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attracted the admiration of the men, and the envy of the .
How she was considered as an actress may be estimated from the following theatrical record, where Victor tells us, that, although her article with the Manager was but for four hundred pounds, yet by four of her characters, performed ten nights each that season, viz. Lady Townly, Maria, in the Nonjuror, Sir Harry Wildair, and Hermione, she brought four thousand pounds; an instance, he adds, never known in any theatre from four old stock plays, and in two of which the Manager bore no part.
The next year Sheridan liberally enlarged her salary to eight hundred pounds; and though it was to be imagined that her force to draw audiences must be weakened, yet the profits, at closing the Theatre, did not fall short of more than three hundred pounds of the first season.
Her company off' was equally sought for as on the stage ; and though she did not much admire the frivolity of her own sex, and consequently did not mix much with them, she was the delight of some of the gravest and most scientific characters in Church and State. She was well known to be at the head of the Beef Steak Club (a club held every Saturday at the Manager's expense, and principally composed of Lords and Members of Parliament,) for many years, where no woman was admitted but herself: and where wit and spirit, in taking their most excursive flights, never once broke through the laws of decorum.
This celebrated club, however, which made so great a noise at that time in the the theatrical world, and at which Mrs. Woffington gave and received such infinite satisfaction, after a few years dwindled into what was called “ Party Meeting," where Opposition thought the Court was too predominant ; and, in consequence of this opinion, wreaked their vengeance, in the end, on the unoffending Manager. Mrs. Woffington saw these troubles brewing, and actually afloat, whilst she remained in Dublin; she therefore thought proper to relinquish this scene of warfare once more for the regions of London, and in the winter of 1756 returned to her old quarters under Rich, the Manager of Covent-garden Theatre.
Though Mrs. Woffington was now only in her thirtycighth year (a time of life, generally speaking, which may be called meridional in point of constitution and professional talents), her health began visibly to decline :
she, however, pursued her public profession till the year before her death, when her disorder increasing, she retired from the stage in 1759, and died on the 28th of March, 1760.
Her death was considered at that time as a general loss to the stage; and Mr. Hoole, (the ingenious Translator of Ariosto, &c.) who knew her perfectly well, has in the following lines (which we have extracted from his Monody to her Memory) drawn her public and private character so faithfully, that we cannot better conclude this sketch, than by giving them a repetition in this place.
Blest in each art, by Nature form'd to please,
Nor was thy worth to public scenes confin'd,
WILKS, THE CELEBRATED ACTOR. Though we have no very favourable account of Wilks from Colley Cibber, who hated him personally, as well as Dogget, (though he had more prudence in concealing it during Wilks's life,) and though he always preferred Powel to him, “who,” he says, “ excelled him in voice and ear in Tragedy, as well as humour in Comedy ;" yet he, on the whole, is obliged to allow him qualifications which leave him a very considerable actor ; particularly in his Sir Harry Wildair, Essex, Mark Antony, Valentine, Plume, &c. &c. To these he adds his uncommon attention to be perfect in his parts, which he was so exact in, that “I question,” says Cibber, " if, in forty years, he ever five times changed or misplaced an article in any one of them.”
Of his determined perseverance in this exercise of
alteration that appeared in the least necessary was made-the exhibition of an explanatory scroll, at the conclusion of the piece, was judiciously omitted; this is a proof of the taste and good sense which now presides over the evtertainments of our theatre.
KILKENNY-Our Private Theatricals commenced this year under the direction of Mr. R. Power, the gentleman who has niade so conspicuous a figure in amateur theatricals. The play chosen for the first night was Mr. Charles Kemble's “ Wanderer; or, The Rights of Hospitality.” Mr. R. Power performed the part of Count Sparre with his usual excellence; Mr Crampton was Sigismund ; Mr. Beecher, Count Banet; and Mr. Ponsonby gave a fine mellow outline to the part of Ramsay. A most elegant and appropriate Address was delivered by Mr. R. Power. Miss Smith, who played the Countess at the late Covent-garden Theatre, was the fair representative on this occasion. The gentlemen performers are nearly the same as last season.
MADAME MARA AND FLORIO. This once-celebrated singer has, according to the German papers, retired to an estate which she has purchased in Poland. During her late residence at Moscow, her companion, Florio, was involved in a very unpleasant affair. A letter, signed Richard Florio, written in French, and filled with invectives against the Russian government, was put into the post-office at St. Petersburgh. The person it was addressed to handed it over to the police.
