of 
an excellent voice, and performed the 
hero of the piece ; the manageress^ the 
part of Peggy, his haggard patient. 
Whiteley succeeded beyond his Warmest 
hopes, and soon gained upon the lflfec« 
tions of the fair widow. She wanted 
a tnale assistant to assist her in her bu« 
siness ; and ever prudent Whiteley was 
equally eager to catch at the young wi- 
dow*s property. — In short they were 
married : the husband at eighteen, the 
wife then twetity-six, with two soas by 
her former husband, the ddest of which 
was the cause of endless family dissen- 
sions, and the new married pah: were 
equally prone to unruly passions. She 
would with pertinacious Audacity insist 
that he was of a more irascible temper 
than her deceased husband, who, though 
a Wdchman, and consequently had a 



CHAR'LlBS L£E I/l WSS. Alt 

right by prescrijption, frojn the days of 
the great grandfether of the renowned 
and redoubted Cadwallader, to be in» 
flated with choler, even to the bursting 
of his spleen. These domestic jars oc- 
curred so frequently, that the fatal con- 
sequences of them were at no distant 
period from their nuptials sorely felt by 
them. The performers deserted them 
by degrees, and sought for a more 
peaceful retreat, among whom was the 
late respectable Mr. William Havard, of 
Druty-Lane Theatre, who had been 
some probationary months in that com- 
pany. The paucity of the number df 
performers caused a falling off in their 
receipts, and to so great a degree, that 
Whiteley has declared often (even after 
he arrived at the highest pitch of opu- 
lence) that he lived many days (though 
a manager) upon bread and buttermilk, 
in the plentiful town of Carlow. How- 



4X s MEMOIRS OF , 

ever, our hero, ever fruitful in devis-' 
ing resources in all emergencies, took 
courage, and having formed the des-* 
perate resolution of selling off his whole 
wardrobe, except one suit of tarnished 
laced cloaths, which he reserved to 

• 

make a genteel appearance upon his ar- 
rival in England. The produce of the 
sale of his stock scantily furnished him 
with the means of paying the passagq 
of his family to Liverpool, at which 
flourishing town he had previous inteU 
ligence of a company performing under 
the management of John Heron, of in* 
triguing memory. Whiteley and wife 
were gladly received* The company '« 
success was great, exceeding the re- 
ceipts of any former season. During 
a run of the Tempest for five nights, 
they seldom took less than twenty 
pounds ; and at the benefit of Totten- 
ham Wright, a favourite actor, the re- 



CHARLES L££ LEWES. 4^* 

ceipt amounted to twenty-seven pounds 
fourteen shillings and sixpence. I am 
afraid my readers will imagine I cannot 
be serious in this relation,, but there are 
several now. living, who will subscribe 
to the truth of it; But lest t^hould be 
suspected of advancing any thing which 
might induce, the present generation to 
form any idea of a sordid disposition in 
the wealthy inhabitants of that hospi* 
table town, I declare. it as my opinion, . 
that neither lack of spirit or taste was 
the caufee of such scanty receipts at their 
theatre in those days. On the contrary^ . 
: it was an eminent proof of their true 
taste and discernment, by their soon 
after giving gr:eat encouragement to 
Mr. Gibson, who f brought a regular 
.company to their town,, and instead of 
exhibiting in an old crazy warehouse, 
built a house in Drury-lane in. that 
town ; and here it was for the first tiraie 



44 MEMOIRS OF 

boxes' were erected, as a just partition 
for the better sort to withdraw from the 
near contact of drunken sailors and 
their female associates, who by paying 
two shillings, which^ many of them 
could and would aflFord, for the ho- 
nour of mixing in company with their 
lemiiAoyers and their families. Nor is 
it the prodigious influx of wealth into 
the place since that period, now fifty 
yeats at least, that caused the surprising 
difference between receipts of the play- 
house then and what they have been 
for many seasons past ; but a nice dis- 
criminating judgment, that merits the 
highest encomium. But to return to 
our Hibernian adventurer — ^I said that 
Heron^s company had uncommon suc- 
cess. At the close of this productive 
reason, Whiteley turned his thoughts 
once more upon commencing manager, 
and though he tampered with several 



CHARXES LE£ L^WES. 45 

members of this well-fledged corps to 
engage with him, they were, one and 
all, deaf to his rhetoric, and some of 
the closeted parties even informed the 
manager of Whiteley's scheme of in- 
veigling his people, which produced his 
discharge. This was a thunder stroke 
to Whitdey. — But upon hearing of a 
list of " lawless resolutes" being in a 
village on the borders of Wales, he 
went and joined them ; and such in- 
fluence had he over the majority of this 
group, that they relaxed their repub- 
lican spirit, for they stiled themselves 
a commonwealths and put themselves 
without reserve under the sole direc- 
tion of this hero, who soon made a 
managerial use of the authority he was 
invested with. In short, from this 
small beginning he rose to a pitch of 
aflSxience before unknown to provincial 
managers. But as I shall have frequent 



46 MEMOmS OF 

occasion to mention this gentleman, U 
shall here close my account of the rise 
and early progress of this extraordinary 
man. 

In the year 1760 I joined White- 
ley (as I havq observed) at Doncasten 
The first part he put into my hands 
was Don Duart's servant in the Fop*s 
Fortune; he has only one speech, where 
he tells Elvira that " Your brother, 
madam, my master, young Don Duart'^ 
dead : he just now quarrelled with a 
gentleman, who unfortunately killed 
him in the street."- At the rehearsal 
in the morning Whiteley stood before 
me, and after I had repeated the speech, 
asked me significantly if I meant to 
speak it so ?'*— " Yes, sir.''—" Why, 
my dear, it may do in those companies 
you have been in, but it won't do with 
me, my dear.*' — " If I am wrong, sir, 
Vll thank you to instruct me."—- 



CHARLES LEE L'EWES. 4^ 

*^ Wrong, my dear, you never were 
so wrong in your life ; who made you 
an actor ? I gave you this part, my 
dear, because you have an eye; the 
fellow I have taken it from has two^ to 
be sure, but they are put into his head 
with dirty fingers, he looks like a chim- 
ney-sweeper : now you are a clean tight 
fellow, my dear, but no actor ; for in 
that very speech never was a finer scope 
for an actor to shew himsdf since the 
Almighty first taught angels to spout 
in Paradise/* Profane as this is, it is a 
literal truth, I had not been many 
weeks with him before he changed 
his mind respecting my abilities, per- 
mitting me to strut in Romeo, Barn- 
well, Castalio, Moneses, &c, Her- 
bert's company was then at Shefiield, 
and hearing of my fame, he came 
over to Doncaster to feel my pulse re- 
specting a change of situation, which I 



48 M£MOIRS OF 

very gladly embraced on his first open- 
ing the matter to me. I agreed to join 
him at the close of my engagement 
with Whitdey, who, suspecting the 
business, obtruded himself into our 
company, and with all that smooth 
plausible manner he was perfectly mas- 
ter ofi begged pardon, hoped he did 
not intrude — perhaps you are on busi- 
ness, my dears ? — No, sir, we are glad 
to see you. Herbert and I had settled 
the business, and whatever Whitelcy's 
suspicions might be respecting my leav- 
ing him, he could get nothing out of 
us then to confirm theip. About three 
o'clock in the morning, lo ! his wife 
made as unmannerly an entry into the 
room as he had done before, but withr 
out any apology, — ^What do you want 
here, my dear, says Augustus ? — You 
old fool, mumbled she, are you not 
ashamed to sit in company with a man 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 49 

ths^'s come to rob you of the best actor 
you have. — You lie, my dear, I am the 
best actor : he don't rob me, my dear, 
let him take him, he's fit only for a 
puppet-show, to be hung upon a peg, 
and taken down when wanted; his 
words come out of his mouth as if he 
was speaking through a comb : he'll 
do very well for Flockton, my dear. — 
I tell you again, Mr. Whiteley, he's the 
best actor you have. Whiteley then, 
almost savage^ exclaimed, here's an in- 
fidel! leave the room, ma'am. —^I won't, 
Mr. Whiteley. — You won't. — At tliis 
moment Herbert and I interposed, and 
having got her out of the room, and 
pacified him, he shook me by the hand, 
hoped he had not been provoked to say 
any thing to ofiend pie, as he thought 
me the best actor he ever had. Such 
is the eccentricity of this man, that I 
cannot quit him without relating a cu- 

VOL. I. E 



50 MEMoms vr 

rioBS anecdote that happened at this 
very period — I mean at the time I was 
unth hiin at Doncastcr. He had then 
arrived at his grand climacteric, grew 
hypochondriacal, and, as is the case 
with many of his brother misers when 
they have accumulated wealth, are loth 
to make their wills, which thev con- 
sider as a forerunner of their speedy 
dissolution, deferred that act of faniily 
duty as long as he could ; but being 
. one night at an clccmosinary debauch, 
he slept to an unusually late hour the 
ndxt day ; his old lady, however, stole 
from his side ivt a "proper time to ma- 
nage her family afl'airs, in which she was 
employed when she was summoned by 
her husband's chamber bell, which con- 
tinned to tingle till she arrived upon the 
spot from whence the alarm arose. — 
Now Whiteley, at his waking, had oc- 
casion to make use of a bason that 



CHA&L£S LEE LEWES, 51 

Stood by his bedside, in which, ag lie 
was setting it down, he perceived in 
the contents what shook his soul with 
horror ; at the sight thereof an agoniz- 
ing perspiration pervaded every part 
of him; and the most gloomy thoughts 
invaded and took possession of his per? 
turbed mind ; scarce had he power to 
ring the bell which was to introduce 
his spouse. 

The affrighted dam^e, on her arrival, 
demanded the cause of this larum? 
Whiteley, groaning in spirit,and scarce- 
ly Ible to articulate the words, desired 
she would send for an attorney to make 
his will immediately ! Your will, my 
c^ear Jemmy ! Why, what's the matter ? 

Oh ! — the matter, my dear Casy, 

(her name was Cassandra) why, woman, 
I have not half an hour to live in this 
sinful world. Within isi short hour I 
trust I shall be taking my repose iii 

£ 2 



52 MEMOIRS Of 

Abraham's bosom. You torture me, my 
dear Jemmy ! what have you been do- 
ing ? I hope you have not drank poi- 
son, any love. — No, no, I am not so 
rash, Sinner as I am, and always was, 
I cvef had better thoughts. Send for 
the attorney directly; I am a dead 
man ; bid him bring a proper stamp 
for the purpose. The wife, wringing 
her hands in real grief, quitted the 
room in order tb perform her good 
man's dying request. . She dispatched 
a messenger for a lawyer, and his in- 
strument j but quickly, as was natu- 
ral, returned to her doleful husband, 
and, falling on her knees, most earnest- 
ly conjured him to satisfy her, whether 
he had drank any deleterious draught, 
that might give cause for his fears of so 
speedy a dissolution ? Thus tenderly 
pressed, he presented his wife with the 
bason. Look here, my dear, could any 



CHARLES LEE LEWES, 53 

man behold this, and entertain the 
smallest hope of surviving a single 

hour f -And is this the only cause 

of your being so alarmed, dear Jemmy ! 
— Aye, and cause sufficient, is it not? 
— Thank heaven, I can soon restore you 
to peace of mind again,, and make you 
put off thoughts of rushing so suddenly 
into Abraham's bosom, or any Jew like 
him. You must know, my dear,^ that I 
made use of oatmeal to wash my hands 
with this morning, and emptied the 
water into this bason. Soyouthought— 
The enraged Whiteley, on hearing this, 
flew out of bed, snatched down his 
horsewhip, and, with a savage ferocity, 
began to exercise it upon his tender 
spouse most cruelly, tUl interrupted by 
the entrance of the attorney, who was 
truly expeditious in procuring the 
stamp, and every other thing needful 
for the solemn ceremony. 

= 3 



54 MEMOPRS err 

Bless me! said the astonished scribe f 
why, Mr. Whitelcy, I was informed you? 
were dymg — -You lie, you thief, yon 
was not, nor, Fll nerer die, you thief,, 
to vex you and that Jezebel there, your 
confederate — you're both m a conspi- 
racy against my life, I see it plainly ;, 
but here stands old James Augustus 
Whiteley, that will never die, but live 
for ever, to disappoint you all I* Take 
that, you thief, and that. This op- 
probrious language to the lawyer, was- 
accompanied with many severe blows 
with the butt end of the whip, which- 
brought on the miserable Whiteley an 
action of battery ; the cost attending 
which had such an effect on his penu- 
^ rious soul, as to almost realise what hh 
fancy had so lately created* 

Before I proceed any farther, I must 
inform my readers, that I find it abso- 
lutely necessary to relate my anecdotes 



CHARLES LEE LJEWES. 55 

as they happened, so that this sketch 
of my life, thus inteii3persed, like the 
xnodern^ sketches of parliamentary de- 
bates,, will probably be very long, but 
I trust not unentertaining. Before I 
return to my uhimportant self, I shall 
relate what further happened in this 
company before I left it for Sheffield. 

One day, this Bajazet of the stage 
kings^ Whiteley, was. taking a cheerful 
glass with some respectable inhabitants 
of the town, when one George Down- 
ing^ a,, ruby-faced member of the scenic 
eorpS], came in, and desired to speak to 
Mr. Whiteley.; — Your conimands with 
me, my dear sir ? — Sir, I have glorious 
news for you, as well as me; — What is it,, 
my dear sir ? — ^l have got my play be- 
spoke by the gentlemeu of tlie hunt. — 
I am glad»of it, my dear. ' The gen*- 
tlemen, sir, have cast the play j. 'tis 
She Would and She Would Notj and^ 



56 MEMOIRS Of 

have sent me to have it signed with 
your approbation, that I may take it 
immediately to the printer : here it is^ 
sir; they have cast me Trapanti, — 
What ! How ! Who ? What Trapanti i 
— Trapanti in the play, sir ? ■ " You 
don't mean my Trapanti ? — ^To be sure, 
sir ; they say you are too old, and too 
fat for such a starved character! — ^They 
do, you red nosed rascal, do they? 
Then pray hunt out these gentlemen of 
the hunt ; lap up my compliments to 
them in a cabbage leaf, and carry them 
to the ignorant rascals ; and there's for 
your impudent, presumptuous message, 
(sluicing poor George with the best 
part of a tankard of beer.) Look, look, 
gentkmen, observe how the beer hisses 
and sputters on his worm inhabited 
countenance, like a salamander ! You 
get no benefit in my company, you 
creeping incendiary ! Sirrah^ I'll expose 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. S7 

you through the three kinjgdoms j you 
informing scoundrel ! My Trapanti in- 
deed ! So George walked oflF, disho^ 
noured and undone. 

FORETHOUGHT TOR A COFFIK. 

It is customary in travelling compa- 
nies, when any thing is to be shared,, 
to make the dividend as soon as the 
farce is coi^cluded ; in Whiteley^^s com- 
pany, at this period, which was not 
common, the sharing had been very 
indifferent for a succession of nights* 
However, a bespdke play filled the 
house, and the actors with the expec- 
tancy of a large dividend at the end 
of the farce, which was of Whiteley's 
own writing — The Humbug. Eigh- 
teen shillings fell to the share of each 
performer ; but Whitdey gave Andrews, 
pne of the company, only nine shillings. 
What's this for I says Andrews.^ — Yqut ^ 



58 MEMOIRS OF 

share, my dear. — My share! Dcmt 
humbug me, Mr. Whitelcy, though you? 
have humbugM the audience to-mght j 
why, I don't owe you any thing \ True, 
my dear, but you will very soon ; yoi» 
are in a bad state of health. — ^Look at 
hrm, gentlemen — the thief wants to* 
leave us without warning; You- see he 
is in a consumption. Where did you 
get it, you thief, not in my flesh- and 
blood company, but the skin and bone 
troop you came from* You'll die in 
a fortnight, my dear ; and, as^ we must 
bury you, I have stopped nine shilKngs^ 
towards your coffin. Cruel a& these 
modes of joking were,. Whiteley could 
not forego them. 

The foHowinganeedoteof Mr. Richard 
Hurst may not unaptly be related here^, 
as it will serve to* place our friend 
Whiteley in a pomt of light we ha^ve 
not yet Hoticed him in#. 



CHARLES LEU LEWES. SS 

Mr. Hurst, after hh hopes were 
blighted, in respect to the great benefit 
he was sure bis merit as an actor would 
command at Liverpool, turned h» 
thoughts towards an immediate civ 
gagement j and hearing that Whiteley 
was then playing at Manchester, t(y 
very great houses, he wrote him a let* 
ter ta the following purports 






I am a gentleman, well re* 
ceived in my professional line, as an ac- 
tor of BO mean abiliities. This you 
may jwige of, by the applauding world- 
declaring, that I have been these two 
years treading bard upon the heels of 
Barry. In short,, so great a favourite 
am I, that aH true connoisseurs in act- 
ing say, wherever I appear on a coun^- 
try stage, that I am too good for such 
mean places*. However, sir,, hearing 



6o MEMOIRS OF 

you have a tolerable stock of clothes 
and scenes, and a good circuit, I wiU 
wave, for the present, my superiority 
over others of your company, and con- 
descend to join you immediately, on 
only two shares. Your speedy answer 
to this will oblige yours, &c. 

Richard Hurst.*' 
On the receipt of this truly modest 
epistle, Whiteley was, for some minutes, 
at a stand to find words to answer it* 
A tolerable stock of clothes and scenes! 
This slighting account of his stage pro- 
perty, he looked upon as more intoler- 
able, than any other part of his boun- 
cing letter. His being too great and 
good for country towns, he considered 
as the effusions of a young coxcomb,, 
who had been taught by some to set 
an extraordinary value upon himself^ 
To the same account he placed his 
treading upon Barry '& 2ieels«. After 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 6v 

some struggles with himself, wherein 
rage and laughter had their turns alter- 
nately, he hit upon a scheme to draw 
this too good person to the company ; 
as he longed to see one that had the 
impudence to avow himself a better 
man than he was, who had never been i 
out of the country. Accordingly he 
sent for this phenomenon, and in three 
days after received a billet from an inn, 
in Manchester, subscribed Richard 
Hurst, desiring to speak with him. 

The first part of Whiteley's plan, for 
mortifying this self-sufficient gentle- 
man, was to collect his whole company 
together, when he proposed to intro- 
duce them to an uncommon prodigy. 
Accordingly, they all attended their 
manager to the Bull, in the market 
place. Whiteley inquired for the strange 
gentleman, and was shewn into a' room,, 
where they found Mr. Hurst seated. 



62 MEMOIRS OF 

^th a bottle of wine before him. They 
soon game to a right understanding — 
the ceremony of civility being over, 
Mr. Whitelcy having acted as master of 
the ceremonies on the occasion, he 
^sked him what character he would 
choose to open with ? Bajazet, 'sir, if 
the play is up. Well, sir, said Whitcley, 
appoint your night, and you sliall have 
a fair trial, though the part is a fa- 
vorite one of my own. 

