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persed, we adjourned to the public house. "My dear Mr. Lebrun,' said the doctor, shaking me again by the hand,
this is a lucky meeting, you are the man above all others, d'ye see, I have long vished for, and if you are disengaged, I can give you a sittiation ten times as lucrative as that there playhouse." Od rabbit it, that's just the thing, I want to get money honestly, the stage is but a poor livelihood, and though I am now manager of a company of pigs, that will in all probability make me a decent ben, I am at present, what is vulgarly called stiver cramped.' - Say no more, my dear boy, you shan't vant the corianders whilst you stay vith me.' The bargain was concluded over a quart of eight-penny, and I was to receive two guineas a week, and a guinea in hand. Now, doctor, what am I to do in this business? I won't be your Jackpudding, and what other department can you give me?
Oh !' said the doctor, winking his eye, and speaking in a low voice, you are to be my Chum.'
• Your Chum ! Explain. · Only the same business over again; I attend another willage to-morrow, whither my man is gone with the stage, and them there pigs; you must throw up your shilling as you did before, and vin the sow again.'
• What ! my own pigs, doctor ?
• Ha! ha! ha! friend Tony, you are had; do you think any prize vorth having is ever carried avay from our stage? No, no, ve have alvays a chum for them there things, and if you had not come quite in the nick, vy ve must have got somebody else.
• Here was a precious business! after winning the herd of swine, and getting a place at two guineas a week, I was to be chumed out of one, and I disdained to accept the other; for though I would do any thing for an honest penny, Mr. Romney, I am no swindler. The doctor was gone to look after his horse, and as I found there was nothing to be expected from him on honest principles, I scorned to keep even the guinea he had given me ; so folding it up in a piece of paper, I wrote on the cover,
Sir doctor, I own, I'm not up to your rig,
and leaving it on the table, made the best of my way to Here ford, where I knew my friend W— had opened his theatrical campaign. * * * * * *
- George Cooke. “ George Cooke* is so well known as an actor, that my opinion can neither add to, nor diminish, his fame; were either in my power, panegyric would run through a dozen pages, and yet fall short of his merits. In some characters he is as much superior to any actor of the present day, as Garrick was to those of his time, but they are limited to such parts as suit bis figure, which wants grace and proportion; where these can be dispensed with, he has no competitor. As a man in private life, he is the gentleman, the scholar, the friend, the life of every party, an enemy to scandal and detraction, and benevolent, even to imprudence.
“ Such is George Cooke in his sober hours; but, when stimulated by the juice of the grape, he acts in diametrical opposition to all this. No two men, however difierent they may be, can be more at variance than George Cooke sober, and George Cooke in a state of ebriety. At these times, his interesting suavity of manners changes to brutal invective; the feelings of his nearest and dearest friends are sacrificed; his best benefactor wounded, either in his own person, or in that of his tenderest connexions, and the ears of delicacy assaulted by abuse of the grossest nature. Such are the unfortunate propensities of this singular man-unfortunate, I say, because he seems incapable of avoiding them, although they have a tendency to ruin his health, injure his property, and destroy his social connexions. No one can more regret these failings than he does, in his hours of sanity, or make more handsome apologies; and if at night he creates enemies, his conciliatory manners in the morning are sure to raise double the number of friends.”
“Of this great actor, many ludicrous anecdotes are related; I shall point out a few, which came under my own observation.
“One evening, in Manchester, we were in a public bar, amongst a promiscuous company, where Cooke was, as usual, the life of the party. Mirth and good humour prevailed till about ten o'clock, when I perceived a something
* The late George Cooke the Actor.
lurking in his eye, which foretold a storm. Anxious to get him home before it burst forth, I pressed our departure, under the plea of another engagement; but, instead of having the desired effect, it precipitated what I had foreseen. With a haughty, supercilious look, he said,
“ I see what you are about, you hypocritical scoundrel ! You canting, methodistical thief! am I, George Cooke, to be controlled by such a would-be puritan as you? I will teach you to dictate to a tragedian.” Then, pulling off his coat, and holding his fist in a menacing attitude”—Come out,' continued he, thou prince of deceivers, though thou hast faith to remove mountains, thou shalt not remove me-Come out, I say. With much difficulty he was pacified, and resumed his coat. There was a large fire in the bar, before which stood, with his coat skirts under each arm, a pitiful imitation of buckism, very deficient in cleanliness and costume. His face was grimy, and his neckcloth of the same tint, which, nevertheless, was rolled in various folds about his throat; his hair was matted, and turned up, under a round, greasy hat, with narrow brims, conceitedly placed on one side the head, which nodded under it, like a shaking mandarin. Thus equipped, the filthy fop straddled before the fire, which he completely monopolized. At length he caught the eye of our tragedian, who, in silent amazement for the space of half a minute, examined him from top to toe; then turning to me, he burst into a horse laugh, and roar'd out, · Beau nasty, by —- Perhaps intimidated by Cooke's former bluster, this insensible puppy took little notice; but I knew George would not stop here, and indeed I thought the stranger fair game. Cooke now rose from his seat, and taking up the skirts of his coat, in imitation of the other, turned his back to the fire,'' warm work in the back settlements, sir,' said he; "then approaching still nearer, as if he had some secret to communicate, whispered, though loud enough for every one to hear,' • Pray, sir, how is soap ?'
