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to his authorities. Even where he does mention them-a rare occurrence-it is in such vague terms as Cradock,' Kirkman,' 'Stockdale,' Cooke.' The general reader is not much the wiser for such a reference as this. He is not likely to know even of the existence of Stockdale's or Cradock's Memoirs of themselves, or of Kirkman's or Cooke's Memoirs of Macklin. And even when Mr. Fitzgerald condescends to furnish this faint clue to his authority, it is no easy task to verify his statements, for as a rule he gives no citation of either volume or page. The value of any statement in a work based, as this is, entirely on what other people have written, must of course depend wholly on the character of the source from which it comes. But Mr. Fitzgerald systematically deprives his readers of this test. Page after page is made up of passages manufactured out of Tate Wilkinson's, Mrs. Bellamy's, Stockdale's, Davies's, and other memoirs, without a word of acknowledgment. The letters published by Boaden are quoted, or their contents used, at every turning; but, as a rule, no indication is given of the source from which the quotations are taken.
But enough of Mr. Fitzgerald and his shortcomings! More pleasant will it be to our readers and ourselves to turn from these to the great actor and amiable man whose story he has attempted not very happily to tell.
David Garrick was born at the Angel Inn, Hereford, on the 19th February, 1716. He was French by descent. His paternal grandfather, David Garric, or Garrique, a French Protestant of good family, had escaped to England after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, reaching London on the 5th of October, 1685. There he was joined in the following December by his wife, who had taken a month to make the passage from Bordeaux in a wretched bark of fourteen tons, with strong tempests, and at great peril of being lost.' Such was the inveteracy of their persecutors, that, in effecting their own escape, these poor people had to leave behind them their only child, a boy called Peter, who was out at nurse at Bastide, near Bordeaux. It was not till May, 1687, that little Peter was restored to them by his nurse, Mary Mougnier,* who came over to London with him. By this time a daughter had been born, and other sons and daughters followed; but of a numerous family three alone survived-Peter, Jane, and David. David settled at Lisbon as a wine merchant, and Peter entered the army in 1706. His regiment was quartered at Lichfield; and some eighteen months after he received his commission he married Arabella, the
Not Montgorier, as printed by Mr. Fitzgerald.
daughter of the Rev. Mr. Clough, Vicar Choral of the cathedral there. There was no fortune on either side, but much affection. The usual result followed. Ten children were born in rapid succession, of whom seven survived. Of these the third was David, who made his appearance somewhat inopportunely, while his father, then a lieutenant of dragoons, was at Hereford on recruiting service.
Lichfield was the home of the family. There was good blood on both sides of it, and they were admitted into the best society of the place, and held in deserved respect. David was a clever, bright boy; of quick observation, apt at mimicry, and of an engaging temper. Such learning as the grammar-school of the town could give he obtained; and his training here, and at Edial some years afterwards under his townsman Samuel Johnson, produced more of the fruits of a liberal education than commonly results even from schooling of a more elaborate and costly kind. The occasional visits of a strolling troop of players gave the future Roscius his first taste of the fascinations of the drama. To see was to resolve to emulate, and before he was eleven years old he distinguished himself in the part of Serjeant Kite in a performance of Farquhar's Recruiting Officer,' organised for the amusement of their friends by his companions and himself.
Meanwhile the cares of a numerous family were growing upon his parents. To meet its expenses, his father exchanged from the dragoons into a marching regiment, and went upon half-pay. Peter, the eldest boy, had gone into the Navy; and upon the invitation of the uncle, whose name he bore, young David, then only eleven, was sent to Lisbon, apparently with the expectation that a provision for life would be made for him. in his uncle's business. But either his uncle had no such intention, or the boy found the occupation distasteful, for his stay in Portugal did not extend over many months. Short as it was, he succeeded in making himself popular there by his vivacity and talents. After dinner he would be set upon the table to recite to the guests passages from the plays they were familiar with at home. A very pleasant inmate he must have been in the house of his well-to-do bachelor uncle. No doubt he was sent home with something handsome in his pocket; and when a few years afterwards the uncle came back to England to die, he left his nephew 1000/.,-twice as much as he gave to any others of the family.
Garrick's father, who had for some years been making an ineffectual struggle to keep his head above water upon his half
pay, found he could do so no longer, and in 1731 he joined his regiment, which had been sent out to garrison Gibraltar, leaving behind him his wife, broken in health, to face single-handed the debts and duns, the worries and anxieties, of a large family. In her son David she found the best support. His heart and head were ever at work to soften her trials, and his gay spirit doubtless brightened with many a smile the sad wistfulness of her anxious face. The fare in her home was meagre, and the dresses of its inmates scanty and well worn; still there were loving hearts in it which were drawn closer together by their very privations. But the poor lady's heart was away with the father.
'I must tell my dear life and soul,' she writes to him in a letter quoted by Mr. Fitzgerald, which reads like a bit of Thackeray or Sterne, that I am not able to live any longer without him; for I grow very jealous. But in the midst of all this I do not blame my dear. I have very sad dreams for you. . . . but I have the pleasure when I am up, to think, were I with you, how tender. my dear would be to me; nay was, when I was with you last. O! that I had you in my arms. I would tell my dear life how much I am his.
Her husband had then been only two years gone. Three more weary years were to pass before she was to see him again. This was in 1736, and he returned, shattered in health and spirits, to die within little more than a year. One year more, and she, too, the sad faithful mother, whose dear life' was restored to her arms only to be taken from them by a sterner parting, was herself at rest.
