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mimicked by Henderson, whose imitation was said to be frightfully perfect, by Brush Collins,-by Tate Wilkinson,-by a celebrated public mimic in London, whose name we now forget. Their imitations all partook no doubt of the exaggeration inseparable from mimicry; but they all so exactly resembled each other, that it was impossible to resist the persuasion that they were all good caricature pictures of the same person. Henderson's was comparatively chaste, and was said by some of Garrick's intimates to be very little overcharged. Taking this for granted, I conceive Wilkinson's account of Garrick's conversation to come as near to the thing as it is possible for writing to bring it. Of this, a single specimen will answer as well as a thousand. It seems that owing to the departure. of Mossop, Garrick was at a loss for a Bajazet, and perhaps to mortify Mossop, he selected Wilkinson to perform that great character. A private rehearsal of the part was ordered in Mr. Garrick's dressing-room, and in his presence, for the benefit of his corrections. Mr. Cross, the prompter, was ordered to attend with the play, and also Mr. Holland, who was to perform Tamerlane. Mr. Garrick was in high humour, and Wilkinson, who says so, details the conversation thus: "Well now, Cross, hey! Why now, this will "be too much for my exotic! Hey, Cross, I must do it myself; what say you? Hey now, Cross!" Cross replied, "I am afraid not this "year, sir, as the time is drawing near, and Bajazet is long, and the "play must be done next Monday."—" Well now, hey Cross! why "that is true; but don't you think my brow and eye in Bajazet! How "do you think I should play it?" "Oh, sir," said Cross, "like "every thing else you do, your Bajazet would be incomparable!" "to which we all bowed and assented." He then acted a speech or two in the first scene, and his look was truly inimitable."
From the life of Mr. Garrick some most useful lessons of prudential and moral conduct may be deduced. One of those, and perhaps the most valuable, because it concerns our duty towards our neighbour, is to be cautious how we form opinions upon the characters of our fellow creatures on the illusory grounds of public report: for it is not more impossible for a thing to be at once black and white, light and dark, good and bad, than for David Garrick to be such as he has been described. It may serve too to check any overweening fondness for public opinion, inspired by pride and vanity, to see how inefficacious to the obtaining of unsullied reputation, or even fair play, are the most strenuous efforts of the finest
talents. To us it seems impossible to find two men more different than the Garrick of his admirers and the Garrick of his adversaries.
As specimens of the pro and con on this subject, the reader will peruse, no doubt with surprise, the following characters. The first is taken from the European Magazine.
"He was too cunning and too selfish to be loved or respected, "and so immoderately fond of money and praise that he expected 66 you should cram him with flattery. He was a kind of spoiled "child, whom you must humour in all his ways and follies. He was "often in extremes of civility and sly impertinence, provoking and "timid by turns. If he handed you a teacup or a glass, you must "take it as a great condescension; and he often called to you in "the street, to tell you, in a loud voice, and at some distance, that " he intended you the honour of a visit. This, some wag termed a "visit in perspective. He was sore and waspish to a degree of fol❝ly, and had creatures about him who were stationed spies, and "gave him intelligence of every idle word that was said of him; at "the same time they misrepresented or exaggerated what passed, ❝in order to gratify him. He was very entertaining, and could tell "a story with great humour; but he was generally posting to his "interest, and so taken up with his own concerns, that he seldom "was a pleasant companion. He was stiff and strained, and more "an actor in company than on the stage, as Goldsmith has des"cribed him. In short, he was an unhappy man with all his "success and fame, and wore himself out in fretting and solicitude ❝ about his worldly affairs, and in theatrical squabbles and alterca"tion. Though he loved money, he has been friendly on some oc"casions, and liberal to persons in distress: but he had the knack "of making his acquaintance useful and subservient to him, and "always had his interest in view. His levees put you in mind of a "court, where you might see mean adulation, insincerity, pride, "and vanity, and the little man in ecstasy at hearing himself ap"plauded by a set of toad-eaters, and hungry poets.
"As an author he was not without merit, having written some "smart epigrams, prologues, epilogues and farces; and to do him "justice, he was not very vain of his writings. "To conclude of him as an actor,
"Take him for all in all,
"I ne'er shall see his like again."
"As a man he had failings, for which we must make allowance, "when we consider that he was intoxicated and even corrupted by "the great incense and court paid to him by his admirers."
The next is taken from a character which old Macklin, at his death, left behind him in his papers. We will not introduce the whole of it here, as it would unnecessarily swell this article; besides, Macklin having been long an enemy to Garrick, and, (if we may believe Davies, Garrick's panegyrist) not without just cause, we should not like to give currency to some of the charges it contains against the moral character of Roscius. The strictures on his acting we believe to be overcharged, though not entirely destitute of foundation; for as often as we have seen Mr. Garrick imitated, we never saw the pawing, the hawling, the squeezing of the hat, and the thumping of the breast left out. His fairest mimic, Henderson, did them all for Garrick, and sometimes, in comedy, pawed and hawled a little for himself.
