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appeared in the bills. His name was Williams, and he was a native of Wales. He performed the part of the Messenger in the above tragedy; and in saying “ Cæsar sends health to Cato," he pronounced the last word Keeto, which so annoyed Quin, that he replied, with his usual coolness,“ Would he had sent a better Messenger." This reply so stung Williams, that he vowed revenge; and following Quin into the green-room, when he came off the stage, after representing the injury he had done him, by making him appear ridiculous in the eyes of the audience, and thereby hurting him in his profession, he demanded satisfaction as a gentleman. Quin, with his usual philosophy and good humour, endeavoured to rally his passion. This, however, only served to add fuel to the rage of his antagonist, who, without further remonstrance, retired, and waited for Quin under the Piazza, upon his return from the tavern to his lodgings. Immediately on seeing Quin, Williams drew and attacked him; but in the rencontre he himself received a mortal wound. Quin was tried for this affair at the Old Bailey, and the verdict was manslaughter.
WIGNELL, THE ACTOR.
One of old Mr. Sheridan's favourite characters was Cato, and on its revival at CoventGarden Theatre, a Mr. Wignell assumed his old established part of Portius, and having stepped forward with a prodigious though an accustomed strut, began
“ The dawn is overcast; the morning lowers ;
And lieavily, in clouds, brings on the day.” The audience began upon this to vociferate “ Prologue ! prologue ! prologue!" when Wignell, finding them resolute, without betraying any emotion, pause, or change in his voice and manner, but in all the pomp of tragedy and hackneyed declamation, proceeded as if it were a part of the play
“ Ladies and gentlemen, there has been no
Prologue spoken to this play these twenty years
This wonderful effusion put the audience in good humour : they laughed immoderately, clapped, and shouted “ Bravo !" and Wignell still
continued with his usual composure and stateli.
MARIE ANTOINETTE, AND VESTRIS. VESTRIS, the opera dancer, used to say with all self-confidence, “ There are but three great men in Europe ; the King of Prussia (Frederic II.) Voltaire, and myself.”
On Tuesday, July 16, 1784, the Count of Haga (Gustavus III. King of Sweden) was at the Opera for the last time. The Queen was also present. She wished to amuse the illustrious stranger with the performance of young Vestris, whom he had not yet seen, that dancer having but just arrived from England, where he had been gathering applause and guineas. She sent word to him to dance. Young Vestris, who had the same arrogance as his father, answered that he could not, because he had hurt his foot. The queen, being informed that it was a mere pretext, sent a message requesting him to dance, which he replied to in the same manner.
Vestris, who had thus violated all decorum, was slightly punished for his impertinence, by being confined for a few days in the prison of La Force; and his father, having been in
formed of his son's misconduct, publicly expressed to him the indignation which he felt at it. “ How, rascal,” said he," the Queen of France does her duty; she begs you to dance; and you do not do yours! You are but a blackguard : I will punish you effectually : I will deprive you of
A FEMALE FALSTAFF.
In the summer of 1786, a Mrs. Webb performed the character of Falstaff at the Haymarket Theatre, for her benefit: as might be conjectured, it produced a crouded audience. This lady was induced to the attempt by her uncommon corpulence. She died November 24, 1793.
THE MIMIC RECLAIMED. In the beginning of the last century, a comedian, of the name of Griffin, celebrated for his talents as a mimic, was employed by a comic author to imitate the personal peculiarities of the celebrated Dr. Woodward, whom he intended to introduce on the stage as Dr. Fossile, in “ Three Hours after Marriage.” The mimic, dressed as a countryman, waited on the doctor, with a long catalogue of complaints, with which he said his wife was afflicted. The physician heard with
amazement diseases and pains of the most opposite nature, repeated and redoubled on the wretched patient. The actor, having thus detained the doctor until he thought himself completely master of his errand, presented him with a guinea as his fee. “ Put up thy money, poor fellow," cried the doctor, “ thou hast need of all thy cash, and all thy patience too, with such a bundle of diseases tied to thy back.” The mimic returned to his employer, who was in raptures at his success, until he told him, that he would sooner die, than prostitute his talents to render such genuine humanity food for diversion.
MILTON'S DAUGHTER. Milton's third daughter was named Deborah ; and, to show the instability of all earthly things, she married Abraham Clark, a poor Spitalfields weaver.
She kept a petty chandler's shop, first at Holloway, and afterwards in Cock Lane, near Shoreditch Church. They were so poor, that Queen Caroline (wife of George II.) sent her fifty guineas ; and on the 5th of April, 1750, that unrivalled production of her father's, “ Comus," was played for her benefit, and the