This was done, and Hurst, upon the 
whole, was well received. The re- 
ceipts of the house were shared, and 
the book put into Hurst^s hands, for 
Ills inspection* The nightly, or inci- 
dental charges, he lightly passed over ; 
but when he came to the line which 
informed him of the prodigious num* 
ber of shares which the residue of the 
cash was to be divided into, his blood 
ran cold, and with a look of astonish- 



CHARLES LEE Li^WES. 63 

ment he demanded of the manager, 
whether there was not some mistake in 
it ? What, fifty-six shares i — Yes, sir, 
says Whitcky, and if ther^ are too 
many, you may blame yourself for it: 
we were but twenty-seven, 'till you 

came to us. No 1 No, sin Why, 

;sir, does the sinrfe addition of me 

Come, sir, says the manager, Til relieve 
you from your surprise, by explaining 
to you the cause of our being so seem- 
ingly overloaded with people. — I allow, 
honestly, that one Iialf is but ideal. — 
Well, sir, and do you call it honest to — 
Pray; good sir, says Whitcley, don't 
interrupt me till I have donp-. I pro- 
Vnised you an explanation, and yon 
«hall have it. Did you not, good sir, 
demand two shares for your perform- 
ance ? and did I not promise, in my 
answer, that you should have them? 
I have most religiously kept my pro- 



64 MEMOIRS Of 

mise to you. , Now, sir, would you 
wish me to injure the interests of all 
the other niembers of my company, 
and deprive them of their just rights, 
to gratify your vanity ? I was resolved 
to have you at all events ; I sent for 
you, and that I might strictly keep my 
word with you, two shares you have 
got, and so have we all. — This unex- 
pected trick, Mr. Whiteley — Trick, sir! 
You gasconading scoundrel — you dish 
of water-gruel — you superior to any 
gentleman in my company ! You arc 
not fit to bring on a message to the 
lowest member of my company. So, 
sir, if you will not conform to th? es- 
tablished rules of my company, which 
are as irrevocable as the laws of the 
Medes and Persians, you may take your 
course j but if you will remain, you 
must expect, young Barry, not to swell 
and bounce, in such parts as Bajazet, 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 6^ 

any more. No, no, Mr. Too-good, 
you must be put upon the shelf 'till 
you mend your manners, as well as 
your mode of acting. 

This sample of Whitcley's humour 
was far from being- agreeable to the 
crest-fallen Hurst, who, finding his 
superior excellence thus slightly re- 
garded, abruptly closed his engagement 
with the facetious manager, Whiteley. 

But to return to myself. In a few 
days after I left Doncaster, I made my 
first appearance in Herbert's company, 
at Sheffield, in the part of Castalio. I 
fancy it was my figure at that time, 
and being a tolerable likely young man, 
that induced the managers to throw 
me into the line of acting, which I 
was always very incompetent to. 

There was a young gentleman in the 
company, one Glassbrooke, that, had 
he lived to the present period, must, 

VOL. X. F 



66 MEMOIRS OF 

in my opiiiiob, have classed with the 
first tragic performers of this day. He 
died at Lincohi about 1766, much re* 
gretted by a numerous acquaintance 
of the first respectability, which his 
public and private worth attached to 
him. 

After being two years in this happy 
and respectable company of players, I 
began to think myself a fixture ; made 
exceeding good benefits, the sharing 
was always superior to any company 
of that day, and I enjoyed every thing 
I wished for.* 

It was at Sbefiield, and in this com- 
pany, I first attempted the character of 
Harlequin ; and on a night of my be- 
nefit, the Enthusiasm I caught for the 
patched hero had nearly cost me my 
life. To this day the accident is there 
well remembered. The scenes being 
so over-croudcd on that night by those 



CHARLES L££ LEWES. 6^ 

who could not get into the front of the 
house, that many stood on the stage, 
and, at the moment I was going to take 
my leap, I .perceived a woman standing 
directly at the place through which I 
was to escape. The audience saw this 
before I did, and was calling out " get 
away, get out of his \y^ay j'* I wave4 
my hand to her to stand aside, but 
having my mask on, she could 
not perceive whom L was addressing. 
The audience all the time in painful 
agitation for me, seeing her head was 
nearly parallel with the bottom of the 
hole I was to jump through, and quick 
almost as thought, I took one traverse 

* 

round the stage, went over her head 
through the hole, and like a shot over 
the carpet that was prepared to catch me, 
and lighted on the iloor, which was 
sfon^, being, the extremity of the stage. 

F 2 



6B MEMOIRS 09 

To account for the position I fell in, I 
du^t explain, that I always turned my- 
sdf when through the leap, and fell oil 
Uiy back, with my head towards the au- 
dience. In this situation was I found 
fin the flags, and being motionless, was 
at first Supposed to have been dead { 
the audience all the time applauding 
in an uncommon manner. But a stop 
being put to the entertainment on this 
account, and the chasm being longer 
than their patience would allow^ not 
knowing the cause^ they made a vio- 
lent uproar for the pantomime to go 
On, when Mr. Miller, late manager of 
the Shrewsbury company, went on the 
stage ; for some time they would not 
hear him, at last procuring silence, with 
the loss of his temper, he exclaimed—- 
Damn you all ; what would you have ? 
the man has killed himself I My cala^ 



\ 

CHAILLES Ii££ I.£W£S. 69 

mity was soon buzssed through the 
house, and a general sympathy took 
place. 

Though twenty-six years have passed 
since that misfortune befel me, I at this 
moment feel a lively sense of gratitude, 
and ever shall, for the kind assistanc^^ 
afforded me by my friends at Sheffield ; 
and particularly to the present Duchess 
of Norfolk (thep the Honour aWe Mrs. 
Howard) for her tenderness and anxie- 
ty on that occasion. I was two months 
confined to my room, and one month 
before I could bear the rays of light, 
so violent was the concussion. How- 
ever, my reputation as an Harlequin 
reached the metropdds, and I was in- 
vited by a letter from Mr. Beard, to a 
situation in Covent Garden theatre, as 
second Harlequin to Mr. Woodward, 
which I embraced. 

But before I enter upon my royal 

F3 



70 M£MOIRS OF 

progress, and how it has ended, I must 
^vc my readers some of the eccentri- 
cities of my two years itinerancy. Her- 
bert, the manager, who was generally 
known by the name of Doctor Her- 
bert, was celebrated by the lovers of the 
nipikin, through the counties of Nor' 
folk, Lincoln, and Nottingham, for the 
incredible number of half pints of beer 
and ale he soaked up in a day, no less 
indeed than ninety-two, from five in 
the morning (he was an early riser) till 
nine at night, always finishing the 
night with the ninety-third for sup- 
per. 

This extraordinary gentleman was 
blessed with a provident wife ; she gave 
him a daily allowance of half a crown 
for pocket-money, a plentiful supply 
you must allow, but thirsty Dennis 
Herbert frequently found it too little. 
Shame would not suffer him to apply 



CHARLES LEE LBWES. 71 

to his wife for any additional allow- 
ance; but as he wisely foresaw that the 
half-crown would be insufficient for the 
expenditure of a whole day in such a 
town as Lynn, he made use of an in- 
genious stratagem to enlarge his stock. 
The necessary attention required at the 
theatre caused Mrs. Herbert to sleep 
soundly during the morning, which put 
a scheme into old Dennis's head of sup- 
plying himself liberally, without being 
detected, or accused of being more ex- 
travagant than there was a necessity 
for. — I said before he was an early riser: 
a thirsty spark that must be quench- 
ed was his sole motive for it. Not for 
the reason some silly wise people give, 
as the meanir of prolonging life : but 
to obey th4 calls of the present mo- 
ment. His spouse's pockets were al- 
ways carefully tied up together, and 
deposited under her head. Dennis, tak* 

F 4 



i 



jra MEMOIRS OF 

ing advantage of her whilst she was 
under the dominion of the drowsy god, 
wQuld artfully draw away the dq)0- 
sitary of her cash, and purloin fircHn 
thence such sums as he thought pro- 
per, carefully restoring the bags to the 
place from whence he took them. This 
trade of filching from himself he fol- 
lowed for a great while, and chuckled 
with the thoughts of having such a 
safe resource, without casting ohe 
thought on the ruinous consequences 
which might ensue to his family by 
such an extraordinary procedure. But 
the time drew nigh for a fatal stop to 
be put to this unnatural fraud. Mrs. 
Herbert was most punctual in the pay- 
ment of all the tradespeoples' bills any 
way connected with what concerned 
the theatre, as the tallow-chandler, car^ 
penter, painter, &c. ; their demands 
she made a rule to discharge every 



CHARLES LEM LXWES. 73 

morning after play*night ; but the sen^ 
sible deficiency she often found, on eaD- 
amining the contents of her pocksels^ 
surprised and shocked her. She could 
not possibly account for it but by her 
pockets being picked, and who coukl 
do that ? None but her old chamber- 
mate, Dennis. She therefore resolved 
to detect him ; for which purpose, on 
the next play-day, she took a comfort- 
able nap, to qualify her for the intended 
vigil. Her plot succeeded. About five 
next morning, just at the glimmering 
of daylight, Dennis stole softly out of 
bed, and ere he drew on his small 
clothes, he fell to rifling the never faiip 
ing budget. But as soon as he began, 
the watchful wife cries out — O curse 
upon you, you old fumbling rascal ; 
have I found you out ? — What's the 
matter, Moll ? D — n it, I believe my 
breeches are bewitched, I can't get my 



74 MEMOIRS OF 

feet thro* 'em ; have you been sewing 
them up at the knees for fun, Moll ?— 
Here he kept grunting and tugging to 
get on the pockets, or money bags, 
which he pretended to mistake for hi^ 
breeches. But his spouse was not to be 
imposed upon thus : she told the whole 
of this iniquitous transaction to • the 
highly-diverted company at next re- 
hearsal. 

Mr. Herbert related to me the fol- 
lowing : — Bridge Frodsham, who was 
called the Roscius of the North, one 
night in the year 1758, was playing the 
part of King Richard the Third at 
Hull, and in the course of that solemn 
speeeh of " 'Tis now the dead of night,'* 
he was alarmed with the sound of a 
coarse brogueneer voice from behind 
the scenes, with— Arrah, Bell, what 
have you done with your husband's 
thurty shirt? Frodsham's consternation 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 75, 

can only be conceived by othe^ capital* 
actors in such circumstances. The* 
shouts, the convulsive laughter of the; 
audience in all parts of the theatre,' 
threw the dismayed Richard into such 
an agony, that he could not speak more 
of the soliloquy that night ; so he quit-, 
ted the stage abruptly, with a hearty' 
curse on all Irishwomen j but his au- 
ditors continued in good humour, and 
highly applauded his succeeding efforts* 
In this company was Mr. Thomas 
Brock, an excellent comedian, and 
many years the associate and congenial 
companion of the facetious George 
Alexander Stevens. Brock was not 
only esteemed the best comedian in the 
country, but was also plentifully en- 
dowed with a more than ordinary share 
of wit; yet too frequently had that 
talent, by a wanton use of it, involved 
tim in very disagreeable scrapes, llow- 



j6 ATEMOx&s or 

ever, the following fabrication of his, 
by the cunning and innocent use he 
made of it, will by its plea^ntry, I 
trust, gain him a pardoafor SKivandng 
afalshood. For a long course of years^ 
through carelessness in the players, or 
inattention in the manager, Herbert's 
company was reflected on for the slo- 
venly manner they conducted their re- 
hearsals ; but after repeated animad- 
versions on this want of respect to^ 
Acir friends, the public, they one and 
all agreed to a laudable regularity in 
that necessary preparation for the bu- 
siness of the night, and unc^er a con- 
siderable penalty to begin their rehear- 
sals every day (Sundays excepted) at 
the hour of ten, allowing, at the same 
time, ten minutes grace. This new 
broom swept clean for some tin^e, and 
its unremitting severity had pinched 
the stipends of many of t4iem, both 



CHARLES LEI tEWfiS. 77 

male and female. Tom Brock, wha 
seldom relinquished pleasme for busi- 
ness, was hailed by some jovial com- 
panions as he was steering towards the 
playhouse about the proper time for re- 
hearsal J he was easily prevailed- upon 
to outstay his time a full hour, and his 
part being a busy one, he forfeited a 
small sum for several scenes which had 
been read for him. But being at length 
permitted to depart, he entered the 
theatre with a most rueful countenance, 
and was saluted with loud shouts and 
sneers by his brethren of the sock and 
buskin. — ^I give you joy. Tommy — 
welcome to your half ounce, my boy — 
we commend your generosity — pluck 
up your spirits. Tommy. — Gentlemen, 
says Brock, you may shevir yourselves 
4is merry as you pleaSe ; but had you 
seen what I have behdd within this 
half hour, you would not be so jocular, 



yt MEMOIRS OF 

I believe.— Why, what's the matter. 
Tommy ?— I am afraid, says Brock, we 
shall all feel the loss of the worthy 
roan as well as his family, and all that 
knew him. — ^What ? — Why there's Mr. 
, whom you all knew to be one 
of our staunchest friends, has dislo- 
cated his collar bone, and broke his 
right leg, by a fall from the scaflfold 
that was erected for the repair of his 
house, as he was unfortunately over- 
looking the workmen. I am sure I 
shan't be able to muster spirits suffi- 
cient to go through a single scene to- 
day, the shock has so affected me. This 
dreadful relation of their general bene- 
factor's disaster produced a sensation 
of another kind, and hurried the whqle 
corps, men and women, out of the 
house, to the place mentioned by Brock, 
who took care to lay his scene at a con- 
siderable distance that he might profit 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. ' 79 

the more by their credulity. As soon 
as they were gone, Tom took up the 
prompt book, and read on for every 
ab^nt person ; and by this droll stra^ 
tagem he not only worked himself 
whole again, but had a surplus to re- 
gale; with the Saturday following, whed 
the forfeits were levied. 

It was in this company of Herbert's 
that his son Nat shewed me the follow- 
ing curious and laconic letter of Mr. 
Collinses, better known by the name 
of Brush Collins : 

'' Sir, 
** Fortunately for your company I 
am disengaged ; I am up to Melpomene, 
down upon Thalia, twig Farce, and 
smoke Pantomime : they say I am a 
very good figure, and I never saw a 
looking-glass that contradicted that re- 
port. To have me, now is your tinie 

or never. 

" Your's, &c.'' 



8o MEMOXiis or 

I think this is the true French nine 
shillings^ as I once heard Lord Trinket 
express himself ignorantly, instead of 
non chalanee. Xhis gentleman many: 
years ago played Captain Plume at Co-* 
vent Garden Theatre for a trial part \ 
it so happened that he laboured that 
night under a very severe ccdd and 
hoarseness, solely on account of which 
his performance was not impressive. 
Being volatile, he bid adieu to Covent 
Garden, and rusticated till within these 
very few years, when he again intro* 
duced himself in the metropolis in a 
very entertaining evening's amusement^ 
called the Brush, composed of pleasant 
old theatrical stories well told, with 
humorous songs well written by him- 
self* His Date Obolum Bellssario is an 
indubitable proof of his talent in the 
serious and interesting, and is neve)r 
given by him but with wonderful ef- 
fect, by which he has acquired a well- 



CHARJLI8 LIEE L£W£S«' 8 1 

earned easy competency^ and I hopt Will 
long enjoy it. But as this gendesian is 
on the carpet, I must, without his leave, 
make free to brush up a few stories in 
my way, that may havi; been under his 
poli$hing. Having been witness to many 
of them above thirty years ago, they are 
surely as fair game for me ai; htm» Mr. 
Cbllins knows they existed from twenty 
to thirty years before ever he rummaged 
them, and are now the standing green* 
room j<^es of every theatre in England^ 
Ireland, and Scotland— so sans cersmonU.' 

STROLLING EMBARRASSItJENT. 

At Lynn, in Norfolk, a very imperfeclr 
performer, one Grouse, came forward ta 
give out the play for the next night ; it 
being by particular desire, for the benefit 
of the box-keeper, and the last night o£ 
performing th^t season, which he gave 
oikt literally in the following manner : 

VOL. 1. o 



> 



82 MEMOIRS .OF 

" Ladies and Gentlemen — above and 
below, tO'inorrow eve — no-^that's a lie 

—to-morrow's Sunday on Monday 

evening will be performed the celebrated 
comedy of— of — of — the tragedy of— 
of — of — no, the opera-r-opera— opera 
of — of — of — the play — the play — of — 
of — of — the play-bills of to-morrow will 
' let you know all about it. To which 
will be added — the farce of the — the 
pantomime of the — the — entertainment 
— of — what's to be done after the play, 
being by desire of th^ box-keepers, and 
for the benefit of the last season." 

The late Isaac Sparjcs, of facetious me- 
mory, and of whom I shall have occa^ 
sion to speak hereafter, was used to say 
as many good things as most comedians 
upon record. I trust the following 
anecdotes will not be unwelcome here, 
as they are the groundwork of similar 
matter ingeniously brushed pp by Mr. 
Collins^in his Brush. 



CHAIU.es lee LEWES. 8*3 

During the halcyon management of 
Mr. Thomas ' Sheridan, in Dublin, Mr. 
Sparks was the stock Lord Mayor, both 
in the Beggar's Bush, and Richard the 
Third, and being a dignified figure, had 
some blank verse dukes palmed upon 
him, which he ever looked upon as a 
hardship ; and to get rid of them, with^ 
out downright quarrelling with his in- 
terest, he turned them into downright 
drollery. Mr. Sheridan, who was the 
Richard, and was ever averse from 
mirth mixing, and intruding on his se- 
rious scenes, wherf^ capitally concerned, 
addressed honest Isaac thus one morn- 
ing : Mr. Sparks, you are an excellent 
comedian ; in most of the parts you un- 
dertake you are unrivalled. But, sir, 
I hope you will pardon me for what 1 
have done ; 1 have taken the liberty to 
set down Mr. Packenham for the Lord 
Mayor in to morrow's bills. You know, 

G 2 



$4 MEMOIRS OF 

my dear sir, that die extraordinary 
good humour your very appearance 
throws the whole audience into, withbut 
any ^nister design in you, so totally dis- 
concerts the gravity and proper atten* 
tion, that should attach to so interest- 
ing a scene of the play wherein you are 
concernedy that my feelings are discom- 
posed for the whole evening after.— Very 
well^ mighty welii Mr. Sheridan; I 
thank you, sir, for many holidays I am 
likely to enjoy, during this suspension 
from my civic office. — ^But noiark the 
consequence of this change of ma^ 
trates — ^no sooner did the new Lord 
Mayor make his appearance, than the 
gods above began to shew their fierce re- 
sentment, by shouting out off! oflF!— 
accompanied with whole voUies of pota- 
toes, &c. which obliged Richard himself 
to apologise for the affront he had put 
upon them, by the removal of their fa- 



CHARLES LEE LfiWES. 85 

vourite; and all was hushed fo^ that 
night. 