Florio was apprehended at Moscow, and conveyed prisoner to St. Petershurgh. Hence, however, he was speedily released, his name being not Richard, but Charles, and it appearing that he was totally ignorant, of the French language. The Emperor Alexander, on hearing of the circumstance, made Florio a present of a handsome sum oť money, over and above the expenses he had been put to in his jour. ney from Moscow.
LISBON THEATRICALS. A new play has been brought out at the Lisbon Theatre, entitled “ The Deliverance of Portugal.” It was written to testify the joy of the Portuguese at the evacuation of their country by the French, and was acted free three nights, for the amusement of the British officers.
The first scene opens with a view of the Queeu of Portugal in mourning, and fettered. She regrets the unbappy fate of her kingdom for some time; then a Portuguese General appears, and tells her that the country is in arms, and, with the help of a powerful nation, which will send them assistance, he expects to see her soon upon the throne. The next scene opens with a view of an Englishman on a high rock, who descends, and informs the Queen of the exertions that are making to set her at liberty. Buonaparte next presents him.self. He addresses the Queen and her subjecte, but the Queen pays no attention to what he says. . He then addresses the Briton iu baughty terms, and threatens his country with destruction. The next scene is the scene of glory. - It opens with a view of a lady richly dressed, standing by a throne. She descends, and immediately the mourning dress and the feiters of the Queen falt off, when she appears most richly dressed; the Cor s cau is put in chains, and obliged to kneel at the foot of the throne for mercy, and the crown is again placed on the head of the Quien. LITERARY INTELLIGENCE.
Works recently published, in the Press, or in Preparation. Biography. Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Mr. Percival Stockdale, including Anecdotes of many celebrated Persons. Life of John Bunyan; with an Account of his Imprisonment, Conversation before the Justices, &c. and Remarks on his Character and Writings. Memoirs of Robert Cary, Earl of Monmouth, written by himself; published from an Original Manuscript in the Custody of the Earl of Cork and Orrery ; to which is added, Fragmenta Regalia, being a History of Queen Elizabeth's Favourites ; by Sir Robert Naunton.
TRAVELS, &c. Travels in the North of Europe, or a Journal of a Voyage down the Elbe, from Dresden to Hamburgh, and Travels through Denınark and Sweden; by the Chevalier de Boisgelin. Travels in Barbary and Bled El Gereede, during a Residence of Sixteen Years in various Parts of those Countries; by James G. Jackson, Professor of Arabic and African Languages, and formerly British Agent at Santa Cruz, South Barbary.
Novels, &c. Faulconbridge, or a Devonshire Stors ; by Mrs. Hanway. Memoirs of Mrs. Cuyler ; by Mrs. Grant. Ned Bentley; by Mr. Amphlett. London, or Truth without Treason ; by Francis Lathom.
Poetry. Sonnets, Tales, and Characteristic Pieces ; by the Author of the Age of Frivolity. Eccentric Tales; by Cornelius Crambo, Esq. The Pastoral, or Lyric Muse of Scotland ; by Hector Macneill, Esq. The Battle of Maida; by Lieutenant-Colonel Scott.
Law. A short View of Legal Bibliography ; by Richard Whalley Bridgeman, Esq.
DRAMA. Drainatic Works of John Ford, with an Introduction and Explanatory Notes ; by Henry Weber, Esq. Four Discourses on the Stage, preached lately at Cambridge, by the Rev. Mr. Plumtre, of Clare Hall.
MISCELLANEOUS. Beauties of Milton's Prose, with Preliminary Remarks and Criticisms; by Mr. G. Burnett. Chesterfield Travestie; or School for Modern Manners; Chronicle of the Cid, Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar, the Campeador, from the Spanish; by Robert Southey Original Anecdotes of Cromwell; by Mr. Stace. Letters from the late Bishop Warburton and Bishop Hurd, from the year 1749 to 1776. A Dictionary of the Middle Language of England, or the Age of Shakspeare, on the plan of Johnson's Dictionary; by the Rev. R. Nares. Beloe's Anecdotes of Literature, Vol. III.
With this Number, which concludes the fourth Volume, the PROPRIETOR and CONDUCTOR takes leave of the Subscribers to the Cabinet; other avocations putting it out of his power to devote any further attention to it. He mentions this circumstance merely in explanation of the contents of the present Number, which, as the new Proprietors and Editor do not intend to continue the Plays, is so arranged as to include many of the Portraits intended for that department, and will thus afford the purchaser an opportunity of binding up all the Embellishments.