"His eye," says Macklin, "was dark, but not characteristical of any passion but the fierce and the lively. His art in acting con"sisted in incessantly pawing and hawling the characters about, "with whom he was concerned in the scene; and when he did not
paw or hawl the character, he stalked between them and the au"dience; and that generally when they were speaking the most "important and interesting passage in the scene, which de"manded in propriety a strict attention. When he spoke himself, " he pulled about the character he spoke to, and squeezed his hat, "hung forward, and stood almost upon one foot, with no part of "the other to the ground than the toe of it.
"His whole action when he made love, in tragedy or in come"dy,—when he was familiar with his friend,-when he was in an66 ger, sorrow, rage, consisted in squeezing his hat, thumping his "breast, strutting up and down the stage, and pawing the charac"ters he acted with.
"In private life, had this man been interdicted the use of mi"micry, of simulation, and dissimulation, he would have appeared, "what in reality he was, a superficial, insignificant man. But with "the help of those arts he was entertaining, and appeared saga"cious, learned, and good-natured, modest and friendly to those "who had no dealings with him,-but to those who had, he was "known to the very heart; for his attachment to interest in deal
"ings, made him as obvious as if nature had made a window to his "heart.
"A stronger instance of its influence sure never was known, "than in the person we have now under consideration; for, not sa"tisfied with endeavouring to destroy the fame of every contemporary actor, he attacked even that of the actresses, and succeed. "ed. Nor was the traducement of the living fame of male and female, of every age and rank upon the stage, sufficient to gorge "the maw of envy: it flew to the dead! and insidiously broke open "the tombs of Betterton, Booth, Wilks, and other honoured spirits, "Nature's favourite children, who had been fostered and perfected "by art, applause, and time, and when living, whom envy's self "allowed to be nature's darling sons, and art's perfect pupils: yet "these very spirits would he slily bring upon the carpet; mimic,
though he never saw them; tell anecdotes of them, and traduce "their immo tal fame, by stigmatizing them as mannerists, and ❝ denominating them as persons who spoke in recitative. Thus "would he serve them up to ignorant people, who believed and "wondered; and to dependents and flatterers, who retailed the li"bellous anecdotes, invectives and quaint conceits, and concluded "that the art was never known but by the narrator, who, with an "apparent modesty, and a concealed impudence, made himself the "hero of the historical criticism.
"His mind was busied upon the external and partial looks, tones, "gaits, and motions of individuals in their ordinary habits. Of the "passions, their degrees and kinds, and of their influence upon the 26 organs, and their impressions upon the body, he knew but little, very little indeed! His mind and knowledge were, like his body, "little, pert, acute, quick, weak, easily shocked and worn down, "subtle plausible.
"By this external partial imitation of individuals, he continually "exercised his mind and body. This wretched buffoonery com"prised his knowledge, his humour, his learning, conversation, "wisdom, virtue, elegance, breeding, and his companionable qua"lities. His mimicry, both off the stage and on it, served him in"stead of figure, grace, character, manners, and of a perfect imi"tation of general nature as it passes through human life, in every character, age, rank, and station.”
And now for one of his eulogists:
"David Garrick was in figure low, pleasing, manly," genteel, "and elegant. He had every requisite to fit him for every charac"ter. His limbs were pliant, his features ductile and expressive, "and his eyes keen, quick, and obedient, versant to all occasions "and places. His voice was harmonious, and could vibrate through "all the modulations of sound; could thunder in passion-tremble "in fear-dissolve into the softness of love, or swell into every "mood of pity or distress. These liberal devices of nature were "ornamented by the most refined acquisitions of art-music, dan"cing, painting, fencing, sculpture-gave him each its respective 66 graces. From these he borrowed his deportment, his attitudes, "and his ease.
"These were the powers with which he charmed an astonished age, and with these powers he had all nature at his command."Every degree of age-every stage, scene, and period of life, "from the hot and youthful lover, up to the lean and slippered "pantaloon-all were alike to him. At twenty-four he could put on "the wrinkles of the greatest age-and at sixty he wore in his
appearance and action all the agility of buxom and wanton youth. "In heroes and princes he assumed all the distant pride, the "exalted manner and stately port of rank and royalty. He moved "with dignity, and acted with dignity. His prince never interposed "with his peasant, nor his peasant with his gentleman. He had in "his possession every key to the soul. He transported his hearers "where he pleased. He was the master of the passions, and turn"ed them to his will: he waked them, swelled them, soothed them; "he melted them into softness, or roused them into rage.-If he "was angry, so was you;-if he was terrified, so was you;-if " he was merry, so was you;-if he was mad, so was you. He was "an enchanter, and led you where he pleased."
While the former character (given by Macklin) is certainly deficient in candor, though not destitute of truth, and, even in the statement of facts, bears evident marks of ran our, the latter is no less evidently inflamed by misjudging, indiscriminate admiration, and may truly be called panegyric run mad-or at least swelled to monstrous hyperbole. We rather imagine that the reader who believes only half of each will be nearer the true mark than either of
• This is a mistake: for it is admitted that he was in many respects, par. ticularly about the hips, formed like a plump woman.