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STEAM-ITS INFLUENCE ON
at our hands on its first appearance, we intend shortly to SOCIETY.
glance at some of the changes which it is now working
on the face of the world. 'Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.'
Annihilation of distance is one of its most obvious reIt is difficult to say whether credulity or its opposite has sults. Steam-power is now of universal application, and been more hurtful to society. Many are too easy of be- is fast gaining a kind of omnipresence. To whatever lief, and delude themselves and the world by following side we turn, by sea or land, it meets our view, puffing every novelty, and grasping at Aitting shadows. But, and snorting like a thing of life. The earth is girdled taking the more intelligent portion of mankind, we think with railroads. The sea is studded with steam-ships. they are apt to err in a different direction. Leaning to On friths and rivers, on the sacred streams of India and the training they have received at college or school, in- the frozen lakes and rapid torrents of America, on the stead of thinking independently, they imagine that they calm Pacific and the stormy Atlantic, the thin cloud of have reached perfection, and they believe too little. smoke stretching athwart the face of the sky tells us that They forget that, though all else is fixed and stationary the steamer is or has been there. On land, too, it is —though the nest of the bird and the den of the beaver rapidly acquiring the same ubiquity. By its gigantic were just as perfect thousands of years ago as they are power we are propelled through water at the rate of nor-mind is progressive ; and its progress is often so fifteen miles an hour, and over the land at double this marvellous, that it is astonished at its own discoveries, amount of speed! Geographically, every spot on earth and can hardly believe them to be true. Or, if a Newton retains its wonted position ; but virtually, by means of should himself believe in the laws of gravitation, and a this lightning speed, space is annihilated, and the ends Galileo be persuaded that the earth moves round the of the earth are brought together. Railroads unite sun, yet all the world continues long to think the re- towns in the same country; steam-boats form the converse, and not till presented with many a strong proof, necting links by sea, and bind different countries together. does it yield a reluctant credence to the new discovery. The transition is so rapid that distance vanishes, and the
Steam, in its various applications, met at first with whole earth becomes one vast family. How different much opposition, and no small share of mockery and de- from the years of our own boyhood ! Not long ago it was rision. Nor do we wonder at this. If, sixty years ago, Dr a serious journey from Edinburgh to Glasgow—so serious, Johnson had been told, as he sat ruminating by the fire we are told, that men made their wills before setting out side, waiting for his favourite beverage, that the tiny -and now we can pass from the one city to the other volume of white smoke issuing from the spout of his tea- as quickly as a good pedestrian can accomplish a journey kettle was a power quite competent, in certain circum- of eight miles! A trip to London or Paris is no more stances, to blow the house to atoms about his ears—to thought of now than a drive of ten miles to the country rebuke the waves, and set even the hurricane at defiance was wont to be ! Under the influence of this conjuror, the
-he would have listened to the intelligence with no or- surfaces of large continents shrivel in size—the mighty dinary degree of astonishment. Well do we remember rivers of America curtail their vast dimensions, and how incredulous we were ourselves when Henry Bell, dwindle down into streams—seas lose half their breadth some thirty years ago, left Glasgow, for the first time, in -and oceans are shorn of their unmeasured bounds. the little Comet, amid the jeers of sailors and the mys- Our steamers have frequently rounded the Cape of terious whisperings of the crowd about leagues with the Good Hope, and are now plying on the Ganges, to the devil and temptings of providence. Not one of them no sinall amazement of the natives, who gather in crowds would venture on board the steam-ship. Perhaps even upon the banks to gaze at the fire-ship! India was thus Henry Bell himself did not then foresee many of the brought comparatively near us ; but should the entermighty changes which this new power was destined to prising Pacha of Egypt open a railway through that counproduce. Certain it is, that, whatever his reflections try, it will be br:ught nearer still; and, instead of six might be, the multitude did not perceive the coming re- months, we shall be able to write some twenty days for volutions. It is only after a slow and searching trial of the transit to Bombay. The passage to America, inthe power and influence of steam by sea and land, that stead of consuming six weeks, is reduced to fourteen the world has at length awakened to the conviction that days; and, once upon the transatlantic shore, we are it is destined to change the whole aspect of society. swiftly carried several thousands of miles into the bowels
Without moralizing farther on the rude reception and of the land,' by literally climbing the rapids of her maindifferent treatment which this strange power met with jestic rivers.