During his father's absence Garrick had not been idle. His busy brain and restless fancy had been laying up stores of observation for future use. He was a general favourite in the Lichfield circle—amusing the old, and heading the sports of the young-winning the hearts of all. Gilbert Walmsley, Registrar of the Ecclesiastical Court, a good and wise friend, who had known and loved him from childhood, took him under his special care. On his suggestion, possibly by his help, David and his brother George were sent as pupils to Johnson's academy at Edial, to complete their studies in Latin and French. Garrick and Johnson had been friends before, and there was indeed but seven years' difference in their ages. But Johnson even then impressed his pupil with a sense of superiority, which never afterwards left him; while Garrick established an equally lasting hold upon the somewhat capricious heart of his ungainly master. From time to time he was taken by friends to London, where, in the
theatres that were to be the scenes of his future triumphs, he had opportunities of studying some of the leading performers, whom he was afterwards to eclipse. Even in these early days the dream of coping with these favourites of the town had taken possession of him. But he kept it to himself, well knowing the shock he would have inflicted on the kind hearts at home, had he suggested to them the possibility of such a career for himself.
By the time his father returned from Gibraltar Garrick was nineteen. A profession must be chosen, and the law appears to have been thought the fittest for a youth of so much readiness and address, and with an obviously unusual faculty of speech. Some further preliminary studies were, however, indispensable. He could not afford to go to either university, and in this strait his friend Walmsley bethought him of a dear old friend' at Rochester, the Rev. Mr. Colson, afterward Lucasian Professor at Cambridge, a man of eminence in science, as a person most likely to give young Garrick the instruction in mathematics, philosophy, and humane learning' which was deemed requisite to complete his education. To him, therefore, a letter was despatched, asking him to undertake the charge, from which we get an authentic and agreeable picture of the young fellow's character:
He is a very sensible fellow, and a good scholar, nineteen, of sober and good dispositions, and is as ingenious and promising a young man as ever I knew in my life. Few instructions on your side will do, and in the intervals of study he will be an agreeable companion for you. This young gentleman has been much with me, ever since he was a child, and I have taken much pleasure in instructing him, and have a great affection and esteem for him.'
Mr. Colson accepted the proposal; but by the time the terms had been arranged, another young native of Lichfield, in whom Walmsley felt no slight interest, had determined to move southward to try his fortunes, and was also to be brought under Mr. Colson's notice. This was Samuel Johnson, whose Edial Academy had by this time been starved out, but for whom London, the last hope of ambitious scholars, was still open. He had written his tragedy of Irene,' and it had found provincial admirers, Walmsley among the number, who thought a tragedy in verse the open sesame to fame and fortune. For London, therefore, Johnson and Garrick started together-Johnson, as he used afterwards to say, with two-pence-halfpenny in his pocket, and Garrick with three halfpence in his; a mocking exaggeration, not very wide, however, of the truth. Walmsley announced their departure to Mr. Colson on the 2nd March, 1737, in the often quoted words :
'He (Garrick) and another neighbour of minc, one Mr. Johnson,* set out this morning for London together; Davy Garrick to be with you early next week; and Mr. Johnson to try his fate with a tragedy, and to see to get himself employed with some translation, either from the Latin or the French. Johnson is a very good scholar and poet, and I have great hopes will turn out a fine tragedy writer.'
For some reason not now known Garrick did not go to Mr. Colson in a week. On reaching town he lost no time in getting himself admitted to the Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn (19th March, 1737) by payment of the admission fee of 31. 3s. 4d., the only act of membership which he appears ever to have performed. He stayed in London with Johnson for some time, and their finances fell so low that they had to borrow 51. on their joint note from one Wilcox, a bookseller and acquaintance of Garrick's, who afterwards proved one of Johnson's best friends. Most probably Garrick's plans of study under Mr. Colson were disconcerted by the illness of his father, who died within a month after Garrick had started from Lichfield. Nor was it until the death soon afterwards of the Lisbon uncle, and the opening to Garrick of his 10007. legacy, that he found himself in a condition to incur that expense. Late in 1737 he went to Rochester, and remained with Mr. Colson for some months, but with what advantage can be only matter of conjecture. Colson, like the Rev. Josiah Cargill, as described by Meg Dods, was 'just dung donnart wi'learning,'-a man too much absorbed in abstruse scientific studies to be the fittest of tutors for a youth of the mercurial temperament and social habits of Garrick. But there was so much of honest ambition and natural goodness of disposition in his pupil, that it may safely be assumed he did not fail to profit by the learning of the man, of whose peculiarities he must have been quite aware before he placed himself under his charge. Whatever his progress in the litera humaniores, Rochester was as good a field as any for such a student of character and manners. He certainly made himself liked in the family, and Colson's daughter, Mrs. Newling, recalling herself to Garrick's notice twenty years afterwards, speaks of the great pleasure with which she reflects upon the happy minutes his vivacity caused' during his stay with them.
* In 1769, when Garrick was one of the most notable men in England, the letters of Walmsley to Colson were published by Mrs. Newling, Colson's daughter. She sent the originals at the same time to Garrick's friend, Mr. Sharp, to be forwarded to the great actor. In the very charming letter to Garrick which accompanied them, Mr. Sharp says, 'If I had called, as I sometimes do, on Dr. Johnson, and showed him one of them where he is mentioned as one Johnson, I should have risked perhaps the sneer of one of his ghastly smiles.'-(Garrick Correspondence, v. i. p. 334.) This remark Mr. Fitzgerald, with characteristic inaccuracy, ascribes to G. Steevens.