Richard was taldng a run—and Sparks 
was summoned for the next rehearsal. 
Mr. Sheridan once more solicited his 
pardon for the indignity he had inno- 
cently put upon him. — ^Psha ! psha ! my 
dear sir, you did me no injury at all ; 
but I was sure you would never have 
a big loaf till I was chosen your Eord 
Mayor again. 

I mentioned that Mr. Sparks was the 
tragedy stock Duke, which very littlq 
suited his talent, or his inclination. So 
lie resolved to get rid of those trouble- 
some honours by a ccup de main, which 
he thus effected. 

One night predding in the senate 
scene, in Venice Priescrved, he thus a4-» 
dressed the con^rators — instead of 

** You, Jafficr, are free, the rest must wait for 
judgment'' — 



86 MEMOIRS OF 

he, with unusual gravityt ddivered him- 
self thus: 

•* You, Jaffier, are free — ^to go to jail ; 
** As for the rest, let them wait till the day of 
judgment." 

ROGER KEMBLE, 

Father of the present meritorious and 
extraordinary family, was bred a hair- 
dresser. In the course of his peregrina- 
tions he stopped some time at Canter- 
bury, where he ingratiated himself into 
the good esteem of many of Smith's com- 
pany of comedians, then performing 
there ; and conceiving it to be kn idle, 
pleasant life, he soon formed a very ten- 
der connexion with the celebrated Fanny 
Furnival, who was then performing 
there. The lady was struck with Roger's 
nose and athletic make ; they were re- 
commendations she thought sufficient to 
qualify him for a good husband. In re- 



CHARLES LEE L£W£S. 87 

turn for his tender affection she flattered* 
him with the promise of making an ac- 
tor of him, and no woman on the Bri- 
tish stage was better qualified for giving 
instructions in theatricals, at that time, 
Ann. Dom. 1752. She was far superior 
to any of her predecessors, possessing an 
elegant figure, an uncommon share of 
beauty, a perfect knowledge of every 
part she undertook, and an execution 
scarcely excelled by any actress of that 
day, Mrs. Pritchard and Mrs. Gibber 
excepted. But this brilliant had many 
flaws ; her merit as an actress deserves 
to be noticed ; it is singular that under 
all the disadvantages of private char^ic- 
ter, she was invited to the first fami- 
lies in every town the company visited, 
in consequence of her being a polite and 
agreeable companion, and superior in 
merit to all her theatrical sisters. 

Whiteley, on the night of her first 

/; 4 



88 MEMOIRS OF 

appdurance at Stamford, received tl^ 
thanks of the Cecil family, who, at the^ 
same time, congratulated him on havifig 
such an inestimaUe actress. She set 
about the arduous work immediately, 
but so dull and untractable was Roger, 
that Fanny was full seven weeks in driv- 
ing the part of Seijeant Elite into his 
head. — In this charafter Roger made his 
debut<^ but so coldly was he received in 
it, that notwithstanding Mrs* Kemble 
was Smith's principal Support, he could 
not be jMrevailed upon to allow her hus- 
band any encouragement. This disap- 
pointment determined Mr. Kemble to 
take the advantage of an advertisement 
in one of the London newspapers, signed 
John Ward, Birmingham, offering the 
most flattering encouragement to any 
number of capital performers, or other 
useful people to join him in said town. 
This invitation was occasioned by a for- 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 89 

I 

midable opposition to Ward, by Messrs. 
Yates and Pklmer, of Drury-lane theatre, 
who had the audacity to build a new 
playhouse in Moor-street, under his 
very nose, which was looked on by that 
pompous despot as an invasion of his 
long possessed territory, and often pro- 
voked the haughty monarch to make 
use of very indecorous language, such 
as rascals, upstart peasants, drawling 
face-making puppies. " FU teach," say's 
he, *' the poverty-struck scoundrels to 
avoid my steps. Fll work the dogs a pen- 
'north for d^ng to cross my circuit.'* 
To this determined chief Mr. and Mrs. 
Kemble were resolved to make their ap- 
proaches } they trudged their way down 
to Coventry, and there found a Mr. 
Quelch and company, who warmly soli- 
citedthemtostop and perform with them. 
Being grievously afflicted with what the 
French call the maladie du pche^ they at 



90 MEMOIRS OF 

first consented to this proposal, but re- 
collecting they had pledged themselves 
to Wardy they jogged on to the land of 
promise; but it proved a wilderness to 
the faithful Fanny : she, poor soul, viras 
rejected, and Roger kept upon trial. 

Their separation appeared unavoid- 
able; prudence, however, prevailed, and 
Roger assisted Fanny to step into a wag- 
gon then ready, and she was carried to 
Coventry, where she was welcomed by 
Quelch and his corps. This amazing me- 
teor caused a great and sudden amend- 
ment in their business : as the hitherto 
neglected stable at the Half mocn, was 
now crowded nighdy with the genteelest 
ibmilies in town. The third Saturday 
after the unnatural separation of Mr. 
Roger Kemble from his Fanny, behold, 
he comes, without previous notice, to 
pay her a visit : it was at dinner time : 
his name was announced by a servan 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 9 1 

of the house ; the lady paused, and was 
for some moments irresolute, whether it 
might not be prejudicial to her feelings 
to admit the ingrate ; and haying at table 
with her at this very juncture, a rude 
sturdy Irishman, she was much perplex- 
ed for an apology ; as not knowing but 
Roger's tender passion had so far out- 
run his discretion, as to quit Birming- 
ham for the enjoyment of her society. 
However, the young Hibernian, gues- 
sing the cause of her present embarrass- 
ment, bounced up and flew to the door, 
and demanded of Roger what bis busi- 
ness was with the lady ?---The lady is my 
wife, sir. — ^I believe you lie, sir, replied 
the youth of Liffy's banks ; did not you 
desert her ? That is fair talk, you most 
barbarous lack-lather, you.— That is no- 
thing to you, Mr. Shillala, quoth Roger; 
I am now come to make a lawful claim 
of my wife.— You are ? Why then take 



92 MEMOIRS OF 

it out of those handful of fingers, there 
is the manuum digiti for you, giving him 
at the same time, a blow that demolish- 
ed the gnomen of poor Roger's fece, 
and tumbled him down a whole flight 
of stairs, and caused him to roar most 
hideously. A mob was soon gathered 
about him, who, upon inquiry, was in- 
formed, that a raw-boned wild Irishman 
kept him from the sight of his wife, and 
had pushed him down stairs, and falling 
on his nose, was the occasion of the 
great efiusion of blood they saw. Fanny, 
now more than ever charmed with the 
intrepidity of the gallant Greek, was re* 
solved to vindicate the avenger of her 
slighted beauties, and . boldly stepped 
ibrth to defend him, against any vio* 
lence that might be offered him by the 
rabble that was by this time collected, 
and tutn the tables on her pseudo hu^- 
band.*^Gentlemen) said she, I beg you 



CHABJL£8 LEE LEWES. 93 

Will not suiFqr yourselves to be imposed 
upon by that cowardly caitiff: as I am , 
an honest woman, and I hope a chris- 
tian, I never was his wife. This, was 
spoken in such a stiff, puritanical, tone 
of voice, and coming from the lips c^ a 
very fine woman, won over that blatant 
beast the mob, who now turned all their 
indignation on the unfortunate Roger. 
He was forced to fly, pursued by the vo- 
ciferous rout, with voUies of execrations 
from the females,and low jibes and bitter 
jokes from the male unruly mechanics. 
Thus disappointed, foiled, and entirely 
defeated in his attempt to procure an 
interview with this adored lady, Roger 
returned to Vulcan's favourite residence, 
and from that hour laid close siege to 
the.adamantine heart of Miss Sally Ward, 
who had often vowed she would never 
wed an actor.; she did not infringe upon 
that vow, for she espoused Roger. 



94 MEM0IR8 OF 

JOHN KEMBLE. 

Win gold and wear it, says the . ad 
age ; when wd see merit deserving the 
good things of this world, we should 
not envy them the rank they hold in 
life. The following anecdote happened 
on the, arrival of Mr. Kemble in Eng- 
land from the Continent, Ann. Dom« 
1 775- On the Christmas eve of this year, 
we find him at the city of Gloucester, 
in search of his parents. Being inform- 
ed at Bristol, where he landed, that a 
company of players were enacting there, 
^twas natural as well as necessary for 
the poor scholar to make inquiry for 
what he SQught for, of those he thought 
could best inform him. Here let us 
pause and drop one tear, in pity of the 
anguish the destitute, forlorn, and hope- 
less John Kemble suffered, by dis^ip- 
pointment. He soon found that Car- 
rick and Crump's company, had remov- 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 95 

ed from thence to Wolverhampton. 
What was to be done ? the forlorn aca- 
demician wandered through the town^ 
indulging such thoughts as .are enjoyed 
by those who keenly feel the sting of 
poverty. Fortune, however, as if fore- 
seeing he should be ranked amon^ her 
darling sons at no distant period, threw, 
in his way the celebrated author of an 
unlucky paper, that went under the sig- 
nature of HiSTRioMASTRix, in 1773, 
an occasional work, that cost Ryder, 
the Dublin manager (that being the place 
where it was published), many bitter 
pangs, as it never failed, on the morning 
of its publication, to cause the demoli- 
tion of a valuable set of china, or the 
breajking of a poor servant's head with 
the heel of her shoe, by his amiable 
spouse. Lady Obnah Maglothery, as 
Tom Shatford, the wicked author of 
that mischievous paper, was plea9ed to 
style her. 



96 MEM0IB.8 OF 

This man of various capacities^ lucidly 
for poor' Jack, soon recognised our dis- 
consolate wanderer, having formerly 
been a member of his father's compasy, 
and invited him to a seasonable regale ; 
informed him of his parents being tkeo 
at Northampton, and thou^ he had not 
sufficient c^h to spare him, he proposed 
taking him with him to Wolverhampton 
pn a hazard. The offer wa6 eagerly ao 
cepted,andour adventurers set o£f from 
Gloucester that very evening, the a4thof 
December. Notwithstandmg the roughs 
ness of the weather, the Lawn House 
recdved them : they were accommev' 
dated' with a bed, aad other refresh^ 
ments, but not having wherewithal to 
discharge their bill next morning, and 
it having occurred to them,thatChritf^ 
mas day, from time immemorial, was 
particular for the expansion of the hearts 
of En^iiah Christians, after a Httle coo<- 



CHARLES LEE L£M^£& 97 

sultation it was agreed, that two lettem 
sfaonld be written, one to the parson in 
l.atin, die oth^ to a worthy lawyer of 
the neighbourhood, which was under- 
taken by Sfaatford. They both luckily 
succeeded : lo Pean was chauntcd by 
bur heroes, and they in a short time 
reached Wolverhampton . Shatford was 
a member of the company, atid after 
some animadversion on his being a little 
dilatory in coming to perform at tlieir 
opening, he was received, but Mr* 
K was not admissible ; however, he 
got intelHgcncc of his sister S- 



■MiMaiAi 



being at Liverpool, to which {dace he 
went. His stay there was shoft. We 
next hear of him at York, where he 
played. many respectable weighty cha* 
ractersi but on some di^^ence of opi« 
nion between him and some part f^ 
the audience, fae hung out a flag of 
defiancef and pro temfore, commenced 

VOL. I. H 



98 M£MOIRS OF 

methodist preacher. Watson, tHe ma^ 
nager, told me that he advised K 
to this, and at his first oration, Watson 
held the plate at the door, and being 
^outy and upon crutches, with a most 
impressive miilade from the white of his 
eyes only, and a dexterous conveyance 
of half a crown into the plate out of his 
own pocket, he caused a very spirited 
collection. 

The following whimsical account of 
Mrs S 's first appearance in Dub- 
lin, is taken from an old Irish news- 
paper : 

" • On Saturday Mrs. S ^ about 

whom all the world has been talking, 

* When this curious account first appeared in 
Dublin, the lady's friends were outrageous against 
the author. 

The humourist kept himself snug, while a num* 
ber of literary Irishmen in London and Dublin 
were claiming the praise due to him, which, in- 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 99 

m 

exposed her beautiful, adamantine, soft, 
and lovely person, for the first time, at 
Smock- Alley theatre, in the bewitching, 
melting, and all^tearful character of Isa- 
bella. From the repeated panegyrics in 
the impartial London newspapers, we 
were taught to expect the sight of a hea- 
venly angel, but how were we supernal 
turally surprised into the most awful 
joy, at beholding a mortal goddess ? : 
. " The house was crowded with hun- 
dreds niore than it could hold, with 
thousands of admiring spectators, that 
went away without a sight. This ex^^ 
traordinary phenomenon of tragic ex* 
cellencel this star of Melpomene ! this 
comet of the stage ! this sun of the fir- 
mament of the muses ! this moon of 
blank verse 1 this queen and princess of 

deed, tjiey have continued to do to this hour, 
though the pleasant fugitive is now vrtW knbvvn 
to be the oflFspring of the facetious Peter Sfguin. 

H 2 



tears i this Donnelkn of £he poisMed 
tovdi tMs empnstt of tht pistdt txiA 
iltiggeri thhchftosQif Shakespesupe! thk 
49^Ad of weeping dbuda! this Jtmo of 
ttomtnanding^ aspects 1 this TerpsidiOfe 
iof the curtaim and scenes J ^is Proser- 
^vac of &re^and eartbquike! this Ka- 
ttrfdito of wonders ! exceeded expect a- 
^om, went beyond bdlef, and soared 
above aU the powers -of .description 1 
She W)s nature itsdf ! she was the most 
exquisite wodcof art ! she was the very 
<^isy, .primrose, tuberose, sweetbriar^ 
ftirae-blossotti, giililower, wall-flower, 
cataliflower, auricula, and trosemary^. in 
short, she wias die bouquet 0f Parnassus ! 
*' Where expectation was raised se 
high, it was thought «he wocikl be in^ 
jured by her af>pearattce, but it was the 
audience who were injured: several 
/fainted, even before the curtain drew 
up! but when she came to the scene «of 



parting vnth ker wedding ring, ah I 
what a sigkt was there \ the vcxy fidlers 
ih the orchestra, ^< aihext,. unused to the 
melting noood,^^' bhibbered like hungry- 
children crying for their bread and butw 
ter ; and when the b^U> rang for iniiuc 
between th^ acts, the tears ran fooin. the 
bassQQn plkyer'a^* ^es in such ptentifor 
showers, that they choked the fingoi)* 
stopsy and nuking a sgout of the instrii;* 
ment, poured in such tonrents on ti^ 
first fidler's book, ths|t not seeing, the 
ov^rtuTf wa&> in two sharps, the leafier 
of the band actually played, in one flat. 

^< But the sobs and s^ghsof thegr^an^ 
ing audience, and the. noise of corks 
drawn from the snieHing bottles, pre^ 
vented the. mistake between* the Jots 
and the sbarfs being discovered. 

^^ One hundred andidine I^tdies ffant- 
ed ! forty-six went into fits ! and nieety^ 
five had strong hysterics I the woijUi> 



102 MEMOIRS OF 

will scarcdy credit the truth when they 
are told, that fourteen children, five 
old women, one hundred taylors, and 
six common councilmen, were actually 
drowned in the inundation of tears that 
flowed from the galleries, lattice3, and 
boxes, to increase the briny pond in the 
pit. The water was three feet deep, and 
the people that were obliged to stand 
upon the benches, were in that position 
up to .their .ancles in tears ! 
. ^ An act of parliament against her 
playing any more will certainly pass, for 
she has infected aU the volunteers, and 
they sit reading the Fatal Marriage, 
crying ^d roaring the whole morning, 
at the expectation of seeing this Giant's 
Causeway, this Salmon Leap of wonders 
at night ! Act address has been present* 
ed to the good Earl of Charlemont by 
the principal volunteers, and backed by 
Pr. Quin, and the faculty of Dublin) 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 1 03 

praying him to stay at-home the even- 
ingof her appearance, else they are con- 
vinced she'll tear his infirm frame iit 
pieces with her terrific screams, when 
she's dragged from the corpse of Bi- 
ron, and they'll lose the greatest ge- 
neral that ever* headed an army. Na- 
ture, most assuredly, in one of her 
bountiful moments, in one of her cha- 
ritable and humane leisure hours, in 
one of her smiling days, in one of 
her happy weeping months, and in one 
of her all-sorrowing gladsome years, 
made this human lump of clayey perfec- 
tion. 

" Oh ! happy Hibernia, blessed lerne, 
sanctified land of saints ! what a hearse 
load, what a coffin full, what a church- 
yard tree of the brightest excellence of 
excellences, now stands on the turf of 
thy fruitful earth. 

" From Cork, from Killarney, from 
Galway, from Ballinasloe, from Eyre- 

H4 



omrl, from the east;, from the west, 
fifom the north, from the south,, from 
Uand Bridge, from Lazor's HiU, from 
the banks of the canal to the new road 
at the back of Drumcondra, shall mil- 
lions come to Smock Alley, to see this 
astonidiing woman ! 

" The streets round the theatre shsA 
be crowded, and the very gabbards that 
carry coals to Island Bridge, shall stop 
at the Kind Quay, and land their un- 
polished watermen, to spend thirteen 
pence for a seat m the upper gallery 
when Isabella is performed. 

" O thou universal genius, what pity 
k is, that thy talents are so confined to 
tragedy alone ! No age, nay the Roman 
theatre, — the stage at Constantinople,*^ 
Nero himself joever performed the scene 
of madness, of grief, of joy, of woe, of 
distress, of sorrow, and of pity, so well 

as Mrs. S 1 

' ^* May the curses of an insulted na^ 



tion pursue the gentlemen of the coU 
lege, the gentkmen of the bar, and the 
peers and peeresses, whose wisdom and 
discernment have been so highly extoll- 
ed, that hissed her on the second night*. 
True it is, Mr* Garrick never could 
make any thing of her, and pronounced 
her below mediocrity ; — true it is, the 
London audience once did not like her^ 
but what of that ? Rise up, bright god. 
dess of the sock and buskin, and soar 
to unknown regions of immortal praise, 
for 

** Envy will Merit as its shade pursue.*' - 

And here I am enabled (as I was in the 
kingdom, and know every particular^ 
gathered partly from inquiries, and 
partly from observation) to throw sonra 
light upon as dark a transaction as ever 
was practised against innocence and me^ 
rit: I mean that, I must call it, infamous 
combination, carried on against Mrs« 



I05 MEMOIRS OF 



and which raised that opposi- 



tion she met with in DruryJane theatre, 
in the year 1 785, to the disgrace of that 
part of the audience who were deceived 
into it, which were but few after aD, in 
comparison to her friends who opposed 
them, and who, on the second night, si- 
lenced them entirely. In the summer 
of 1783, this lady was engaged by 
Mr. Daly, the manager, to perform 
^ certain number of nights in Dublin, I 
believe twelve : her terms were, half the 
receipts, the charges of the theatre being 
first deducted ; which charges were 
called sixty pounds. At the latter end 
of June, she began her career, which was 
as brilliant here as in London. At the 
conclusion, she very much wished ta 
perform for the benefit of the Marshal- 
sea prison ; but being pressed for time 
by her engagement at Cork, and hop- 
ing • to have that opportunity another 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. I07 

season, she sent a sum of money to the 
conductors of the above prison, and had 
the thanks of the debtors, as well as an 
acknowledgment from the managers in 
' the public papers : though by her own 
wish, it was not ostentatiously put at 
full length* Thus ended her first sea- 
son in Dublin. 