On land, too, our rate of travelling is trebled. We are and a thousand other means, the demand for men, hurried along at Mazeppa speed. No quadruped can now waggons, and horses, is now greater than before ; hotels keep pace with us. We are prestoed (if we may coin a have increased in number; and the public roads, instead word) from one city and country to another. There is of being deserted, in those English counties which are a process of centralization going forward, by which things most intersected by railways, have actually yielded a afar off are brought nigh. The world is undergoing a better revenue than before by seven per cent.! Men hare compression similar to that to which a bale of goods is made the discovery that a saving of time is a saving or subjected in the Bramah press, when it is squeezed into money. The multitude of passengers has produced comas little bulk as possible, for the purpose of exportation! petition in conveyances; and fares are now so low that, We humbly believe that, ere long, the present speed on even in passing to and fro in the same city, we find it land will be doubled-men in remote regions will draw cheaper to ride than to walk! Thus, though there bas their chairs ņearer each other by two-thirds at least, been a revolution in some old establishments, there has and the world will be traversed from pole to pole in some been no reduction in the demand for manual or animal fifty or sixty days!
labour, in consequence of the introduction of steamWho does not perceive that punctuality in the receipt power. It were easy to fortify this statement by statistics, and despatch of intelligence is another fruit of this new but our limits forbid entering on details. power? We were accustomed to say that time and tide Before we leave the physical and turn to the social wait for no man.' The proverb has become obsolete ; and moral aspects of the question, there is one other topic and now no man waits for either time or tide. At a which claims our notice. It is one, we are persuaded, given hour, without regard to tide or weather, away goes which still weighs heavily on many timid minds, who the packet with the foreign mail, heedless whether the are either destitute of data on which to form a correct wind blows fair or foul; and she reaches her destination, judgment, or who, perhaps, have suffered personally or distant though it be, with almost as much precision, in relatively by steam travelling, and are still writhing respect of time, as the village post-boy, who runs only under it. We refer to the comparative mortality of some half dozen miles! Our remote garrisons are no travelling by steam—the danger to human life by this longer doomed to lie sleeping on the bosom of the be- mode of conveyance. We do not embrace in our calcucalmed waters, waiting till patience is exhausted for the lation the fearful destruction of life in the American arrival of the long-expected mail. The poor soldier who steam-vessels, though even these would not upset our loiters on the steeps of Gibraltar, or on the shores of | opinion. But, taking in the whole range of steam opeMalta, can reckon, almost to an hour, the time when he rations by sea and land, connected with the British shall hear from his home; and friend hastens to the dominions, we are shut up to a conclusion the very shore to meet friend, at a given period, calculating on opposite of that to which we came when we first found the certain arrival of the steamer; and if she is not in ourselves whizzing through the air at the rate of thirty port at the precise hour, it is not long till, by the aid of miles an hour. Then we thought it doubly dangerous; the telescope, she is descried in the offing, beating the now we think quite the reverse. It is almost universmooth waters with redoubled energy, as if anxious to sally confessed that steam-ships are safer at sea than keep her time and reach her destination. It is unneces- sailing-vessels. The question of danger, then, refers sary to add, that the railway train is still more punctual, chiefly to travelling on railroads; and this we affirm, on and can regulate its time almost to a minute, on a good and sure ground, to be not more dangerous than distance of fifty or sisty miles ! We require not surely other modes of conveyance. It must be admitted that to tell the merchant and the trader of the almost incal- the speed and momentum of a railway train are incalculable benefits which this undeviating punctuality will culably greater than those of a mail or stage coach. confer on them. The man must be blind indeed who Yet, if the latter, as in the case of serious accidents, has does not see them, and heartless indeed who does not been often sufficient to destroy life, what more can the gratefully acknowledge them.
