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confusion to the dinner-table. When I reached home, I found the packet to contain the printed copy of 'Virginius,' dedicated to myself, and a note sent afterwards to my lodgings, expressive of his regret for his intrusion on me, and, evidently under wounded feelings, informing me that it was the first copy struck off, and bidding me farewell. I wrote immediately to him, explaining the awkwardness of my position and my ignorance of his object in coming to me and wishing to see him. The note reached him in the morning: he came at once, and all was made perfectly smooth between us.* At a supper he gave to a few intimate friends at a coffee-house in Covent Garden (the bill of fare of which was salmon and a boiled leg of mutton) I first met Hazlitt, to whose early advice and tutorship he considered himself greatly indebted. Hazlitt was a man whose conversation could not fail to arrest attention. He found in me a ready listener, and in the interest of our discussion became irritated by the boisterous boyish sallies of Knowles's irrepressible spirits, rebuking him for his unseasonable interruptions, and, as one having authority, desiring him not to "play the fool." The poet was in truth a very child of nature, and Hazlitt, who knew him well, treated him as such.

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Among the many gratifications associated in my mind with the production of Virginius' the acquaintance first made with my friend Jackson is not the least prized. It was in this character I first sat to him, for my portrait in 'Virginius,' and, as intimacy developed to me more and more the simplicity and benevolence of his nature, my attachment to him kept pace in its growth with my admiration of his genius during his life, and still clings warmly to his memory.

*The following is the dedication that appeared in all the earlier editions, but has been omitted in the later ones :


"MY DEAR SIR,-What can I do less than dedicate this Tragedy to you? This is a question which you cannot answer; but I can-I cannot do less; and if I could do more, I ought and would.

"I was a perfect stranger to you: you read my play, and at once committed yourself respecting its merits. This, perhaps, is not saying much for your head, but it says a great deal for your heart; and that is the consideration which above all others makes me feel happy and proud in subscribing myself "Your grateful Friend and Servant,


Through the remainder of the season 'Virginius' was acted every night appropriated to benefits. Mine came off, June 9th, with flying colours. A crowded house put a good sum in my pocket; and my first essay in 'Macbeth,' on the study of which I had bestowed my best pains, was very favourably received. To strengthen the cast of the play I had asked Terry to undertake Macduff; at which Abbott, who had once appeared in the part, took umbrage and made it the ground of a quarrel. It was in vain that I pleaded to him the universal custom on such occasions, and in the most soothing and friendly manner deprecated his taking offence. He very intemperately persisted in language that was inadmissible, and which left me no alternative but to retort (which I did most reluctantly) by a personal indignity. Emery, who was present, came up to me when Abbott left the room and took me by the hand, saying, "My dear William, if it had been my own son, I would not have wished you to have done other than you did." The issue was that Abbott applied to Mr. Richard Jones to be his friend on the occasion, who at once. told him that he was greatly to blame and in the wrong throughout. The terms of an apology to me were settled

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* From the Morning Herald, June 10th.-" Covent Garden.-The tragedy of Macbeth' was acted at this theatre last night for the benefit of Mr. Macready. It was his first performance of that admirable character, and he has reason to be doubly gratified with his selection of its performance for his benefit. It attracted a crowded and remarkably brilliant audience, and in this new essay he met with signal success. His air of bewildered agitation upon coming on the stage after the interview with the weird sisters was a most judicious and effective innovation upon the style of his predecessors. In the banquet scene too he made an original and admirable effect. Instead of intimidating the Ghost into a retreat, he fell back, sank into a chair, covered his face with his hands, then looked again, perceived the Ghost had disappeared, and upon being relieved from the fearful vision recovered once more the spring of his soul and body. The effect was powerful. His expression of terror after the murder produced a long-continued stillness. The pathos which he infused into Macbeth was a principal merit in his delineation. At the fall of the curtain, upon Mr. Connor's appearing to announce the performance of the next evening, there was a universal clamour for Mr. Macready. After some delay he did appear, but was quite exhausted by the exertions of the last act. He was so overpowered by fatigue and perhaps by the enthusiasm which the audience manifested towards him, that Mr. Fawcett came out and said that, in consequence of the estimation which the audience had expressed of Mr. Macready's performance, the play should be repeated on Thursday."