In the summer of 1 784, she engaged 
herself again for twenty nights, at a 
certain sum each night. The theatre 
was again crowded, and all things went 
on prosperously till about the middle of 
the engagement, when she unfortunately 
was seized with a violent fever, which 
confined her to 'her bed for a fortnight. 
Ip the course of my theatrical career, 
I have known several principal actresses, 
who have been suddenly seized with a 
variety of fevers J particularly one,which 
our fraternity know by the name of the 



roS* KTEMoncs of 

box-book fever.* Mrs, S— — 's great 
attraction, however, wherever she has 
been, has made this unnecessary to her i 
and, indeed, to her credit be it spoken, 
I have heard, even from the London 
managers^ that she was above such fi^ 
nesse and capridousness. This conduct^ 
which was but too often practised by. 
her predecessoss, at hst dccivc our mo«^ 
dern Rosdus from his throne, long be- 
fore he intended it f which circumstance 
produced the folbwing triplet, from the 
l»Kaxn of a veteran^actor, (Mr. Moody.)- 

Three thousand Thracian dames, says Ovid's piige^. 
With devilish arts threw Ox|)heus in a rage-^ 
But three o£ our^s drove Garrtck from the stage. 

It is enough that the names of these- 
ladies are known amongst tKdr bre- 
thren, I shall not publish them to the 



i*— 



* Sometimes when the boxes are not well taken, 
and there is likely to he but a thin house, the hero 
or heroine will have a violent cold, hoarseness,&c«' 



CHARLES LES XBWES. It^ 

'world. However, this fetct T)cgan to 
arouse^ the renal tribe against our he* 
raine; aivd «Linours were spread, tSiat 
'her illness was put on for some inte* 
trested purpose ;.-6he recovered, however, 
and went on with her engagement. And 
•now we come to the principal .incident, 
'which introduced the injured lady into 
tWs part of my memoirs. As she wais 
rehearsing the part of *fielvidera one 
morning, the veteran, Digges, as he wa« 
standing for iis part of 'Pierf'c, suddenly 
sunk down : it was no less than a para- 
*lytic stroke, 'Which deprived him of the 
juse of one side. He was taken from 
the theatre, and, I believe, never return- 
ed to 3v^"ere he had, " fretted aad strut- 

ted so many hours,** Mrs. S- *s 

'engagement was coming to a conclusion, 
and she was advertised for Cork, a few 
<lays after ; in the mean time a person 
<aniet)0 h^^and told hw, it would be a 



no MEMOms OF 

charitable action in her, if she would 
perform in a benefit play for poor 
Digges. Her answer was, she was sorry 
there was but one night she had to spare, 
and for that, she thought herself engag- 
ed in honour to play for the Marshalsca 
prisoners, as she had intended it the 
year before. This was to be sure a de- 
nial to Digges, though not an uncha- 
ritable negative ; and yet what an art- 
ful, fiend-like use was made of it, as will 
appear! The messenger had not been 
long ' gone before it struck her, that it 
would surely be more humane to lend 
her assistance to this old unfortunate, 
and immediately dispatched a person 
to Drumcondra, where Digges then 
was, (at the house of a printer whose 
name, I think, was Williamson,) to say 
Mrs. S had reconsidered the mat- 
ter, and would be glad to perform for 
him i he was thankful, and the night 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. Ill 

and pby were fixed. There was a good 
house. The next day, while preparing 
for her journey to Cork, she received a 
note from Digges, expressing his grati- 
tude. It will be proper to inform my 
reader, that while she was in Dublin, 
there was a little sparring betwixt her 
and the nianager. At Cork the misun- 
derstanding was renewed ; and I there 
made my own observations. These 
little bickerings brought down many 
paragraphs* upon her from the party ; 
and, directly after, a paper war began 
to appear; then hints and inuendos, 
which' at length occasioned the tumult 
I at first mentioned. She was accused 
witl\ having charged Digges fifty pounds 
for playing at his benefit : a very artful 
letter, written by a Mr, F- ^ y upon 
that subject, appeared in a morning 
print J and as it was inserted with a 
f&ore mischievous intent than any of 



iia uuummicff 

the rest) so had it a greater eflEect. It 
was now said, that she was to be driven 
from the stage whenever she came on it : 
and among the rest appeared a para^ 
graph, calling on any one of her pro- 
fession to stand forth and say, .if she had 
ever ' done a kind action ? This was 
rather an unlucky challenge ; for a few 
weeks before, even in the dty of Cork, 
out of nine or ten nights that she per* 
formed, three of them, to my know- 
ledge, were without any emolument to 
herself J — one for my benefit, one for 
Mr. F. Aickin, of Covent Garden, and 
one for the benefit of a poor-house. I 
should have thought myself base indeed 
to have ren^ained neuter at such a time, 
and I immediately published this cir- 
cumstance in several of the morning 
prints. Should not Mr. Digges have 
iiad gratitude enough to have done the 
same? But though called upon 9X^ 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. Ilj 

urged by manyof Mrs. S *s friends, 

he for reasons best known to himself, 
kept an obstinate silence, and even suf- 
fered a rumour to prevail, that she ha4 
taken money from him-, but had begged 
it might be kept a secret. But at last 
being closely pressed, a letter v^as sent,^ 
in w^hich he owned, that she did play 
for him gratis — but that she at first had 
denied him. He died soon after, and 
peace be to his manes. Mrs. S ap- 
peared, and though this confession of her 
having performed gratis was made pub- 
lic, there were. those determined not to 
believe it, and absolutely insulted her ; 
but, as I before said, they were but few 
in comparison with her powerful and 
numerous friends, and the vipers were 
$oon crushed. 

When Mrs. S visited Doctor 

Johnson, he paid her two or three very 
elegant compliments ; when she retired, 

VOL. I. I 



114 MEMOIRS OF 

he seemed highly pleased, and said to 
Doctor Glover — Sir, she is a prodigious 
fine woman. Yes, replied Dr. Glover, 
but don't you think she is much finer on 
the stage when adorned ty art ? Sir, 
said Dr. Johnson, on the stage art does 
not adorn her, nature adorns her there, 
and art glorifies her. 

I have often admired and commend- 
ed the ability of Mr. Collins, who. was 
able, without the assistance of any apa- 
ratus, to give an evening's entertainment 
unassisted by any one j but we have 
seen that effefted lately by the facetious, 
witty, and goodnatured 

MosEs Kean, 

Who being disqualified by the loss of 
one of his limbs, for sitting cross-legged 
on a shop-board — (the gentleman was a 
taylor.) The necessary amputation of one 
of his natural pedestals was the cause of 



CHARLES JL££ hl'WES. ' 1 1| 

his furnishing himself with a woodea 
substitute, and thus equipped, he sallied 
forth, and with amazii^ success, gave 
imitations of many of our most ode* 
brated theatrical perfoprmers ; not with 
ignorance or maHce, but by a true and 
picturesque manner of coftveying to his 
admiring auditors the pleasing gesticu* 
lation and modulations in the speech and 
person of the actor he pointed at. No 
frequenter of our London theatres need*" 
ed the impertinent and irksome infor- 
mation required on such occasions, as it 
highly necessary when other imitator? 
are playing their comic tricks ; such as 
•—Hey! who's that noi^ ? Fm at a loss 
to guess* No, Mosy was ever clear and 
happy in the vast variety of characters 
which he attempted. This entertain* 
tnent was for some time confined to the 
xisSuIity of a few convivial societies^ 

1 5^ 



Il6 MEMOIRS OF 

where, to use the hackneyed phrase, 
*• Moses has set the table in a roar." 

Encouraged by the applause he re- 
ceived in these convivial societies, our 
hero of the thimble was firmly resolved 
to stich no more ; but to avail himself of 
his imitative abilities, and boldly to raise 
a livelihood out of his mimic genius. 

Flushed with these hopeful reflections, 
honest Moses, after exhibiting his mr- 
mickry in large rooms at different parts 
of the town, with various success, re- 
solved to go down to Ascot-races, one 
summer, to try his fortune, in hopes of 
attracting the notice of royalty, as well 
as furnishing him with means of pre- 
sent subsistence, being, as he found in 
London, cucumber times^ as his quondam 
shop-mates used to call them. Mosy 
took a room to exhibit in at Epsom, 
and flattered himself with reaping a 



CHARLES LE E LEWES. 1 1 7 

golden harvest ; but his fair hopes fell to 
the ground by the ill-timed interference 
of an over-carcfiil landlady. The inn 
where our hero had put up at, the night 
before the commencement of the races, 
was uncommonly crouded ; and Mosy,- 
being looked upon in no higher light 
than a show-man, was obliged to sleep in 
a room where there were three other 
beds besides that he was to lie on. He 
was accompanied with two chums: 
comfortable accommodation you will 
say ; but the inconvenience was in a 
great measure alleviated, or rather not 
felt at all, by Mosy's shipping in a great 
quantity of generous punch, which made 
him sleep most sound. When all but 
the vigilant were at sweet repose in these 
several dormitories, this prudent ma- 
tron, with candle in her hand, and cau- 
tious step, went through each apartment 

13 



Il8 MIMOIRS OF 

of the well-known house, to see whether 
all were safe. Every bed did she with 
care examine, fearing her guests might 
some of them be uncovered, and catch 
their deaths, as she used to say. The 
cccononay was all pretty regular, till she 
came to the side of the bed where Mosy 
lay, and saw the nether end of his 
wooden leg stick out. Th!s phenome- 
|ion alarmed the landlady, and in a 
low voice, for fear of di^urbing the 
sleeping crew, she said, what a care- 
less jade is this chambermaid of ours, tp 
leave the warming-pan here in the bed, 
among the gentlemen ? She set down 
the candlestick, and seized Mosy by his 
ligneous limb, thinking for certain it 
was the handle of the warming-pan, and 
tugged most sturdily, till she waked 
Mosy, who, being frightened, swore a 
pfayey qr (wo, interlarded with hearty 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. II9 

curses, on his tormentor. The poor wo- 
man, terrified, ran oflF, and left the asto- 
nished Moses Kean to finish his pious 
ejaculations, to the diversion of all the 
Circean crew that surrounded him. The 
story got wind the next morning, and 
the tide of ridicule ran so strong against 
this pillar of brass, that though not apt 
to be out of countenance, yet did he de- 
camp, his hopes all unaccomplished. 

When I was at Sheffield in 1765, the 
company (Herbert's) were very much in 
want of a female performer in the line 
of sprightly girls. A lady had written 
to Herbert, who, from her own account, 
was perfectly qualified for those parts } 
she was solicited to lose no time in join- 
ing the company, and the morning ar- 
rived when she was to attend the rehear- 
sal of Miss in her Teens ; when, lo ! Mrs. 
Workman entered, then aged s^. She 
had prefaced her appearance in Sheffield 

14 



I20 MEMOIRS OF 

with a fictitious name. When the astonish- 
ment of the company had ceased at the 
appearance of this old lady, it was again 
raised by the lively and active manner 
in which she pourtrayed the character of 
Miss Biddy, As there is not a female 
on the stage that I know, whose life in- 
volves more relative matter to jt than 
this old lady's, I have taken great pains 
to investigate it, and shall continue my 
Itinerant Memoirs through the medium 
of this extraordinary actress, under the 
title of 

^ORIGIN OF THE VULGARISM, " MY EYE 

EETTY martin/* 

Although this expression is not only 
vulgar in its phrase, but insignificant in 
its apparent sense, I trust the following 
explanation will render it interesting. 

The Irish Roscius, Mr. Thomas El- 
. ringtoHj left at his decease an only sr- 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. . 1^1 

who possessed his property. The stage 
dresses being very valuable, Richard, his' 
son,was determined, against the intention 
of his father, to try their success with 
his own performances on the boards j 
having had a good education, and being 
possessed of a handsome person, many 
expected he would be distinguished in 
theatricals, but he and his friends were 
most egregiously mistaken. The part 
he chose was Brutus ; a character in 
which his father was particularly excel- 
lent. This task, not very easy to a pro- 
bationer, excited every allowance that 
an indulgent audience could, with pro- 
priety and justice, possibly bestow. His 
father they revered almost to idolatry. 
But, although he possessed all the old 
gentleman's assets, he inherited a very 
small portion indeed of his theatrical 
abilities. His reception, however, in the 
character of Brutus, was such as to con- 



* 
I 



122 M£M0IRS OK 

vince him entirely it would be most dis- 
* creet never to attempt a second trial on 
the Dublin stage ; but having a rich 
wardrobe, and scenery, which he could 
not dispose of at a tenth of their value, 
and being still ambitious of dramatic 
fame, in stable, barn, or town-hall 
acquired, he resolved to commence iti- 
nerant manager : but players being then 
not so plentiful as blackberries, at 
least in Ireland, he embarked with the 
whole of his stock, engaging only one 
of his performers, for England. The 
performer he engaged was a lady, who 
had been many years on the stage, and 
had proved her talents to.be above me- 
diocrity. This female was the original 
Miss Jenny in the Provok'd Husband, or 
a Journey to London. Her name at 
that time was Grace. Who or what 
the gentleman was, whose name she 
assumed, the writer has never learned : 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 12^ 

and as he, if any such person existed, ' 
was too complaisant to interrtipt any 
innocent conversation she might be in- 
clined to have with a friend, she never 
failed haviilg a numerous train of ad- 
mirers. She was then young and hand- 
some, and was considered by the play- 
house loungers, particularly, as fair 
game ; accordingly her levee was often 
nobly attended. 

One gallant, a young gentleman of 
the name of Martin, and of a reputable 
family and fortune in the county of 
Meath, in Ireland, she had so far en- 
tangled by her arts and charms, that, 
in defiance of family pride and more 
advantageous matrimonial expectancies, 
he proposed to marry her. Shrewdly 
suspecting that no such person as Mr. 
Grace would ever appear to claim her, 
the lovely Elizabeth Grace soon after 
t)ecame Betty Martin ; and this was the 



124 MEMOIRS OF 

lady to whom the public are so much 
indebted ifor the cant and common ex- 
pression of " my eye" to Betty Martin. 
Her husband being a younger bro- 
ther, had not an inch of land, or an 
hovel for his inheritance ; and the pa- 
trimony left by his father was nearly 
consumed, when he irrevocably bar- 
gained for his dear Betty. Instead of 
being raised to a high station, she soon 
found, to her bitter disappointment, she 
had wedded a battered rake instead of 
a man of fortune. But what chagrined 
her most was, the bitter reflection of his 
having married her for the purpose of 
sharing her salary, which was not more 
than a solitary weekly guinea. This 
happened in the year 1741. This poor 
pittance was found much beneath the' 
exigencies of those who were neither of 
them inclined to frugality. Her hus- 
band's attendance at meal times soon. 



CHARtES LEE LEWES. I25 

confirmed Betty Martin in her suspi- 
cions of being tricked. His pretence for 
his never failing attendance was, that 
his rich relations, if they found his 
other haunts, might possibly come and 
disturb the felicity he could only enjoy 
in her enchanting company. Such 
flimsy excuses could not long impose 
on Betty's discernment, fot it must be 
observed, she was at least as discerning 
as he was contriving. 

Her patience being exhausted, she one 

day pertinently questioned him where 

his estate lay ? " My dear Betty (said 

le), I beg your pardon, but I have no' 

state ! Do forgive the imposition that 

'as dictated by the excess of my afFec- 

3ri. I have not the most distant chance 

prospect of any, but by the death of 

r elder brother, who, for your sake, 

m sorry to add, is, at present, in a 

y good state of health.'* 



126 MEMOIRS OF 

This was a thtmder-dap to Betty, 
she railed and reproached, him in the 
severest terms j and* having exhaust* 
cd her spirits and her invective, she 
very ' calmly and deliberately desired 
him to find some other mode of sub- 
sistence, than that of eating her out of 
house and home. " For, may I never 
sleep more,'* continued the sordidly sel- 
fish baggage, " if you shall ever eat so 
much as a crust at my table again : so, 
my fine man of fortune, begone, and 
impose upon some other silly, innocent, 
unsuspecting creature, like myself, if 
you can ; and ill-fate attend her who 
would prosecute you for having two 
wives. Hah ! hah ! Mr. gentleman, so 
I was to be made your property, and 
maintain you in idleness, was I ? O, my 
eye for that, my dear. There, sir,— 
there's the door the carpenter made— 
Christopher Hwtin, e$q, trouble ma m 
more.** 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. I27 

*^ And is this your love and tender*- 
less for a husband, who doats on you, 
Lhat you can deny him even shelter in 
your lodgings, and even after six week$ 
constant love ?** 

Betty was not to be thus persuaded 
into any forgiveness, or generosity for 
the man who had thus disappointed her 
in her fondest hopes of splendid enjoy- 
ments. For she aptly replied to him, 
out of her part of Millwood, which she 
often performed to the greatest height 
of excellence. 

. " Whining, preposterous, canting 
villain,*' said she, " I am going to drink 
tea abroad — so, Squire Martin, good 
evening to you." 

The cruelty and unabashed impu- 
dence of his irritated spouse, confound-* 
ed. his senses as much as hurt his sen<» 
sibility ; and rather than expose a wife, 
whom he really and tenderly loved^ he. 



1 28 MEMOIRS OP 

even forbore to assert that power^ to 
which he as a husband was entitled. 
Although he thus avoided exposing her 
to a censorious world, yet she still re- 
mained indifferent to his necessities. 

In this hopeless state of indigence, he 
knew not what course to adopt for pre- 
sent relief. He, however, at last recol- 
lected a school-fellow, whom "he had 
not seen for some time, and to whom 
he applied for immediate assistance ; but 
rather than render himself liable to the 
rebuke of his friend for having been 
guilty of so imprudent an act as his 
marriage with Betty, he entirely con- 
cealed from him the cause of his dis- 
tressed situation. 

Here it may be necessary to observe, 
that Martin was so much a man of the 
world as almost to rank among the 
most common sharpers. But such is 
the fascinating power of beauty, joined 



<:!HARLES LEE 1EW£S. I2g 

with that consummate guile which has 

* 

produced too many Millwoods in real 
life ; that, with all his address and ex- 
perience, he was the dupe of Betty Mar- 
tin. 

Martin, having succeeded with his 
school-mate far beyond his expecta- 
tions, returned to his wife's lodgings, 
where he waited most anxiously a con- 
siderable time before she returned fr<Hn 
lier visit. 

Entering the apartment where he 
was sitting, her eyes, at seeing him, 
darted on him looks uniting rage and 
disdain, while his beamed on her those 
of infinite joy and tenderness. 