former do? The momentum of a body rushing through It was long an interesting speculation with many, the air at the rate of ten miles an hour, and met by some what would be the effects produced by steam-boats and sudden obstruction, will just prove as certainly fatal as railroads on certain kinds of employment ? Would horses if it had double the speed. Some raw recruits, who are become useless ? Would whole classes of men be thrown familiar with the musket, and do not fear it much, are idle ?-High authorities were wont to give forth fright- terribly afraid of artillery, forgetting that the musket-| ful oracles on these and kindred subjects. Public and ball kills just as surely as the cannon-shot. private roads were to be deserted-hotels were to be A careful induction of facts is the best way to settle this annihilated-commercial travellers were to be seriously question. Considering the immense numbers who now injured—and the world to be turned topsy-turvy! The travel by railway, it is quite fair to collect the amount of result has proved that such fears were unfounded. We deaths and accidents caused by all other kinds of conveycannot conceal from ourselves the fact that great changes ance together, and place them in the opposite scale to have been wrought—that terrible convulsions have taken those of the railway. Now, we have no difficulty in adplace. But when was any change of importance effected mitting that the danger of railway travelling would be without partial suffering to some? When was any great greatest at the outset, while men were but imperfectly victory gained without some shedding of blood ? Wel- acquainted with the best and safest mode of managelington wrote in his despatch from Waterloo---Such a ment, and while every company was free to manage as desperate action could not be fought, and such advantages it chose. We go back, then, to the early years of the gained, without great loss.' In the changes which are great railways, and what is the result ? About ten pascontinually going on, in consequence of the discoveries of sengers killed out of forty-four millions ! This is an art and science, certain classes suffer for a time; but it astounding, a most consoling fact. It proves to us beis only temporary. It has been so here. Some hands yond the possibility of doubt, that, under proper managehave been thrown idle for a season. Many small traders ment, the railroad, with all its speed, is by far the safest have been driven from their long and well-loved beats, mode of travelling, when we take into account the vast and some innkeepers have been compelled to leave old multitudes who run to and fro upon it. Let any one take and favourite localities; but a little time has healed a million of travellers by all the other modes of convey. these sores, and the issue is by no means so fatal as was ance put together, and we are quite sure the number of dreaded ; in most cases, it is quite the reverse. By the accidents will be greater far, as well as the absolute denew facilities, travellers have been multiplied an hundred-struction of life. fold; men have left their homes who never stirred be- We hail this new power, then, as a boundless blessing fore, and traffic has been wonderfully increased ; the to the world in its physical effects; nor is it less benefiweaver's web, which he was accustomed to carry to his cial in its social and moral influence. employer, is now transmitted by railway; and, by these The facilities of intercourse between cities and large
towns, and the remote rural districts, will tend to equal- new power, in many other ways, on social and internaize the markets over the whole country. Small towns and tional life. It renders more secure our commercial revillages, at a distance from larger ones, used to obtain lations with other lands. We do not now trust to mere smaller prices for their produce in proportion to the dis- surmises respecting the state of foreign countries; but, tance and the difficulty of sending it to the leading markets. in less time than we once took to dream and speculate The greater the distance the smaller the price, gradually on the subject, we take our berth in some gallant steamdescending in a sliding scale. Each place had its own ship, and visit personally the scene of our solicitude, and price. So marked was this till of late, that a competent assure ourselves on the spot as to the safety of our proauthority assures us, “that, were a man to fall from the jected enterprise. Had steam navigation existed in 1825, clouds on any of the great roads leading to London, by British capitalists could scarcely have suffered as they simply asking the price of butter, and then referring to did from the failure of their South American speculathe statistical tables which show the prices of provisions tions; and, at a later period, many of our countrymen all over the kingdom, he could tell very nearly the pre- would in all