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MRS. BARRY. A stately person, a graceful carriage, a melodious and powerful voice, and a well-trained understanding constituted Mrs. Barry's inducements to try her fortune on the stage. She was the daughter of Edward Barry, a barrister, afterwards called Colonel Barry, from his having raised a regiment of horse for the service of King Charles. His ruin was involved in that of his royal master, and his family were compelled to trust to their own exertions for their future subsistence. Lady Davenant, who had known the Colonel in his prosperous days, took charge of his daughter Elizabeth, superintended her education, and in the year 1673 obtained her admission into the Duke's company. After a year's trial, her talents were deemed so inferior, and her progress was so slow, that she was discharged as being a burden on the troupe. Through Lady Davenant's interest, she obtained a further trial, and received a second and a third dismissal for the same reasons. Such rebuffs might have daunted the most sanguine mind, but Mrs. Barry had resolved to succeed and did. Her principal defect was in the ear; but by the most untiring assiduity she so far perfected that organ, as to bring it into unison with her other extraordinary faculties, and when Otway brought his "Alcibiades" on the stage, she was included in the cast, and reaped the reward of her labours in the unexpected applause she commanded. Her spirited performance of Mrs. Lovitt, in Etheredge's "Man of the Mode" extorted universal commendation, and in 1680, her Monimia in Otway's Orphan" fixed her future fame. Her Belvidera in "Venice Preserved," and her Isabella in Southerne's "Fatal Marriage," were exhibitions of the highest art; and the epithet of "famous" was so universally applied to her, that it became her distinguishing title. She was equally eminent in depicting the wildest passion and the most winning tenderness.

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Her outbursts of resentment or

despair were terrible to witness; but when she attuned her voice to the utterance of love, or pity, or virgin sorrow, she laid, as it were, a spell on her audience, and melted or soothed them with the easy mastery of some superior being.

Her private life accorded not with the superiority of her public merits, and there seems little reason to doubt her criminal connection with the notorious Earl of Rochester. Though we cannot palliate, yet we may drop a veil over the errors of a beautiful and gifted woman, exposed to severe temptation; and regret that genius should ever stoop to vitiate its fairest title to respect. She died on the 7th of March, 1713, aged fifty-three, and was buried in the churchyard of Acton.

MRS. BRACEGIRDLE. But few records remain of the career and the triumphs of Mrs. Bracegirdle. The time and place of her birth are alike uncertain. Her powers as an actress were of the highest order, and her forte lay in genteel comedy. She excelled in male characters, "and her gait or walk," says her biographer, "was free, manlike, and modest in breeches." For years she was a reigning toast, and dramatic writers vied with each other in studying her powers, and in adapting their pieces to her peculiar excellencies. She was included in all the plays of Rowe and Congreve, who each endeavoured to captivate the heart of their idol by love speeches placed in the mouths of her fictitious adorers on the stage.

She was of a dark
eyebrows, black
In private life
Though sur-

Her figure was finely proportioned. complexion, with dark brown hair and eyes, and a most expressive countenance. she was gentle, modest, and charitable. rounded by admirers, scandal has not fastened on any impropriety in her behaviour; and "her virtue had its reward both in applause and specie." She retired from

the stage about thirty years before Garrick appeared, induced in a measure by the more general approbation with which a younger rival (Mrs. Oldfield) acted some of her favourite characters. She died on the 12th of September, 1748, after having lived to an advanced age, and was buried in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey.


SHADWELL was the first of the second-rate laureates under whose dynasty the wits were in opposition. But his plays manifest considerable ability, and he was а brilliant conversationalist.

Tate enjoyed a good reputation among contemporaries. Rowe was a first-rate translator, and a man of genius and taste. We must now descend a great many steps, ay, almost to the bottom of the ladder. Horace Walpole has observed that nations are most commonly saved by the worst men in them, and so the Laureateship was in this instance preserved and handed down by perhaps our worst poet. In a small biographical dictionary he is described as no "inconsiderable versifier," and a writer must be in the last state of the "lues Boswelliana," did he give any lengthened account of works which had so justly merited oblivion, or were he very enthusiastic in speaking of the Rev. Laurence Eusden. Of good Irish family, and the son of Dr. Eusden, of Spotisworth, in Yorkshire, he was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, entered holy orders, and was chaplain to Lord

Willoughby de Broke. At Rowe's death, December 1718, Eusden was appointed his successor. The Duke of Newcastle was Lord Chamberlain at the time. The "versifier" had won the favour of that nobleman, by a poem addressed to him on his marriage with Lady Henrietta Godolphin. He had, however, other claims to the office of "the birthday fibber," for, besides propitiating the Lord Chamberlain by his far-fetched flatteries of him and his bride, he had published a poetical epistle to Mr. Addison, on the accession of the King to the throne. is a tedious panegyric on George II. That monarch, he tells us, was, as a child, marvellously precocious; man, glorious from his heroic exploits. The banks of the Rhine are said to echo his praises. He had given names to mountains by his warlike deeds. The eulogy terminates with this sublime couplet:

"Streams which in silence flowed obscure before,

Swell'd by thy conquests, proudly learn'd to roar."


He had also, in 1717, followed this up with three poems of a similar character. The first, "Sacred to the Memory of the Late King," is an apotheosis of George I. The second, another laudation of George II., and as full of fulsome fustian as the former one. Take, for example,

the four following lines:

"Hail, mighty Monarch! whom Desert alone
Would, without Birthright, raise up to the throne;
Thy virtues shine peculiarly nice,

Ungloom'd with a confinity to vice.”

The third is to the Queen, and teems with servile adulation and tiresome triplets.

His appointment has very justly filled with indignation contemporaneous and succeeding writers. It is asserted by some, that no better man would accept office. More correctly is it stated by others that he owed his prefer

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