" I little thought," said she, " after 
what had passed to-day — -" 

" Pray don't be angry now, my dear 

Betsy," he replied t'^" Hold your hand ; 

there are five guineas for you, my girl; 

and for this gift, I ask no more th^n ^ 

\oi.* I. K . . 



130 MEMOIRS OF 

smile, and a kiss, instead of being fe- 
ceived with that ugly frown which de- 
stroys those charms which otherwise 
render your countenance matchless and 
irresistable." 

The money presented pleaded more 
his cause than all his complimentary 
eloquence. 

The dame, being thus disarmed of 
all power to continue her rage, be- 
haved with her accustomed fondness 
and affected sincerity of attachment, 
while the money lasted. But no sooner 
was it gone than her sordid temper 
displayed her characteristic cruelty and 
insolence. Kit Martin was notwith- 
standing so infatuated, that instead of 
despising her principles, he exerted 
every means that he could possibly de- 
vise to satisfy her with money. To ef- 
fect this pur^jose, he so importuned his 
friends for pecuniary assistance, that be 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. I3I 

exhausted their patience, if not th^ir 
purses ; and thus at last reduced him- 
self to the point of not having a single 
friend to whom he could apply. 

Mortified with distress and shame at 
the many repulses he met with in his 
numerous applications, and his ways 
and means failing in Dublin and its 
vicinity, to obtain any farther loans 
for his selfish wife, he resolved to ask 
a trifling sum of his richer brother. 
For this purpose, he walked to his bro- 
ther's mansion, near the famous town 
of Balroothery, in the yoke of Fingal. 
But his brother having heard of his 
imprudent marriage, refused him ad- 
mittance. He was, however, kindly 
accommodated for. the evening by an 
old tenant of his fathcr^s, who also 
presented him with all his little store 
could spare, which was two shillings, 

K 2 



133 MEMOIRS Oi 

in order to defray his road' eicpences 
back to Dublin. 

The unkind and unexpected usage 
of his brother, drove him to the des- 
peration of robbing a gentleman of his 
watch and money, after having knocks 
cd him off his horse, near Turvybridge, 
about ten miles from Dublin* With 
this booty, he pursued with all expedi- 
tion his way over a bog that led to the 
Ncul, in order to escape throiigh Fin- 
glass to Dublin. 

Thus did this man, against the plead- 
ings of nature and education, commit 
in open day-light an act defying the 
l^wsof God and man, ^nd merely to 
satisfy the avarice and vanity of an un- 
principled wanton. Knowing that this 
woman would not see him without mo- 
ney, love and disappointment prompt- 
ed despair to dictate and execute the 



CHARLES XEE LEWES. .l'^3 

above enornunis act o£ social delink 
quency. 

Although he fled over the dangerous^ 
morass, with all the expedition naturd 
to a man in such imminent danger, yet. 
he was very soon overtaken and con- 
veyed bound to prison. The whole of 
the stolen spoil being found upon him, 
and this operating to his conviction^ 
he was sentenced to die : but this sen- 
tence, from the powerful interest and 
interference of friends, was changed to 
that of transportation for life. 

During his imprisonment, his gentle 
and generous spouse was delivered of 
a son, who was christened Thomas. 
This son >)v'as, not many years ago, a 
musician in Mr. Stanton's company at 
Bridgnorth. The disgraceful voyage 
which poor Kit Martin was sentenced 
to take, being known to have been in* 
«tigated by Betty, although no proofs 



134 MEMOIRS OF 

Goold be produced sufficient to afficct 
her life or liberty, yet was her natiye 
country rendered too alarming for her 
safety ; she, therefore, with Dick El- 
lington, set sail for England* 

It is here proper to state who were 
the rest of her companions, whom, be- 
sides the son of Kit Martin, she brought 
with her to this country. 

She had, beside the child by Martin, 
a daughter by one Davis, an eminent 
Sadler of Christ Church-yard, in Dub- 
lin. The girl was well reared to matu- 
rity, and married, in 1756, to a very 
worthy man, by whom she had several 
fine children, one of whom is at this 
moment a female ornament to the Bri- 
tish stage in London, where she is en- 
joying a fame, equally merited and dis- 
tinguished. Indeed, the whole of this 
family, which are numerous, are such 
patterns of moral excellence, and so en- 



CHARXES LEE LEWES. I35 

tirdy exempt from the disgraceful viqes 
of their grandmother, it would be in- 
sulting to detail any further particulars 
respecting them, amid what relates to 
the shameful proceedings of Betty. 
Martin, 

On their arrival in England he made 
her his wife, and she soon became mis- 
tress of a company of comedians. She 
many years governed a most unruly and 
unsteady people with some credit ; and, 
perhaps, more advantage, to herself as 
a manageress,, Elrington being rather 
indolent, and Betty sharp and active, he 
acted well in resigning to her the entire 
sway of his theatrical sceptre. 

In their stage sovereignty slie had 
the taking of towns, and supplying the 
chasms of desertion, and other arduous 
vocations of theatrical concern. In this 
continuance of manao;ement she led her 
dramatic troop to Buxton, where they 

K 4 



f 



136 MEMOIRS OF 

had several summer campaigns, to the 
great diversion of such polite company 
as generally visit that place. 

Their ill stars led them to Manches- 
ter at the beginning of the year.1754. 
In this town Elrington took a new- 
erected theatre of a Mr. Magawly, a 
famous short-hand writer. With some 
difficulty Elrington obtained (from not 
the best tempered magistrate) a li- 
cense; and there not having been a 
company in the town of the kind for a 
considerable time, and great advan- 
tages being expected from a theatre 
that might be called regular, when 
compared with those which had pre- 
ceded it ; Elrington and his busy lady 
lost no time to prepare and decorate 
thtr house for opening. 

The guikxul and penetrating Betty 
mistook for once her own interest* 
There having been an hospital erected 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 1 37 

by subscription, a little before their 
arrival in Manchester, she thought ap- 
propriating the first night to the bene** 
fit of this new foundation, would con- 
siderably recontmend her to the pa- 
tronage of the town and its vicinity. 
With this hope she caused most con- 
spicuous posting- bills to be stuck up at 
the corners of .the popular parts of the 
town, and every place of public resort, 
beside furnishing the most respectable . 
private and public houses with hand- 
bills. Particular care was taken in these 
bills to remind the inhabitants of the 
company^s generous and humane in- 
tention.' But who can describe the 
amazement of this body theatrical, 
when they saw, on the morning of re- 
hearsal, the high constable, followed 
by his municipcd subordinates, come 
upon their virgin, stage, aAd carry the 



138 MEMOIRS OF 

whole company before a quorum of 
justices, then sitting in Market-street- 
lane ? Not being acquainted with their 
oflFences, they were at first greatly 
alarmed ; but their suspence was soon 
ended by a surly justice asking them, 
'' how they dared (after being granted 
the privilege of performing) to insult 
a numerous body of respectable sub- 
scribers to the hospital, by offering to 
play for its benefit their vagabond 
performances ?" 

Elrington, as was his duty, very just- 
ly replied, " that they had been often 
applied to by the gentlemen, church- 
wardens, and overseers of the poor, in 
many corporate towns, to give a be- 
nefit play for the maintenance of the 
paupers in the several parishes ; and 
that, without the least intention of 
offence, they naturally thought*' 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 1 39 

** You thought !" answered the jus- 
tice, interrupting him—" What, be- 
cause the parish officers of a beggarly 
borough or corporation were so con- 
temptibly mean as to solicit and accept 
the favours of a parcel of vagrants, 
that the independent gentlemen, tra- 
ders, and manufacturers of the flourish* 
irig town of Manchester, were to be 
wheedled into generosity by suoh a 
grossness of insolence? But we must 
teach you the difference, honest friend 
— Our indulgence must not encourage 
you to the repetition of a similar in- 
sult, or to call it by the softest name, 
of such an, unpardonable presumption. 
— Hear, therefore, the fixed and final 
determination of this meeting. Some 
gentlemen conceiving you might not 
intend to insult them by your gratuit- 
ous performance, they have been so 



I40 MEMOIRS OF 

lenient as to resolve that you shall 
(having first discharged all debts that 
you may have contracted in our town) 
make an immediate retreat from our 
borders. Should any of you murmur, 
delay paying your debts, or linger in 
our neighbourhood, Bridewell shall be 
your habitation. Go to some other 
place, where the inhabitants may be 
glad to receive the bounty of your 
unsolicited benefit. No reply ! our de- 
cree is unalterable/* 

'* Oh ! stay, your worshipful justice, 
stay !'* exclaimed the almost frantic 
Betty, who had by this time pressed 
(unsent for) into the attending crowd* 
*' Oh ! most worthy, worshipful, sirs t 
dear gentlemen, recall your cruel seUi- 
tence. O hear the prayer of a poor 
wretched, undone woman, who is now 
kneeling, before you. On my knees> 



CHARLES IrEE LEWES. 14! 

and for xny dear company, I beg you 
will soften the rigour and severity of 
your sentence/' 

'* Away with that woman !" exclaim- 
ed the inexorable justice. 

*'Ah, sir ! behold tliis moving posture ! 
behold my falling tears i I am certain 
your heart is not so flinty as not to feel 
for me ; would you but suffer it to at- 
tend to my extreme affliction -*-my pro- 
perty ! My property — mine and my 
childrcns' present and ' future subsist- 
ence — atl, all, depend upon this day's 
determination. Can you see my pangs 
—my agonizing pajggs, and still con- 
tinue deaf, pityless, and inexorable.— 
And will you not extend some .small 
alleviation of your har\i sentence to a 
woman — 

** Steep 'd in poverty to the very lips ?" 

** If I must rise unsuccessful, let me 



142 MEMOIRS 01^ 

first, in this humble posture, add to my 
entreaties for your favour and forgive- 
ness, my sincere and fervent , prayers 
for your present prosperity and future 
happiness — 

" When Priam kncelM, the great Achilles wept.** 

, " You are an arrant impostor, wo- 
man,** resumed he, " to prate so much 
about your poverty and wretchedness, 
while you are garnished out with a 
gold-lac'd jacket and petticoat : such a 
, sturdy beggar as you have proved your- 
self, should be sent to our Bridewell 
without further words.*' 

"Yes,** said the artful Betty, "let 
me be instantly manacled, shackled, or 
closed up in such 2^ brazen bull, as the 
infernal tyrant Phalaris used, as re- 
corded in Grecian story.'* 

She had no sooner siid this, than 
she rose and tore a valuable wig from 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 'I43 

her bald pate, which had long before 
been despoiled by a cruel disorder of 
its flaxen locks. Thus in a state of af- 
fected distraction she ran like a fury^ 
about the room. 

But this well-acted scene had no 
other effect on the inexorable justices, 
than to stimulate them to order that 
the company should leave the town in 
twenty-four hours from that instant. 

Poor Betty's heroic frenzy was, (to 
use her own pathetic phrase), in this 
. instance, " all my eye/* 

So ^reat a disappointment almost 
ruined poor Elrington j but having 
convened his company, he proposed a 
trip to Ireland, to which they all readily 
consented. The company accordingly 
marched to Liverpool, where they 
found a vessel ready to sail for Belfast. 

Having made their passage to this 



144 MEMOIRS OF 

town, and represented to the inhabit- 
ants their cruel usage and disappoint- 
ment at Manchester, they had the sa- 
tisfaction of finding themsdves received 
with the same kindness and humanity, 
as if they liad been cast upon the shore 
by the calamity of a shipwreck. Al- 
though Mr. William Lewis, the father 
of the deputy- manager of Coven t-gar- 
dcn Theatre, and Mr. James Love, 
(alias Dance), had visited Belfast three 
times in the space of two years, pre- 
ceding their landing, which was at the 
beginning of the winter 1754 ; yet the 
respectable gentlemen of that opulent 
town accommodated them with a spa- 
cious wine vault, and encouraged them 
in every other manner they passibly 
could during four months. 

The next place they went to was 
Lough, from whence they proceeded to 



CHARLES LEE L£WES. • 14^^ 

the M^ze races, where they terminat- 
ed their percgriflation in Ireland ; fot 
the evil genii which were continually 
prompting Betty to adopt some pro- 
ject of her fertile mind, suggested to 
the company, that, if they would under* 
take a voyage to Carmarthen, iti South 
Wales, their fortunes would certainly 
be made. 

She was, moreover j^ secretly tempted 
to this voyage by one gf her cdmpany, 
who was. a most tefitjcss and eccentric 
theatrical adventurer. This gentleman 
is the well-known Alexander Plsher^ 
who, I believe, is still living. He has 
been famous for leading several com- 
panies many Wild, absUrd, arid extra- 
vagant journies, through France, $lan>r 
ders, Denitlark, atid even into Russia. 
He stated to her, in the most alluring 
colours, the immense Wealth of the 
place, the generous and boundless hos^- 

VOL. I. I. 



146 MEMOIRS OF 

pitality of its inhabitants, and the great 
plenty and cheapness of all kinds of 
provisions. 

This flattering description of the 
Welch el dorado^ made a deep impres- 
sion on the covetous heart of Betty, 
and her husband had little rest until 
he consented to sail for this golden 
coast. They took shipping, and arrived 
at Carmarthen, where Mr. Elrington 
soon found he had brought a heavy 
company of useless performers ; for the 
better part preferred a journey to Dub- 
lin to a sea voyage to a country where 
they were strangers. 

The more sensible inhabitants of the 
place observed to Elrington, that the 
rich lace and embroidery of his stage- 
dresses, could ^not compensate for the 
bombast fustian, and ignorance of his 
intolerable company. " You .are, we. 
must all acknowledge, Mr. Elrington, 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 1 47 

yourself, a very sensible and well-bred 
man : It is, therefore, inexcusable in 
you, to attempt such an imposition 
upon our understandings, as if you' 
really thought we were a herd of moun- 
taineers, as wild and uninformed as 
our mountain goats. But you have 
fqjand yourself mistaken ; however, we 
are resolved not to ies.^nt, as it de- 
serves, such an insult. We have, there- 
fore, agreed to iiake you six good 
houses, and then to wish you better 
success in some other town, where the 
merits of your performers may be bet- 
ter suited to the taste and knowledge 
of the inhabitants.** 

The generosity of the intention soft-' 
ened the. severity of the lecture iA the 
mind of Ehihgton, lie had no sooner 
informed his companion of the kind 
promise, than the grateful creature bc- 

L 2 



148 MEMOIRS or 

gan to utter the most unmannerly in- 
vective against all ignorant pretenders 
to judgment of theatrical talents. 

*' How should such stuttering, sput- 
tering creatures/* exclaimed she, " with 
their barbarous Welch dialect, set them- 
selves up for theatrical censors ? But let 
these six nights be over, and then they 
shall hear their own from an Irishman. 
Shall we be thus harassed and driven 
about from pillar to post, and wasting 
our substance, and all through the ca- 
price of a parcel of hottentots,who can't 
for their souls speak one word of plain 
' English ?" This threat, however, from 
the well-timed interference of Elring- 
ton, was never put in execution. 

Tliese six nights proved so very pro- 
ductive, that they did not leave the 
principality before they had played in 
several towns of both the northern and 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. I49 

southern counties. Among these th^y 
performed at Carnarvon, where EI- 
rington, who had regularly correspond- 
ed with his mother, residing then in 
Dublin with a second husband, an 
Englishman, a dealer in horses, and of 
great property, received a letter from 
his father-in-law. This proved an in- 
vitation to return, in order to marry 
an only daughter which the old gentle- 
man had by a former wife. In the let- 
ter he observed, that he was well ac- 
quainted with the connexion his son- 
in law had been seduced into ; but he 
hoped he had by this tirtle had sufficient 
experience of his wife's disposition, to 
induce him to conform to the wishes 
of him and his deaf mother, by resolv- 
ing to leave his present pursuits, and 
settle with a virtuous partner for life. 
And to induce him the more to this 

^3 



150 MEMOIRS OF 

separation, he told him that the rever- 
sion of his mother's jointure, with the 
immediate possession of a plentiful for- 
tune which he had, by the blessing of 
God, honestly acquired, awaited his ac- 
ceptance. 

Elrington was not long in deciding 
what was to determine either his fu- 
ture happiness or misery. He certainly 
had some kindness for Betty, and it 
was not without some reluctance, he 
determined to leave her. But fortune 
prevailed over his (not very deep root- 
edj passion, by holding him a picture 
with a beautiful Lavinia inviting him 
with one hand, and the other pointing 
to houses, lands, tenements, and mo- 
ney-bag^, as waiting for his possession. 
He therefore left his Betty, and sailed 
again for his native Hibernian shore. 

It is proper to observe, that Mr. El- 
rington had the prudence to preserve 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. I5I 

his morals and affections from being 
entirely corrupted. Before he separated 
from Betty Martin, he deposited in the 
care of a clergyman, at Carnarvon, one 
hundred po\inds to be given to a na- 
tural son (his son is still living, and 
known in many parts of the country 
by the appellation of Danc'mg Dicky) j 
when he should arrive at age. As he 
was not in debt, and had an excel- 
lent stock of clothes and scenery, he 
judged Betty, with her worldly pru- 
dence, might support herself and son 
comfortably, without being obliged to 
disturb his repose by any future appli- 
cation for further assistance. 

Matters being thus arranged and set- 
tled in his mind, honest Dick, like 
JEneas, unknown to his mate, made 
his escape, and took his departure for ' 
Dublin : he had trusted none with his 
intention, but the above-mentioned 

L 4 



l^t MEMOIRS 09 

clergyman, and one Robert Loagfield, 
a member of his community, and a fel- 
low collegian. 

When Betty missed her partner, al- 
though not suspecting the real cause, 
yet she foreboded evil. Three days and 
as many nights passed without any tid- 
ings of the runaway; but on the fourth, 
which was market-day, a farmer, who 
put up at the inn where she lodged, 
informed her that be saw her lord and 
master going, two days before, on 
board a little Irish sloop, from a smdUl 
fort or creek that was in sight of his 
house. The united jarrings of ten thou- 
sand screech-owls could not have put 
her senses so much to torture as did 
the single innocent voice of the farmer. 
— She stamped, stormed, tore off her 
cap, and threw her wig in the fire^^ 
while she bellowed in hideous exdama- 
tions*-^^^ I am undone!— I am undone ! 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 1 53 

' — Who had he with him, fellow?— 
What sort of a hussey was she ?— 
Speak, thou devil in man's clothes !'' 

The wild actions of this Tlsiphonc 
so terrified the farmer, that he could 
not answer her. Mad with rage and 
impatience, she seized the astonished 
peasant by the collar, and demanded 
most furiously a particular description 
of the woman who had stolen her /aw- 
ftd husband. — ^^ Was she Uack ? — was 
she fair ? — was she brown ? — Speak, 
thou dumb tormentor. — ^What! not 
a word, thou silent aggravator of mi- 
sery ?** 

" Tam hur knuckles !** cried the far- 
mer, half choaked, " Let hur loose wo- 
mans — I seed no womans with him, 
not I — hur had, I to pelieve, enough of 
thee, Got's splutter hur nails !** 

Why thou clod-pate of a clod-hop- 



« 



154 MEMOIRS OF 

per," cried she j " have you the im- 
pudence'' 

" Look you, womans/* said the 
Welsh farmer, " if you don't keep oflF 
hur tamn'd claws, hur shall lay hur 
whip across hur shoulders. — ^^Fine times 
inteet. Got pless us, when hur can't 
come to hur inn without peing assaultet 
by mad show-womans !" 

