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MATHEWS AND FOOTE.

The attempts of Mathews to delight an audience by the mere force of his own genius and talents, are not without precedent. It was practised by Foote half a century ago, and with similar success; not for a few nights only, but for several seasons. Leaving the beaten paths of the stage, and disdaining to be the “ parrot of the poet's thoughts," Foote struck out into a new and untrodden course, by which he added to the amusements of the town, and at the same time supplied the deficiencies of an exhausted fortune. The hint was borrowed from Worsdale, a comedian of that day, who used to entertain private company with a humorous exhibition of the foibles of his acquaintances, in which he united the powers of exquisite mimicry 'to a great knowledge of nature.

Foote, whose powers in both were enlarged by a more liberal education, and by keeping better company, resolved to entertain the town with mimicry more diversified, and less vulgar, than that of Worsdale; and with this view he, in the year 1747, opened the little Theatre in the Haymarket with a dramatic piece of his own writing,

and his own performing, called “ The Diversions of the Morning." This piece consisted of nothing more than introducing several well known characters about town, who had little merit or much absurdity. For instance, Dr. Taylor, the oculist, and two or three more, whose lectures, conversation, and peculiarities, he had very happily hit in the diction of his drama, and which he still more exactly personified by a humorous representation. In this piece, in the character of a Theatrical Director, he satirized or imitated, with great accuracy and humour, the several styles of acting of every principal performer of the day.

Foote's mimicry being too personal to be permitted, he met with some opposition from the civil magistrate, supported by the act for limiting the pumber of playhouses, and licensing proper works for the stage. This induced him, therefore, to alter the title of his piece, so that, instead of inviting the town to see a play, he only entreated the favour of his friends to Tea ;" giving his Tea, through a run of upwards of forty mornings, to a crowded and splendid company. The ensuing season, he produced another piece of the same kind, called “ An Auction of

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and his own performing, called “ The Diversions of the Morning.” This piece consisted of nothing more than introducing several well known characters about town, who had little merit or much absurdity. For instance, Dr. Taylor, the oculist, and two or three more, whose lectures, conversation, and peculiarities, he had very happily hit in the diction of his drama, and which he still more exactly personified by a humorous representation. In this piece, in the character of a Theatrical Director, he satirized or imitated, with great accuracy and humour, the several styles of acting of every principal performer of the day.

Foote's mimicry being too personal to be permitted, he met with some opposition from the civil magistrate, supported by the act for limiting the number of playhouses, and licensing proper works for the stage. This induced him, therefore, to alter the title of his piece, so that, instead of inviting the town to see a play, he only entreated the favour of his friends to Tea ;" giving his Tea, through a run of upwards of forty mornings, to a crowded and splendid company. The ensuing season, he produced another piece of the same kind, called “ An Auction of

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