between Jones and my friend Lieutenant Twiss of the Royal Engineers, which, repeated by Abbott, called forth from me an expression of regret that I should have suffered myself to be provoked to such an extremity. It had been a practice, as was said, of long standing for the frequenters of the theatres to send, on the performers' benefit nights, presents of more or less value to the artists whom they particularly approved. This custom seemed to me to compromise the actor's independence, and in that belief I had laid it down as a rule. not to accept more than the value of the tickets required. I will not contend for the prudence of this determination: with me it was a matter of feeling. I could not consider myself sitting down to table on terms of social equality with a man to whom I had been obliged for the gift of five, ten, or twenty pounds. I may have been too fastidious; but I have never had cause to regret the line of conduct adopted in this particular. Among others, on the occasion of this benefit, Lord Glengall sent me ten pounds and Colonel Berkeley fifteen, which I returned with letters that elicited from them the admission that it was "impossible to be offended" with me.


1820-1821-1822.-Country engagements-Dublin-Newcastle-AberdeenMontrose-Dundee-Perth-Future wife-Lancaster-Liverpool-George Meredith-Fifth Covent Garden season-Iachimo-Zanga-Reading MSS. for dramatic authors-Wallace -Major Cartwright-Progress in public opinion-Vandenhoff- Mirandola '-Engagement of Miss Atkins at Bristol -Partial restoration of Shakespeare's text in Richard III.-John KembleWainwright- Damon and Pythias-Character of Hamlet-Henry IV.— Portrait by Jackson-Story of the child saved from fire-Country engagements-Highland tour-Second Covent Garden engagement-Difficulties in the management-Cassius-Othello.

different position

THE close of this season found me in a very from that in which I had stood at its opening. Engagements from country managers poured in upon me, and filled up the whole term of my vacation before I left London. Through the interest of the Duke of York, the patent of the Dublin Theatre had been given by George IV. to Mr. Henry Harris, who fitted up the Rotunda as a temporary theatre (capable of holding about two hundred) until the new one he had to build should be completed. My summer engagements began there, where the performance of 'Virginius' made quite a sensation. It was acted to crowded houses seven nights out of the ten, to which my stay was limited. Sheil reached Dublin from circuit in time to be present at one of the representations. After the play he came and sat down beside me in the greenroom, and was silent for some time: at length, "Well, Macready," he began, "what am I to say to you? I really don't know; there is nothing I have seen like it since Mrs. Siddons!" Such an eulogy from such a judge was worth to me the acclamations of a crowded theatre.

My route lay onward to Newcastle-on-Tyne, and from a




severe hurt in my knee, got by a fall at Dublin, I was obliged to travel in post-chaises and as rapidly as I could bribe the post-boys to go. My old friends there welcomed me with the old cordiality, and, as in Dublin, I continued to reap a rich harvest. From thence to Aberdeen was my point of travel, and, on account of my wounded knee and the necessity of journeying all night, I hired a carriage at Newcastle, setting out after the play on Saturday night. On Saturday midnight I reached Woodhaven on the shore of the Firth of Tay, where I had to wait two hours for the tide to cross to Dundee. Dressing and breakfasting at Montrose, I reached Aberdeen about noon, where I saw my name announced in the playbills for Richard III. as I passed from my hotel to the theatre. Two young girls were walking up and down the stage, apparently waiting for the business of the morning to begin. One, the manager's daughter, was a common-looking person; the other, plainly but neatly dressed, was distinguishable for a peculiar expression of intelligence and sprightly gentleness. She rehearsed with great propriety the part of the Prince of Wales, and was introduced to me by the manager as my Virginia for the next night's play. On the following morning she came an hour before the regular summons to go through the scenes of Virginia and receive my instructions. She was dressed in a closely-fitting tartan frock, which showed off to advantage the perfect symmetry of her sylph-like figure. Just developing into womanhood, her age would have been guessed more, but she had not quite reached fifteen. She might have been Virginia. The beauty of her face was more in its expression than in feature, though no want of loveliness was there. Her rehearsals greatly pleased me, her acting being so much in earnest. There was a native grace in her deportment and every movement, and never were innocence and sensibility more sweetly personified than in her mild look and speaking eyes streaming with unbidden tears. I soon learned her little history; she was the support of her family, and was the same little girl whom I had rebuked some years before for supposed inattention at the Glasgow Theatre. My engagement with Mr. Ryder was for three weeks, divided between the towns of Aberdeen, Montrose, Dundee, and Perth; and as the same plays were repeated by the same performers, my opportunities of conversation with this interesting creature

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