At this moment came in Elrington's 
companion, Longfield, who, seeing' the 
passionate trim of Betty, soon guessed 
the cause. Seeing Longfield, she ran 
to him, and asked, " whether he knew 
of her Dick's elopement to Ireland with 
a trollop V' 

" That he is gone," answered Long- 
field, " is certain ; but not with a wo- 
man, I assure you — he is gone to a wo- 
man."— . 

" To a woman !" exclaimed Betty 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 1 55 

with encreased rage—" Thou' pander I 
— Who is she? — Charlotte Charke — 
what the jade that had a sham quarrel 
with him at Denbigh, and left the 
company in a tiff ? — So she went before 
him to Ireland, I suppose, instead of 
going, as she artfully pretended, to 
Exeter, But I'll follow the wretch. 
I have many rich friends in Dub- 
lin ; and although I have not beea 
there for many years, I. am sure I 
shall be well remembered by many. — 

— Aye, aye — you may sneer but 

honest Betty Martin 1 mean El- 

rington — will be spoken of there, as 
long as Christ Church will stand in 
Christ Church-yard. But I am low- 
sph-ited. Landlady, bring me a drop 
of your reviving cordial. I beg the 
farmer^s pardon, I hope he will partake 
and be friends with me.'* 

" Not hur, pelieve hur,'' ansyrercd 



156 MEMOIRS OF 

honest Taflfy ; " nor would hur advise 
you to take the liquor inwartly, thy- 
self ; for, as St. Paul sayeth, 'tis un- 
seemly and uripecoming in a woman 
to stand uncovered : hur wou'd recom- 
mend to you to rub your bare head 
with the strong spirit you have order- 
ed, look you/' — 

" The farmer is very right, in my 
opinion,** said Longfield ; " put some- 
thing on your head, and call a meeting 
of the company to consider what is 
most proper to be done in this exi- 
gency.** 

" rU proceed immediately for Dub- 
lin,'* exclaimed the infuriate manage- 
ress, resolved to pursue her treacherous 
spouse, which she did, without a mo- 
ment*s delay ; but judge of her sensa- 
tions and distracted behaviour, when 
she found that he was actually married 
to his mother's daughter-in-law; The 



CHARLES JLEE LEWES. I57 

disconsQlate, deserted fair one, exerted 
all the arts she was mistress of, to pro- 
mote an interview, but to no effect — 
the resolute Elrington sent her word, 
that he could not, consistently with his 
own reputation, or her safety, comply 
with her solicitation.' He likewise hu- 
manely and generously supplied her 
with money to defray her expences 
back to Carnarvon: but the outrage- 
ous spirit of this fierce Amazon was 
not to be soothed. Finding, however, 
all her arts and entreaties fail to obtain 
access to him, she was compelled to re- 
linquish the inexorable Elrington, and 
resolved by the first opportunity to re- 
turn to Carnarvon, where she had left 
what was dearer to her than even her 
great favourite Elrington. This object 
nearest to her heart was her stage 
and other worldly property !, which she 
had acquired with as much meanness 



158 MEMOIRS OF 

and baseness as she retained them with 
airarice* 

Betty had now to begin the world 
once more. Being deserted by Eking- 
ton in the year 1760, when she was 
in her 44th year, she might, as many 
of her sex more moderate than herself 
would have done, have thought no 
more of ungrateful man. But her par- 
tiality foi; mankind was not to be re- 
signed at what she conceived too early 
a period for such a species of self-de- 
nial. 

Fortunately for the widow, there 
happened to be what is frequently call- 
ed a scalping party at a village near 
Carnarvon. Having dressed herself in 
her green and gold jacket, with a red 
feather in her hat, she mounted an 
hired palfrey, and set off to recon- 
noitre this groupe of Thespians. . En- 
quiring at the inn for the manager, 




CHARLES LEE LEWES. I59 

she was informed there was none. — 
*' What, no manager !** exclaimed Betty 
with some surprize : " Well, landlord,*' 
continued she, " perhaps the company 
is directed by some discreet woman, 
whom, if you please, we will call a 
manageress, although that's in my mind 
downright nonsense ! 

*' A woman, my lady !" replied the 
landlord — " Oh ! yes, my lady — there's 
three of that sort of cattle ; but they're 
of little worthy God knows." 

" Well, landlord, (continued Betty) 
could you send for one of the gentle- 
men of the party, that I may just speak 
to him?" 

" Ah ! my lady," said the landlord, 
** God defend you, there is not a single 
gentleman in the whole kit of them." 

" Well, sir," returned the lady, " if 
they are not single, I suppose they are 
married." 



l6o MEMOIRS OF 

Oh dear ! my lady ; you mistake/^ 
answered the host, ** that there were 
no single men among them. But when 
you ask'd for a gentleman, ecod I was 
right in telling you there was not one 
among them — yes, I lie though — there's 
a young man, a painter, who works at 
a gentleman's house in our neighbour- 
hood, and who was formerly much 
given to playing handycraft tricks upon 
your cards, and your cups and balls, 
and such like tricks and fancies ; and 
so, because he's a genteel zort of a 
man, they gets him to play the fod 
with himself, and idle away his time 
with acting speeches among them ?" 

" Can I see the gentleman you talk 
of ?" asked Betty, witli no little impa- 
tience. 

" Oh ! yes, my lady," he replied— 
" Aye, he's fit to be seen — but for the 
playmen that don't work, Lord! Lord!'* 



CHARl4£SX£3 JLEWHS. l6l 

The pair^ter b^jqg se«t for, came di- 
recUy ; for he. W2^ told ik^t a gre^t 
l^y wanted l^p siee feifla. 

Betty M2|rti|i feeing thiK called my 
lady, aftd ladyship, assumed airs of im-» 
portapce; sh^ inquired witli an air of 
dignity respecting the names and the 
property of the cQmpany with whom 
he associated. Finding from his satis- 
factqry answers that they were in low 
circumstances, she resolved instantly to 
take advantage of their necessities. She 
engaged the whole troQp ; and as the 
painter f?ugbt be serviceable^ she offered . 
him a guinea a week, and a share for 
. playing, painting, &c. &c. a? she might 
find occasion. 

This unexpected proposal was by the 
young man immediately accepted ; and . 
Betty having desired to see the forlorn 
troop, he ran and brought them to an 
interview with her ladyship. They had 

VOL. I. M 



l62 M£MOIRS OF 

no sooner been in her august presence, 
than their ears were most agreeably sa- 
luted with the sound of promise. Terms 
were immediately proposed by her, and 
accepted by the company, with this 
condition, that she woulcT grant them 
leave to perform that night the play 
of Theocjosius, or the Force of Love, 
which was bespoken by a. great Roman 
Catholic lady in the neighbourhood. 
This Betty most generously granted, 
but not without expressing, that it 
was her particular desire to see and 
hear the performance. 

The young painter, whose name was 
Workman, made a tender impression 
upon the too susceptible heart of his 
tender mistress, who, full of the vigour 
of fifty,, wished to change once more 
her name. For this purpose, she se- 
lected him from the herd to dine with 
her that day, to which honour he cor- 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 163. 

dially agreedj being " nothing loth" to 
be thus distinguished from the rest of 
the Thespian brethren. 

At this iete-a-tete very little passed 
but discourse on common concerns. 
At the proper time the lady manageress 
went to the play, of which she has fre- 
quently given the following droll and 
whimsical description. 

" Instead of one curtain in the front 
of the stage, they had two, which, at 
the ringing of the bell, were instantly 
drawn aside by two of the players, who 
stood behind them for the purpose. 

■ 

These curtains were hung or suspended 
from a cord nailed up at each side of 
the room, and by the rings she per- 
ceived they were a suit of bed curtains, 
which had been ingeniously contrived 
ixyf this purpose. The high altar, as 
expressed in the play-bill, was composed 
of no other materials than a- ntiddling 

M 2 



164 MBMOiaaOF. 

9 

sized deal box, with a smaller placed 
upon it, so as to raise this temporary 
sacred edifice to a proper state of con- 
venience. This was to represent \yhat 
the priests called the tabernacle. The 
largest was covered with a sheet from 
the ostler's b?d, and the small one 
with a. napkin^, ranged in order, as be- 
coming as the nature of the decorations 
would adipit. Six iron candlesticks, 
with halfpenny lights in each, were 
placed on the sacred pile. No kneeling 
Constantine was seen, as was promised 
in the theatrical bill of fare, nor bloody 
cro§s, in conformity to the legend, 
appeared to the most Christian Ea\- 
peror, who is also said to have seen 
written undern^a.th the cross in the 
sky — 

IN HOC SIGNO VINCIS. 

1 

Setty thought this omission was un- 
pardppable. Sp^ne of tl^^ words pf tlie 



\ 
\ 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 1 65 

solemn hymn with which the tragedy 
opens, provoked from the risible tem- 
perament of Betty a most unmannerly 
laugh, which caused her to be severely 
reprehended by the lady who had be- 
spoke the play. — She, good creature, 
mentioned something of ludere cum 
sacris ; and that grinning Betty, al- 
though in a laced jacket, ought to have 
been turned out of the place. The 
wotds which caused the untimely and 
indecent mirth were-^ 

" The temple with new glory shines, 
" Adorn the altar with the shrines, 
*• And purge the place from sin.*' 

** This passage so operated upon the 
wickedly witty Betty, that she could 
not, as she said, for the life of her, 
prevent the risible idea, which " wash- 
ing the shrines'' raised in her mind, of 
washing the sheets. 

M 3 



l66 MEMOIRS OF • 

'* Atticus, the high priest, and succes- 
sor to St. Chrysostom, had on a ragged 
shirt, which being tolerably clean, and 
worn over his coat, served the double 
purpose of entirely covering his own 
much soiled one, and serving also as a 
surplice and vestment. Leontine, the 
Athenian philosopher, was dressed in a 
shabby great coat, buttoned down to , 
the very bottom, and that for more 
pressing reasons than even the high 
priest could oflFer for his tattered vest- 
ment ; but a tattered philosopher is 
not so out of character. As for 
Betty, she was better pleased to see 
the humble Leontine in his long sur- 
tout, than to see him absurdly and fan- 
tastically dressed in a sable gown and 
a scholar's cap, or square trencher, 
agreeably to the whim of modern 
decoration. Beside, the leathern belt 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 167' 

roujid his waist, secured from the sight 
of the audience the ruined state of 
his small clothes, which she had ob- 
served in the day-time, when he and 
his companions visited her at the inn. 

" After the necessary dialogue of the 
high priest and the sage Leontiric,Vara- 
nes and Athenais entered, who came to 
make love, and admire the beauties of 
the gorgeous temple. The youthful and 
innocent victim, Athenais, was repre- 
sented by a woman of at least fifty 
years old ; she had *a face inflamed and 
ruddy as the rising sun. She was, . 
however^, tolerably dressed in a dark 
cotton gown, the property of the good- 
natured chambermaid of the public- 
house, where this grand and favourite 
tragedy was represented. The chaste 
modest virgin being a learned damsel, 
knew better than wilfully and impro- 

M 4 



J 68 MEMOIRS OF 

pcrly to wear white satin shoes or 
'pumps, as most of our modern he- 
roines of the buskin practise ; plain 
brown and leather shoes she was con- 
viiiGed were the best in which she could 
apipear. Her train was a Scotch lawn 
apron, without stiffening ; and to com- 
plete her dress, she wore no veil : her 
native beauties required no disguise. 

*' All the decoration of her head, 
and mahogany shoulders, was simply 
the grisly, or to speak more gallantly, 
the silver tinted ringlets, which nature 
and time had conjointly exerted them- 

N 

selves to bestow upon her. 

** The young Persian prince, Varanes, 
was the gallant painter, Mr. Workman. 
His Sunday clothes were fresh, tight, 
and becoming. They were, however, 
not of the Persian fashion ; but to 
remedy this defect, he gave them a fo» 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 1 69 

reign air, by pinning a rose-coloured 
window-curtain on his left shoulder, and 
fastening the other extremity to his right 

« 

hip. ' This contrivance, with a cocked- 
hat and feather, gave the blustering 
hero spirits, not only to make love, 
but to knock about with great fury 
the gods. 

** Theodosius, the soft headed and 
meek hearted emperor of the east, al- 
though he bad kings from all nations 
of the conquered world continually 
flattering and offering their incense at 
the shrine of his royalty, was hot so 
decorously dressed as his school-fellow 
Varanes, his coat and waistcoat not be- 
ing so fresh and entire. Lest any 
unseemly fractures should perchance be 
discovered in his breeches, he had with 
prudent caution covered them with a 
woman's scarlet cloak, which, tied 



170 MEMOIRS OF 

round the waist, completely served him 
for lamburkeens. 

" In the front of the stage were eight 
lumps of day at equal distances, per- 
forated with holes large enough to hold 
a candle of no greater dimension than 
their income could aflFord ; the mag- 
nitude of these was equal in size to 
those which so uncommonly, illuminat- 
ed the high altar/* 

All the above passed the observation 
of Betty, without any other reprimand 
than what is mentioned. She was, 
however, in great apprehensions that 
she could not behave with moderation 
any longer, when she heard Varanes 
telling his fair mistreiss, that - 

" 'Tis strange, O Athenais ! wond'rousall, 
" Wonderful the altars, and wonderful the 
shrines." 

She has often confessed she could 



CHARJ*ES LEE LEWES. -171 

not, by any means, restrain the laugh 
which the casual irony of the above 
lines, directed to the construction and 
embellishment of the high altar, prompt- 
ed. But in order to prevent a repeti« 
tion of rebuke, she affected a cough, in 
which she drowned the audible eflFects 
of her risibility. In a word, neither 
the satyrical application of the speeches, 
nor the ridiculous appearance of the 
performers, disheartened Betty, She 
thought that she knew how to make 
them *usefuL • As to the necessity of 
cloathing her new raised troop, she 
knew that she could dress them sump- 
tuously in the wardrobe left her by the 
generous Elrington. With this as- 
surance she returned to Carnarvon; 
but before she left the village, she 
topk care that her prepossessing blan- 
dishments should win the heart of 



171 MEMOIRS OF 

the fortunate Mr. Workman. They 
were consequently married on the 
road. 

. Arriving at Carnarvon, she assumed 
her accustomed and characteristical as- 
surance, and introduced Mr, Workman 
to her landlord and landlady, and all 
her acquaintances. The bells rung mer- 
rily, and the astonished company of 
players arriving some time after, par- 
took of the wedding-dinner, which the 
lovely and loving bride had ordered, 
to render the day as joyous as possible. 
This was the fifth time Betty had 
the pleasure of seeing the stocking 
thrown in celebration of her nuptials. 
The first was, when she joined hands 
with Mr. Grace, the second with Mr. 
Barnes, the third with the unfortu- 
nate Christopher Martin, the fourth 
with Elrington, and the fifth with the 



CHARLES LEE L^WES. J 73 

jolly paiqter, whQ tiow share4 tpr feli- 
citoua eudearipents. Next day, the 
blooming bride evipced, th,at the con- 
nubial comfortsi h^d not entirely di- 
vested her of her attachment to mat-, 
ters of more worldly ns^ture. She wise- 
ly e:3jerted herself to obtain the patron- 
age of the town for a piay or two^ in 
which she s\icceeded. She ako aug- 
, men ted her company, and afterwards 
pursued the beaten road of niatrimony 
with her new. espoused npate, with v*^ 

rious, SMece^. 

Her fifth husbarid, however, di^ 

not live long to enjoy his happiness, 
a circumstance not in>puted by his 
acqUiUntaj^ices to. his. excess, of coj^ju- 
caj felicity. Bjut others, rpore cha- 
ritable, considered, and with some pro- 
bability, that his premature death was 
occasioned by the deleterious quality of 

the wWte lead whiA h§ \i§s4 W his . 



174 MBMOIRS OF 

business of house-painting ; for, as the 
emoluments arising from stage ma- 
nagement did . not always prove suffi- 
cient for his exigencies, he was obliged 
to follow, rather too closely, his own 
unhealthy profession. 

Poor Betty, being now once mqre a 
widow, and the two sons she had by 
Martin and Elrington being arrived at 
manhood, she had them both taught 
to play on the violin, which proved of 
considerable advantage to both herself 
and them, while she remained mistress 
of a company : this, however, did not 
long continue after the death of Work- 
man. Dancing Dicky arriving ^t a pro- 
per age, received the hundred pounds 
from the Welch parson, with whom it 
was left by his father. This bequest 
Betty had viewed many years with a 
jealous affection ; but all her arts and 
contrivances to obtain her wish could 



CHARLES LEE LEWEjS. ly^ 

not prevail on the honest divine to be- 
tray his trust. 

Fortune having for a long period 
frowned upon her schemes, she resign- 
ed all present thoughts of management, 
and joined James Augustus Whiteley. 

Whiteley, however, understanding 
she was possessed of considerable stage 
property, was rather alarmed lest she 
might, at a future time, prove his rival. 
Being assured that her restless ambi- 
tion could ill endure subordination, 
longer than she was obliged by neces- 
sity, he resolved to deprive her of the 
only means she had of reinstating* her- 
self on the Thespian throne. With a 
determined air he informed her, that,, 
unless she parted with her scenery and 
theatrical wardrobe, she must part with 
him ; this dictatorial mandate' raised 
symptoms of passion, which, however, 
she pru<iently stifled, until an oppor* 



tj6 MEMOIRS OF 

tunity offered more favpu.i'^hlG ^^r its 
effective indulgence j she, therefore, dp-? 
sired he wQu|d grapt her sufficient tiipe 
to find a prpper pi^rcl^aser. B^t White- 
ley peremptorily lold her, that the disr 
posal of herself or thepfi wpuld ^dnpit 
of no excuse or delay i and lest she 
should accuse him of cruelty, he c^er- 
ed to buy instantly the greatest ps^rt of 
her prop^ty himself* Knowing the al* 
ternative, i^he disposed ^ the whole of 
herscenei?y, and many of her laced 
embroidei^ed clothes, ^nd her valuable 
shapes to this manager, foif r^ady 
money. 