Soap ? “Yes, sir, soap; I understand it is coming down.'
I am glad of it, sir.' • Indeed, sir, you have cause, if one may jndge from your appearance.'
“ Here was a general laugh, which the stranger seemed
not to regard, but nodding his head, and hitting his boots with a little rattan, rang the bell with an air of importance, and inquired • if he could have a weal kitlet or å malton chip?
* What do you think,' said Cooke, ' of a roasted puppy? because,' (taking up the poker,) I'll spit you, and roast you in a minute.'
“ This had a visible effect on the dirty beau, he retreated towards the door, Cooke following ; . avaunt and quit my sight, thy face is dirty, and thy hands unwashed ; avaunt! avaunt, I say ! then replacing the poker, and returning to his seat, he continued, · being gone, I am a man again!'
“ It happened, that Perrins, the noted pugilist, made one of the company this evening; he was a remarkably strong man, and possessed of great modesty and good nature; the last scene took such effect upon his imagination, that he laughed immoderately. Cooke's attention was attracted, and turning towards him with his most bitter look, what do you laugh at Mr. Swabson? hey? why, you great lubber headed thief, Johnson would have beat two of you! laugh at me! at George Cooke! come out you scoundrel !
« The coat was again pulled off, and putting himself in an attitude, this is the arm that shall sacrifice you.' Perrins was of a mild disposition, and knowing Cooke's character ; made every allowance, and answered him only by a smile, till aggravated by language and action the most gross, he very calmly took him in his arms, as though he had been a child, set him down in the street, and bolted the door. The evening was wet, and our hero, without coat or hat, unprepared to cope with it, but entreaty for admission was vain, and his application at the window unattended to. At length grown desperate, he broke several panes, and inserting his head through the fracture, bore down all opposition by the following witticism. “Gentlemen I have taken some pains to gain admission, pray let me in, for I see through my error.' The door was opened, dry clothes procured and about one o'clock in the morning we sent him home in a
STEPHEN KEMBLE AND PRINCE ANNAMABOO, “Before the end of the season, a person joined the company, to do what is commonly called little business; he had been
for many years the hero in an itinerant troop of the lowest order, and in him were centred all the imperfections of the old school, such as stamping before he made his appearance, crossing at every period, protruding the elbow, slapping the thigh, pointing the toe, and all the minor absurdities that are remembered with disgust, and were judiciously reformed by Mr. Garrick. This actor was the fac simile of Knight's
Tag, and generally bore the appellation of Tragedy Toni; but he was not the only curiosity in Mr. Kemble's company, we had occasionally two prompters, neither of whom could utter an intelligible sentence; one, from having lost the roof of his mouth; the other, from a superabundance of tongue, which so completely filled the cavity of his mouth, that there was no space left for the formation of words, but they were gobbled forth in an unfinished state, clustered together like nuts, and instead of assisting the memory, completely set the understanding at defiance. Tragedy Tom, like Tony Lebrun, had an innocent substitute for swearing, ‘Cut me down' was an expletive of great use to him, particularly in times of irritation. At the period his benefit was announced, there happened to arrive at Newcastle a shew; no less a personage than the Prince Annamaboo was to be seen, at the small price of one shilling. Tom, without delay, waited on the proprietor, and for a handsome sum prevailed upon his highness to exhibit his royal person on the stage that evening. The manager, with much good humour, consented, and the bills of the day announced, that between the acts of the play, Prince Annamaboo would give a lively representation of the scalping operation, likewise would give the Indian war whoop in all its various tones, the tomahawk exercise, and the mode of feasting at an Abyssinian banquet.' The evening arrived, and many people attended to witness these princely imitations. At the end of the third act his Highness walked forward, with dignified step, flourished his tomahawk, and cut the air, exclaiming, “ ha ha-ho ho!' Next entered a man with his face blacked, and a piece of bladder fastened to his head with gum; the prince, with a large carving knife, commenced the scalping operation, which he performed in a style truly imperial, holding up the skin in token of triumph. Next came the war wnoop, which was a combination of dreadful and discordant sounds; and lastly, the Abyssinian banquet, consisting of raw beef