Betty being qqw pcvssess^d of a Uttb 
money, and stiU retaining sm 2^<^nt 
love for mankind, she one? mor^ threw 
her eyes on a brisk young ma^n, Mn 
Richard Wikon, the late cdebratfd. 
comedian, who happened at tlii^ arid* 
cal t^e to join th^ Compaq* 99.wa^ 



CHA»JLJE$ LEE lEWES. fyjt 

illative of the ancieiitcity of Durham^ 
and being ratker inexpetienced m the 
arts of fife, be was the more proper ob# 
jed for her arts, To efibft a pref)0sse9^ 
sion in her favour, she begafft by at* 
tending most minutely to all his wanU 
at the theatre, ^nd lending hiiH^ ocqi« 
sionally several stage ornaments, &c 
&c. These arts at first proved inefFeo 
tu^l, and had she not spread a net oi 
xnore solid texture, she had never com*' , 
pJeted her fond wfehes: 

This lure was no other than an ek^ 
gant-tragedy waistcoat, which she ba4 
artfully spread on the coverlet of her 
dressing table, and invited her enamo^ 
rato to feast his eyes with ks splenctid 
and untarnished embroidery. Wilson 
was transported at the sight of thiir 
gaudy lure ; he gazed, he praised the 
curious workmanslnp, and by his eyes 
iCMMtdd her th&lonjglng^ ddMire be hftd 

VOU I. N 



ij9 MEMOIRS OF 

to be its master, finding he was caught, 
she pursued her conquest by desiring 
most* earnestly and tenderly that he 
would try it on. To please the lady, 
he most willingly complied. Thus 
dressed, he strutted, vapoured round 
the room, and surveyed himself in the 
pier glass which happened to be in the 
chamber ; his youthful pride was all on 
fire : but the gaudy vesture was not yet 
his own, and to take it off again was 
the diflEiculty. " To keep, or not to 
keep it," was the question which rather 
perplexed his feelings. After some he- 
sitation, he, however, ventured to ask 
the enamoured widow if she would 
part with it ; for, as he thought it be- 
came him mightily, he preferred it to 
any waistcoat he had yet seen in the 
much boasted wardrobe of Whitdey* 
<* Part with it, my dear young 
friij^nd,'' said Betty, in one of her most 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 1 79 

soft arid impassioned toncs-^" yes, and 
my whole store to one so deserving 
of a woman's fevours as you are, my 
dear friend. We are both single^ thank 
God ; and if you will consent to marry 
me immediately, my purse, my person,- 
and my extretnest mekns, lie all open 
to your occasions. Look into the con* 
tents of this chest% Whiteley was mis* 
taken, when he thought that his jea* 
lousy had compelled me to part with 
my whole wardrobe. Nay, do not 
pause ; as I have before told you, they 
are all your own, upon the honourable 
condition of simply marrying me ; 
that's all."* 

*' Tis resolved," said her Orlando j 
** let me have the money ; Til fly 
Upon the post horses of love for a li- 
cence, and by this kiss, I will make 
you my lawful wife ere noon to-mar- 



row.** 



N 2 



1 8d litEMOlRS OF 

Througli her eagerness to receive the 
kiss, and his aukwardness in giving it, 
her wig tumbled off^but he was so 
dosely iSie-d'tetey that he luckily did not 
perceive this accident of her false 

TETE. 

He instantly left his intended, and 
wJth a becoming diligence performed 
his promise. To communicate this very^ 
important aSair to Mr. and Mrs. White- 
ky was assigned to the impatient Dicky, 
who readily accepted of the commis- 
sion, which he executed so well as not 
only to receive their approbation, but 
also the consent of Whiteley to stand as^ 
the father, to give away the almost 
worn-out sinner, Mukerum Nommunty 
alias Bfctty Six Names, to this thought** 
kss, giddy boy. But it may be averred 
without pi-esumption, that Mr. White- 
ley w^ not doomed to everlasting pu- 



CHARLES X££ LEWES. l8l 

„ish„«,. for that crune, for h= wa. 

never known to speak of this unequal, 
this truly unnatural match, without the 
mpst sincere symptoms of repentance. . 
They were, however, next morning 
joined in the bands of matrimony. 
Strange as it may appear, when the 
honey moon had passed, the fondness 
of the bridegroom rather encreased 
than diminished. Thus loving and 
beloved, Wilson passed away several 
months in Mr. Whiteley's company. 

But this all-observing and penetrat* 
ing manager, perceiving some su^i* 
cious symptoms of pious^ Betty's tam-^* 
pering with a discontented party in his 
company, he without ceremony dis* 
charged her and her husband. A ma« 
nager, whose name was Leister, being 
then at Xeeds^ and in great want of 
performers^ induced the discharged 

N 3 



l82 MEMOIRS OF 

hero and heroine to proceed to the said 
iown, where they had no sooner ar- 
rived, than they were most readily and 
chearfully engaged. Mrs'. W. having 
been so long upon the st2^ge,was conse- 
quently very well studied, and notwith- 
standing her age, performed in a to- 
lerable manner several capital parts in 
genteel comedy ; her features' being 
tzthtx petite preserved a juvenile appear* 
ance,which, aided by certain cosmetics, 
gave an e&lat to her person, which she 
could not expect to have retained at 
her advanced period of life. 

At this time, 1767, there was in the 
Leeds* company a complete Captain 
Bobadil, who frequently amused not 
only his Thespian companions, but 
several companies of the townsmen, 
with stories of the sieges he had been 
at, of the battles he had tiravely and 



CHARilES LEE LEWES. . l^y 

hardily fought. In all these accounts, he 
never failed making himself the hero of 
each marvellous tale. This self-conceit- 
ed and formidable braggadocia's name 
was M^George. He had been some 
time with Mr. - Foote, at the Haymar- 
ket, where he proved himself to be of 
no consequence, except in his own opi* 
nion. He was, indeed, one of those per- 
formers whom the late king of grief, 
Philip Lewis, of discontented men^ory, 
most wittily and aptly called. Footers 
company of bladders, which he took 
particular pains to blow up for the sum* 
mer season to entertain liis ancient 
guests. There are numbers living who 
remember the orators produced by Ari- 
stophanes in 1762, when he colleded a 
company who would have been reject- 
ed by old Noll, Carr, or his rival Lin- 
net. But some o£ that very corps hav- 

N4 



r8| MjiMOiRSor 

ing afjpeared since that eariy period oa 
ihe Loddon stages, it is proper to dis« 
criisinate betwietn the incorrigible, and 
tliose who have bden excellent in their 
several walks ; and as it is not meant 
here to I^urt the feeUngs of any gentle- 
inen who 'were then but young upon 
the stage, and. who are now in a man« 
ner unrivalled in their line of perfprihf 
ing, there wiD be related only another 
remark of the above cynical critic, Mn 
Philip Lewis* This was his comparing 
Footers gcoupe to a faggot. He. ex,^ 
' plained the propriety of his simile by 
observing, that a faggot contained only 
three or four good sticks, while the resf; 
^as composed of nx)thing but the mere 
^rubbish of brushwood; and, although 
Wth grief it may be observed, it is cer- 
tainly true, that many companies of the 
present time, exactly correspond with 
old Phil's simile. This mark, it should 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. . 185 

be understood, is meant to be confined 
to the provincial troops of the drama, 
for such reflections cannot surely be 
applied to our well-paid^ well-fei^d, and 
weli-cloathed pretorian bands, whose 
head quarters are in the capital of the 
kingdom. Qui capit illefacit. 

But to return : the vapotiring Boba- 
dil, M' George, was called by all who 
Jcnew him, the most noble The Mar^ 
quts of Hatchet^ which name he ob-» 
tained from throwing that metapho- 
rical tool further than most of his com- 
petitors in the art of lying, with an un- 
embarrassed countenance. This mo- 
dern Mendez Pinto possessed a beau- 
tiful scymitar,which, in the rural green- 
rooms, he would often kiss with the 
gieatest extacy. These senseless salu- 
tatiohs of the equally senseless blade, ho 
accompanied with asseverations of the 
ivilowing import. 



l86 MEMOIRS OF 

" Ah ! my dear bit of sweet-briar, 
many a time and oft have you sayed 
my life when in the most imminent 
danger; when you were in my com- 
. pany, a whole host of foes, armed with 
shining spears, never wore the face of 
terror in your master*s sight ; get you 
into your sheath, my preserver from 
peril and danger. God be with the 
day, though it was a most bloody one, 
when I wrenched you out of the hand 
of the infidel captain of a Barbary cor- 
sair, who, with his infernal crew, board- 
ed the Leghorn ship in which I was a 
passepger, at the time we were sailing 
through the Gut of Gibraltar. Oh ! 
that was z day, a day ' indeed, ifty 
boys — a day, that none of you could 
forget while you had an hour to 
live, I think I've deserved well of my 
country.** 

«« Well,** says the sarcastical Bfetty 



CHARLES LEE LEWES, 187 

Wikon, " I will say that for you, and 
of you, that you do thyow the hatchet 
with the best grace of any man I ever 

knew." 

» ■ -. 

" The hatchet, madam !** says Mrs. 
M^George, not a little afFfonted at see- 
ing her husband made the risible sport 
of the whole company, by the ironical 
sneer of such a woman as Mrs. W., 
" Do you thinky. ma'am, that Mr. 
M^George was telling a lie? Why, I 
have heard him tell the same story a 
hundred times, without varying or 
omitting a single circumstance of what 
he has now related." 

** And so have I," said the manager 
with a sly grin, ** if what I vouch can 
serve for a proof of his veracity.'* 

^* Lord, ma'am !" said Betty, " you 
need not be so short with a body, the 
Marquis of Hatchet may be as valiant 
as the Marquis of Granby, God bless 



l88 MEMOIRS OF 

him, for aught that I know, or care. 
But *tis no great proof of his bravery, 
to be always drawing his sword before 
a parcel of woncien, and continually 
Jx>asting of his feats and prowess.** 

There was such a roguish pointing 
in Betty's delivery of the latter part of 
the above reply, that she set the whole 
green-room in a loud laughter, which 
so provoked the yet unmoved Mac 
George, that he strutted up to her 
with his right hand upon the hilt fi( 
his Damascan blade, and fiercely de- 
manded to know her meaning for af- 
fronting him thus unprovoked ? " Were 
you a man, madam, you should not 
escape my just vengeance : but as you 
are what you are — damn me, madam, 
you are not worth my resentment.'* 

This bravado speech roused Betty's 
husband from the apathy with which 
he bore the blustering o{ M' George 



CHARLES LEE LFV^ES. iSj 

arid his wife ; and having first surveyed 
with eye severe, the doughty Marquis, 
he bravely challenged him to single 
combat, with what weapons he should 
think proper. 

" O, O!'* says M'Georgc, " are you 
for sjport in my way then ? Give me 

, your hand, my boy. Damme, you are 
not the young buck I took you for — » 
To-morrow morning then, my lad 
o'wax, we'll meet, if you keep in the 
same mind, In the snug meadow at the 
bottom of Brigate. What say you, my 
stripling, to taking a cool breakfast in 

• the open air, with a hardy and ap- 
proved veteran ? You'll be sure to meet 
old Clytus} ha! my young Hepbes** 
tion?" 

" Yes, by Jupiter Ammon, will I," 
says Wilson. 
, Now it is necessary my readcri 
should know, that the pretty* pistotianr 



language;, of the noble Marquis WiS 
rightly construed by the stripling, as 
'his antagonist Contennptupusly called 
him, to be the effusions of arrant 
cowardice. He, therefore, without the 
least fear for consequences, determined 
to meet him. 

The manager. Leister, wath oneMor* 
gan, a step-son of the late Mr . Younger 's, 
with the noble Marquis of Hatchet, ad- 
journed from the theatre to the sign of 
the Woolpack, in the market-place, to 
take some refreshment. Morgan, who 
was a mischievous fellow, and loved and 
practised fighting as much as the fa« 
mous Buckhofse, kept all the evening 
exciting the courage and resentment of 
the Marquis. 

" Meet him by all means;**-Baid Mor* 
gan, " ril be your second, or ybun 
bottle-holder. What the devil— yc% 
who have mowed down in yourtiraei 



CHARLES LEE LEW£S. igi 

JO many circumcised, and turbahM 
Turks!" 

** Why, my dear friend Morgan,*'said 
this redoubted Mac, " I grant you, that 
you^ Mrs, M^ George, and I, have been 
cursedly run down by his vile wife ; but 
the poor easy lad was not much to blame, 
you know — the mortal sin of making 
her a widow would not sit so heavy on 
my conscience, as the continual re*, 
proaches of having deprivedhis mother 
of a darling son ; for, I am well-in- 
formed, she loves him with the most 
tender affection/* 

** Damn it,*' said Leister, *^ let him 
alone, Morgan — his heart is not in the 
right place. Throughout the whole of 
his excuses, he proves himself ta be a 
coward in graim** 

"A coward !" answered Mac j " let 
that be seen in the field to-morrow, 
whether I or Wilson is the poltrooBtj.*!.' 



l^l MEMOIRS Ol' 

Wilson at this time entered the 
room, and not having the least idea of 
meeting his antagonist, the Moor-killer, 
was surprized at seeing him, but ho€ 
intimidated. Being armed with a 'good 
ashen plant, he defied the other's sci- 
mitar, which he perceived in the hand 
of Mac, but not out of its scabbard. 
Dick commenced the business, by ask- 
ing him, if he still was inclined to per* 
form the matin exercise he had pro- 
posed about two hours before ? 

" Why, as to that,*' said Mac, " I— 
I — was always a man of my word) 
and if I said I wou'd do any thiiig two 
hours ago, it would be, I think, impose 
^ible for one who has studied two^and* 
twenty lengths from night to night, to 
forget any thing said or done so lately.*^* 
" Come, come," says Wilson, " no. 
e^rasion or equivocation ; will you meet 
xfie according to agreement ?'' 



CHARLES LEE L£W£S» 1 93 

" Why, faith,'* says Mac, *^ if I said 
I would, to be sure I will/* 

"'Poh! damme,*' sayg fighting Mor- 
gan, *' I see this will come to just no- 
thing at all. To convince us you are 
both in earnest, no more words, but 
look here (holding out a supple jack he 
had in his hand horizontally), let the 
best of you spit over this/* 

But Wilson, not entirely compre- 
hending the meaning, of the welUbred 
Morgan, spit in the face of the Mar- 
quis, instead of over the stick, which 
Morgan meant he should have done. 
This behaviour excited the immediate 
resentment of the fiery Morgan, who, 
with a blow in his chest, levelled poor 
Wilson upon the floor. 

Betty, who had followed her cara- 
sposa to the house, no sooner saw him 
lying on the floor,, than she jgngaged 
with the ruffian, whom she considered 

VOL. I. .0 



194 M£MOIRS OF 

to have murdered her husband. Like 
a fierce Amazon, as she always proved 
herself to be on such occasions, she 
flew at Morgan with both hands open, 
and at the first assault, made an im- 
pression much resembling the ten of 
diamonds upon his face. 

Morgan being too manly to contend 
ingloriously 'with a woman, and that 
woman an old woma^, only used 
his best means to disengage himself 
from a contest in which >he should 
lose as much blood as credit. Betty 
being, however, at last greatly, alarm- 
ed at the sight of so many purple 
currents, which she saw streaming 
in every direction down his disfigur- 
ed countenance, desisted from claw- 
ing any longer his visage. She con-? 
tented herself with only fastening 
upon his hair, which she unmercifully 
tore by handfuls from his devoted 
head. 



CHABsLES L££ LBW£S« 195^ 

Morgan Idcked and swore, whila 
the company wer^ delighting them-^ 
selves with this^ scene o£ **^ precious 
mischief," as they, termed- it.^ They^ 
howeyery,had the charity to release him; 
from^ the fury of this wild w^oman*. 
His favourite locks, which had even 
been his peculiar caro^ to be thus ton& 
from their " seat of propriety^ * gave • 
him. no little uneasiness ;. but the unex-^ 
gected* revival of the prostrate Wilsoifc 
obtaming him an entire respite from his 
complicated dangers, he began to solaccr 
himself, a& much as he possibly coi4d> 
with the psospect of &ture peace. Al- 
though he had been the first aggressor,, 
he was indebted to Wilson chiefly for 
his manly and generous interposition ii^ 
his favour*. 

Betty, who had,, during: the engage- 
ment^confined herself to offensive war^ 

o a 



did not entirely escape from wotlndf or 
contusion^ for, whether from design 
or accident, she received a most scan- 
dalous black eye, and a slight wound 
npon the upper lip, which, on account 
of her acting that night, had been for- 
tunately shaved. This was an operation 
she was obliged to suffer three times a 
week, in order to remove a few loose 
hairs that obtruded themselves upon 
her upper lip, and thus to avoid that 
monstrous indelicacy of wiearing a 
beard, in such characters as LafdyT^wn- 
icy, or Miranda, unless she had to join 
with the former the part of John 
Moody, as the celebrated Mrs. Charfce 
has been seen to perform, ' If the in- 
cumbrance of a beard is the least dis- 
grace to the appearance of a fine Iddy, 
nature might be blamed, ^ere riot such 
a censure the greatest impiety* 



tt is Jiere necessary to observe, that 
Betty owed cons;iderable obligations to 
^ pumice-stone, Svith which she very 
frequently rubbed the lower parts of 
her face. But what was to be done to 
conceal the disgraceful appearance of 
her eyes. There was, fortunately for 
pur Thalestris, in the room a young 
man belonging to Leister's company : 
his name was Wortley, who made some 
pretensions to the art of painting. Al- 
though he had daubed tlie fronts of 
houses, I never heard he had attempts 
ed to paint the human face divine. He 
had humility enough to acknowledge^ 
that he was neither an Apelles, a Ti^ 
tian, or a Reynolds ; but as the lady 
was in distress, and chose to trust her^ 
self to his skill, he was willing to try 
what he could do for her accommoda- 
tion. He therefore took a little pul- 

o J 



^198 'HEM0IR8 OF 

^erized rose-pink, mixed neatly if- 
eundum artem^ with some whiting or 
. ^common chalk, and covered the sable 
disgrace with a tolerably -natural flesh 
colour. Having praised the skill and 
gratefully acknowleged the kindness of 
the artist, she was preparing to mJke 
her exit ; an incident as droll as unex- 
pected prevented her departure. 

It has been observed that M^George, 
<thc most noble Marquis of Hatchet, had 
by his iU-timed show of courage, pto- 
^oked Mr. Wilson ?to challenge Mm, In 
consequence of some severe reflections 
*on his youth, and some sly insinuations 
of his being afraid to encounter a man 
who had cut his passage through so 
many formidable impediments. The 
JMarquis had not the least serious inten- 
tion of breaking the peace. During 
this, tremendous storm, the Marquis '^as 



CHARLES L££ L£W£S. 1 99 

himself in the greatest agitation of fear 
and trembling. He was, however, so 
peaceably inclined, that wisely consider- 
ing the more he engaged in sucli a fra- 
cas, the more mischief would ensue ; 
he prudently avoided the least inter- 
ference. The first insult being given, 
he ran about the room rubbing his eyes, 
and stamping as if in the most afflictive 
agony with the smarting of the salt 
rheum which the clownish Wilson had 
discharged upon him. In fact he so well 
affected the appearance of severe suffer- 
ing, that the company thought nothing 
but the loss of his sight could occasion 
sitch pitious emotion and distortion* 
Indeed Morgan had been impelled to 
give the downfall blow to Dick, in conr- 
sequence of supposing the Marquis must 
have received some very material in- 
jury, if not a total deprivation of sight. 

04 



aOO MHMOIUS Of 

When the engagement became genend, 
he took the opportunity of withdraw- 
ing himself from the scene of battle>; 
but seeing the bandage of black crape 
over Betty's eye, he rose from his lurk- 
ing place, which was under a large 
square dining-table, that stood against 
the wainscot of the room where the 
conflict happened. Quitting his uneasy 
situation, he was instantly saluted with 
thevociferous shoutings of the company • 
*' Here's the tremendous Matadore !*' 
cried the sarcastical Tom Leister, *' who 
slew so many Saracens. Twenty more — 
kill them ; twenty more — ^kill them too 
--reh Mac! Why, damn it, Mac, you'H 
tiever be able to perform your morning 
rehearsal in the meadow with that rue- 
ful countenance. You see, Wilson, you 
can acquire no honour by vanquishing 
-such a fellow as this, and if you are not 



CHARtES L££ 1J3,WM. aOX 

ambitious of being thought a bully or a 
braggard, let us hear no more of this 
contemptible business. We shall make 
ourselves the scorn and derision of the 
whole town, from which we shall be 
driven with all the disgrace such beha- 
viour justly demands. Let me advise 
you, therefore, M^ George, to go home ; 
get you to bed and sleep, you terrible 
Scanderbeg. But according to appear- 
ances, I think, you will be troubled 
with dreams of dreadful nature.** 

I'he Marquis of Hatchet took his 
friend Morgan by the hand, and in a 
feeble, tremulous voice, thanked him 
for his kind and spirited interference in 
his favour, by chastising his insolent 
foe, at the time he was himself indeed 
so unfortunately incapable. . This op- 
portunity for retreat, he most anxiously 
embraced, and ventured to his own 



SOS MEMOIRS OF 

apartment, even without an escort. Hs 
discreet wife received him with plea- 
sure ; for, although it is a just observa- 
tion, that women are naturally fond of 
bravery, yet the want of it m M^Georgc 
did not diminish the affection of his 
wife. 

This predilection Is not only common 
to the fair sex ; it is a general principle 
of nature. The brave are respected and 
admired by both sexes ; nor is it any 
impeachment of the modesty or deli- 
cacy of the female character ; their ten- 
derness of frame and constitution re- 
quires protection, and it is therefore 
accordant vdth their necessities and 
feelings, to admire those on Whom 
they can most depend. Being too 
frequently liable to such insults as the 
best regulated police cannot always 
prevent, they «iust rely on the cou- 



CHARLEa LEE XEWES, toj 

rage of man, and this is !ELn addi- 
tional reason for 'their admiration ;of 
bravery. The arm of man, neither 
formidable in nature or appearance, 
has frequently protected females from 
the purposed outrage of ruffians. But 
here it nmst be observed, that Mrs. 
M'jGeorge was not so different from her 
6CX, as not to pay a proper deference to 
manly courage. 

She had beside many inducements t6 
affection. She was his conjugal com- 
panion in her early youth, had borBe 
him many fine children, and as to his 
ridiculous, style of vain, boasting ^about 
fighting, she frequently derived the 
greatest entertainment from the whim- 
sical pleasantry of^his inventions. 

Fate determined that Betty and her 
spouse should part here. Mr. Wilson, 
^whether provoked at, the -asperity 4of a 



•64 lIEMOmS OF 

certain lecture, left her at a very un* 
seasonable hour, without giving her the 
least notice of his intended route, and 
formed a resolution never to live with 
her more,which resolution he kept with 
Roman strictness. 

It appeared as if the fate of Betty to 
receive the merited punishment of her 
conduct to Martin, by the infidelity of 
her succeeding lovers. But, though 
deserted like Dido, she had no incli-^ 
nation to imitate the example of that 
queen. Instead' of burning herself she 

d nd her lover, and consoled her* 

self that she was not as yet too old to 
try again. 

The company decreasing by deaths 
and other vicissitudes, aflFected hef 
more seriously. Having now no dear 
relative near tONComfort her, she was 
left without any other consolation than 



CHARLES LE^ L£W£S. tOg 

the remembrance of her vices and fdl- 
lies. 

Haying had occasion to mention tllS 
manager Linnet, it may be necesssiry to 
observe, that Burfbrd, Woodstock, and 
the never-failing Abingdon, he called 
his own ; and, so greatly was he at- 
tached to these parts of his widely ex- 
tended domaan, that he seldcAn ^ed 
visiting annually each of the abote 
towns. Burford, at the time <rf the 
races, was certain of having him and 
his company^ for here he waft sure of 
raising large contributions at these times 
of periodical festivity. But Abingdoti, 
being in the vicinity df the seat of the 
Muses, and out of the jurisdiction of 
the principal acting officer of the uni- 
versity, was, if possible, more lucrative 
to him than Burfotd. Here two or 
three reflections natiu^y present them- 



106 MBMOIRS^OF 

sdtes on the sii!>ject of plays not being* 
sufibred at the universities. The chief 
Biagistrate of the. university claims^ by 
statute and prescription, the right of pre«^ 
licentiiig:tfae exhibition or performance 
of any matter that may* diverlr the 
naind$ of the scholars from their serious^ 
studies* This seems to have been one 
liad cSkct of the zeal of our first refor^ 
mers, for such was^the bigotry of these 
zealots, that, in performing this* task^ 
they 6wept away almost every vestigo 
of chearfiilness and instructive amuse-^ 
ment« Although a reformation might 
be wanted, yet it was surely not to be 
founded on a system of preventiag.mam 
from alleviating, the unavoidable cares^ 
and distresses of life by innocent di» 
version, or polishing hifr manners by 
elegant entertainments* But nothing- 
can check the course of those turbulent; 



CHARLES LEB XEWES. 207 

passions^ and the spirit of innovation, 
which usually, and indeed almost neces- 

• 

sarily, animate a reformer. To spare 
the tree, whilst they lop the branches, 
is not the characteristic of a zealot. 

These fruits of our first reformers 
must excite regret even in the well- 
wishers of their system. But the pro- 
gress of reason purifies its new systems 
from the corrupting influence of the 
passions, and the first fervour becom- 
ing extinct, wisdom and moderation 
succeed. 

The liberal and rational precepts of 
Christianity, were meant to inspire 
mankind with all the charms of hope, 
instead of depressing them with the 
gloomy reflection of being punished 
eternally for a temporary breach of mo- 
ral rectitude. He who told us himself, 
that his yoke was easy and his burthen 



So8 MEMOIRS OF 

light, should not be discredited by the 
practice of his disciples. 

But a more liberal and rational sys-^ 
tern of reform being established among 
uSjWe should have been more happy had 
not the infernal counsellors of a bigot 
princess, disgraced the name of religion 
by so wantonly sacrificing human na- 
ture on the pile of cruel and persecut- 
ing superstition. But the martyrs, 
Cranmer and Latimer, although accus- 
ed and convicted of heresy, were never 
known to inveigh against the harmless 
tragedies and comedies that were per- 
formed in their time. Although they 
had neither the purity of sentiment or 
moral tendency of those of a later date, 
yet they were encouraged. Happily 
for England, the immortal Elizabeth . 
Succeeded to the throne, and instan- 
taneously wrested from these Van- 



CHARLES L£E L£W£S. ^09 

dab the reforming rod, and with it 
drove them from the stage of religious 
contest. But it is a melancholy reflec* 
tion, that in consequence of old Harry's 
six bloody articles, and the frequent 
fires that were enkindled in Smithfield, 
and other parts of the -kingdom, to 
roast men instead of cattle, numbers 
were driven from their native hnd to 
places where they received encourage- 
ment, and were allowed to exercise 
freely the use of their reason. The 
emancipated Cantons were chosen by 
many as the happy asylum from ty. 
ranny and persecution. But those who 
settled in Geneva imbibed such senti- 
ments of intolerance, as to cause them, 
on their return to their native country, 
to disseminate with too successfril a 
zeal, their destructive c^nions. Al- 
though the matchless £Uzabeth and her 
wise council, opposed as much as pos- 

VOL. u p 



210 MEMOIRS OF 

sible their illusions, they could not check 
the poison from spreading ; but by the 
restraint of wholesome laws, they were 
prevented from subjecting us to that 
* ruin which would have been inevitable, 
had these tenets been adopted without 
qualification or restriction. We should 
have experienced the same hapless fate, 
as that which attended a neighbouring 
nation, Scotland. For there, that sin- 
gle firebrand of discord, John Knox, of 
fanatic memory, at the head of a turbu- 
lent misled rabble, and aided and abet- 
ted by several noble malcontents, took 
the advantage of an unsettled reign, 
and under the pretext of eradicating 
the damnable doctrines of popery, 
had nearly extirpated Christianity it- 
self. Now murders and devastations 
stalked with giant stride over that 
part of our island, and their zealous 
leader, presumed to assert, that he 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 2 1 X 

wielded the sword of the Lord and 
Gideon against idolatry. Blessed God ! 
how is thy holy name and authority 
prostituted, to serve the infamously in- 
terested purposes of artful and design- 
ing men ! But though these principles 
were the chief cause of stage perse- 
cution, yet even in this enlightened 
age of liberality and refinement, we 
find the immortal \yorks of Shakespear 
excluded from a representation in our 
great and distinguished seminaries, 
while the' indecent productions of a 
Pretonius Arbiter, an Ovid, a Horace, 
and the dangerous doctrines of a Lu- 
cretius, are the classical studies of our 
young students at both the univer- 
sities. " O shame, where is thy blush !*^ 
But thanks to a kind legislature, who 
having lately viewed with compassion- 
ate concern the indignities suffered by 
an actor, as a profession, have obliterat- 

p 2 



1 1 % lAEMOlRS OF 

ed tke dtamefiil stigma with wlucli 
tlkty were faianded by fanatic church- 
men and haughty lawgivers. 



The following Anecdotes, however 
singular they may appear, are, not with- 
standing, authentic; they were com- 
municated to me by one on whose ve- 
racity I could depend, and who was 
thoroughly acquainted with the parties 
principally concerned, from their debut 
on the stage of life, but more parti- 
cularly on what in the modern phrase 
is called the boards. "^ 

♦ This is to be understood as meaning a thea- 
trical stagei where sometimes there is scarcely a 
sbgle board or spar to tread upon ; frequently 
this stage is no other than the floor of a mah- 
house, bam, or stable, where many who hold 
their heads on high in our royal theatres, " have 
done deeds to make heaven weep, and shock 
the faculties of eyes and ears^*' 



CHARLES Lti^ L^W£3# 1 1 3 

MH. JOSEPH VOtJHdfilt. 

The late Mr. Joseph Youiigef, of 
truly respectable memory^ related to 
me the following htimorous ciifiruiti* 
stances}, which happened to him at % 
ph<M* called Goot-hill^ in the north of 
Ireland* 

The wintet season being finished at 
Crow*street, Dublin, in the year 1759, 
he engaged himself and his wife to go * 
with a.contpany of itinerants on a sum- 
mer exctirsion, until Barry and Wood-^ 
V'ard should open again the theatre in 
Dublin. 

Business proving very bad, and his 
little consequently decreasing very fast, 
he W2M afraid that what renntsdned would 
be Seized, according to a cruel cus« 
torn with the low Irish, of rushing 
into the apartments of their lodgers 
who 9re in arrears, and taking what<»' 

' ^ 3 



at 4^ MEMOIRS OF 

ever they can find that is worthy their 
attention. 

Instances of this brutality presented 
themselves frequently to the hurt sen- 
sibility of Younger. A thoughtless 
young fellow, named Beattie Stuart, 
who was in the company, came one. 
morning abruptly into his apartment, 
and exhibited so ludicrous, yet pitiable 
a sight, that the good-natured Youn- 
ger, for the moment felt himfelf, con- 
trary to his general disposition, more 
' inclined to mirth than compassion. Who 
cpuld forbear siijiling to see a young 
man who was, but the day before, de- 
cently dressed, enter his room almost 
in a state of nature, and complaining 
that his coat, waistcoat, and shoes had 
been removed, while he held the wrecks 
of his small clothes, which had been so 
torn- in the contest between him and 



CHARLES LEE LEWES. 21 ^ 

his delicate landlady, that he had scarcely 
so much left to conceal his nakedness 
as would cover a halfpenny ball. Com- 
passion almost instantaneously resumed, 
her empire in the breast of Younger, 
who, with as much haste as possible, 
immediately clothed the poor naked 
fellow with some of his 'own habili-r 
eients. These clothes being consider^ 
ably too large for him, caused him to 
make so ludicrous an appearance as to 
raise the derision of the inhabitants, 
who followed and hooted him as he 
passed to the house of the magistrate, 
to whom he repaired for immediate; 
justice* It will, however, please the 
sympathising reader to be informed, 
that this poor persecuted devil had 
ample satisfaction for his wrongs and 
the shame he suffered from his cruel 
hostess, by the magistrate perempto- 
rily ordering his clothes to be returned. 



11 6 MEMOIRS OF 

• 

and himself exonerated from the de- 
mand she had to daim for lodging, or 
to suffer the punishment of losing her 
licence, if she refused compliance. The 
indignant exciseman, in addition to the 
order of Coram Nobis, flew to her 
house, and with the assistance of Stuart, 
found a concealment of unentered whis- 
key, which they seized, and levied the 
fine with unpitying rigour. 

The sensible and humane Younger, 
being unhappy at his own situation, and 
•({ually so for the distresses to which 
he saw the company constantly exposed^ 
communicated their distressed condi- 
tion to Mr. Coote, the late Lord BeU 
Umont. The young gentleman was no 
sooner made acquainted with the cir- 
cumstance, than he humanely ordered a 
play to be performed the next evening. 
He also, with some diffiiculty, prevailed 
upon the celebrated Genuniam, who 



CHARLES !.££ LSWES. $IJ 

then resided with him as teacher of the 
violin, to accompany him to the rural 
theatre. 

Preparations being made to receive 
with due respect the worthy squire 
and his company, the house * was 
opened, and very speedily filled. But 
oh ! grief of griefs \ the company had 
no musicians with them, and some har* 
mony was indispensably necessary to 
prevent the impending wrath of the oU 
fended gods. After a long search in 
vain for any kind of scraper or bag* 
piper, their fears rather subsided on 
seeing a girl leading in a poor old blind 
man, with signs of a crowdy beneath 
his coat. He was immediately engaged, 
and placed on a stool behind the scenes* 



!»■ ■! M 



* This house was no othex than a back stable, 
with a new laid lAalt-house floor : thcre,..was no 
raised stagey in consequence of the place hot aC- 
£of ding f oom f<n aucb' a eoa^entcAce. 



S 1 8 MEMOIRS OF 

After thrumming his instrument to put 
it in tune, he drew from the strings 
such a series of discordant notes, a3 
purely never before or since torment-* 
cd the ears of mortals. All eyes were 
fixed on Gemihiani, whose writh- 
ings of body and distortions of coun- 
tenance were better to be imagined 
than described. 

The poor fidler being informed by 
some wags behind the scenes, that the 
greatest violin player in the world was 
in the pit with Squire Coote, and that 
he was in raptures with the excellence 
of his playing, so exerted his skill and 
powers, as to cause the famed musician 
to start from his seat with the most 
rueful countenance, and with feelings 
almost bordering on convulsive agony. 
The harsh grating sounds, torn and 
rasped from. the vilest of instruments, 
he at first avoided by stopping his earsj 



CHARXES LEE LEWES. 21 ^ 

but the encreased exertions of the 
crowder broke every barrier, and as- 
sailed his hearing with all the combi- 
nation of irritating discord. His tor- 
ment was so great that it became in- 
tolerable, which caused him, with a 
pitiful aspect, to request that Mr. Coote 
would order the carriage to convey 
him from this cave of Cyclops. But 
the young squire was too much divert- 
ed with the enraged condition of his 
poor old tortured master, to comply 
with his request. The banquet was toa 
mirthful to suffer him to end it by any* 
retreat of Geminiani.' 

Crowdero, cdnsidering the continixal' 
clapping of hands, the roars and shouts 
from every part of- the house, as plau- 
dits paid to his merit, imagined his 
fortune was made, especially as he was' 
informed that Mr. Coote was highly 
pleased with his playing : this was true 



S20. MBMOIES OF 

infbrmition ; for he was in a constant 
succession of fits of laughter to see the 
distressed son of scientific melody in an 
agony so unbecoming his age and gra- 
vity, while he accused his remorseless 
pupil of the greates^t cruelty. Gemi- 
niani was however at last relieved^ by 
an accident which threatened fatal con* 
sequences% Mr. Coote's violent fits of 
laughter were so great, and so con^ 
tinual, that he fell into a paroxysm of 
convulsion, which so alarmed his mo*« 
ther, who sat near him, that . she 
immediately commanded the son of 
Cardan * to desist, on pain of her 
weighty displeasure. 

The bell rang, the , curtain drew up, 
»nd my friend Younger was seen seat- 
ed at a table in the character of Lord 
Townley, in the Journey to London.^ 

• The lait asd ^atcst of the Matk baxdi. 



CHARLES LEE LE^ES, 221 

— His soliloquy being finished, Ladf 
Townley entered, when he should have 
said— 

« Going out so soon this momingy madam ?* 

But an unforeseen impediment sup- 
pressed his utterance, and withheld 
his approach towards his lady ; the 
high heels of his stage shoes had made 
such an impression in the new made 
floor, and so tenacious was the clay of 
intruders, that although he extricated 
himself, he was obliged to leave his 
shoes fixed in the mire, until with 
might and main he compelled the earth 
to yield him up his property. 

In this state of confusion, he ran off 
the stage, muttering curses and iavee- 
tives against all the sluts and slovens 
in the kingdom. The tranquillity of 
the audience being thus broken again 
by this ridiculous accident, all attention 



222 MEMOIRS OF 

to the performance was entirely sus- 
pended, for the enjoyment of this more 
whimsical scene of humour. Even Ge- 
miniani forgot his own late ludicrous 
situation, and participated in the ge- 
neral mirth and jocund laugh. But 
what was equally pleasing was, the 
temper which Younger describedT him- 
self to be in, at the moment he had 
extricated himself from this disaster. 
He declared he could have kicked 
Lady Townley out of the stable, horse- 
whipped his sister, the mild Lady 
Grace, and have pulled his friend Man- 
ly by the nose. Indeed, he was so ir- 
ritated at the casualty, that eyery cha- 
racteristic smile which appeared in the 
countenances of the audience, during 
the performance, seemed to him to be 
at his expence. However, to ease his 
chagrin, the Squire presented the com- 
pany with five guineas, and his venera- 



CHArI^ES lee LEWES. 223 

ble mother gave two ; which, added to 
the regular prices paid at the door, 
cheered their hearts for that evening, 
and prompted the eccentric Beattie 
Stuart to write on the play-house-door 
next morning — we eat. 



END OF VOL. I. 



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