probability have been spared those severe cise distance from the metropolis ! We know from ob- losses from North American bonds, which drew from the sertation, in our native locality, which is a large town, pen of Sidney Smith such torrents of wit and sarcasm. surrounded by many smaller ones at a distance of twelve Facility of intercourse would have brought us warning in or fifteen miles, that, until railways began to diverge time to avoid these quicksands. from it in different directions, provisions, in these smaller Besides, steam, in its various applications to traveltowns, were much cheaper than in the large central one, ling, gives a prodigious accession of power to public simply because the transmission was difficult and costly; opinion, on any question of interest. Time was, when but now the markets in the district are equalized by the London was virtually so remote and inaccessible, that frequency and facility of intercourse. At first sight, some new measures could be introduced into Parliament, and poor people might demur at these changes, and deem made part of the law of the land, before they were heard them evil; but they soon found out their error, for capital of by a large proportion of the United Kingdom; but began to flow back upon them in return for those stores now, through the influence of steam, the inhabitants of which helped to lower the provisions of the poor in the the most remote corners of our island are speedily made densely crowded city; and though their own food be- acquainted with any change in our national laws that came a shade more costly, money was more plentiful, may be contemplated, and thus time is afforded for the and they were better able to purchase the necessaries of expression of public opinion respecting such changes. life. Thus, since steam communication has become so It is not difficult to see how railroads and steam navifrequent, we find salmon and other fish carried almost gation will promote the peace of the world. Sovereigns alive from the Tay to the Thames; bullocks, instead of will avail themselves of it, as well as the people. The being driven great distances, 'larding the lean earth’ as rulers and the ruled of different nations will meet face they proceed, are now killed in the districts where they to face ; and instead of believing, as hitherto, that they are reared, and conveyed by railroad or steam-ship to are natural enemies, they will soon discover that they the great metropolitan markets. The prices of these are sworn friends. The recent visits of the Emperor of commodities are thereby more equally adjusted—lowered Russia and the King of the French to Britain, as well as in the place of consumpt, and raised in the place of pro- other continental powers of smaller note, will tend greatly duction; and capital is likewise more equally distributed to strengthen the good understanding that prevails, and than before.
secure the peace of Europe and the world : and but for But loftier results than these are flowing, or shall yet steam, it is not likely these visits would have been made ! flow, from this facility of intercourse.
But there is another way in which steam-power will It has been said, that were it possible for all men to promote peace. We know that the more destructive the meet and hold converse with each other face to face, they weapons of warfare, the less likely will the nations be to would soon come to be of one mind on all important proclaim war, and the more speedily will their disputes subjects. We know well that distance and the difficulty be settled when they do. Consider the change necesof obtaining a personal interview often foments divisions, sarily produced in the art of war by the use of steam-ships ! and fosters diversity of sentiment; while freedom of in- Think of their facility of access to any shore! Think of tercourse destroys prejudice, dissipates misapprehension, their fearful accuracy of aim and their destructive power, and restores harmony and order. This principle will, and we shall have fewer national quarrels about trifles. no doubt, operate powerfully on the larger as well as the There will be no long and harassing wars-no seven more limited scale. It will influence the disposition of years' sieges—no impregnable fortresses! Britain's bulnations towards one another, as well as families and indi- warks are not now secure against a foreign foe-her viduals. Men are now travelling who never stirred from wooden walls are comparatively defenceless against the home before, and thousands are riding on railroads or assault of the steam-ship. She has herself afforded proof sailing in steam-boats who were wont, when they tra- of its tremendous power in late events. If the Pacha velled, to plod their weary way on foot. Under the old of Egypt rebels against his master the Sultan, England regime, a broad line of separation was drawn between sends out her steam-frigates to batter down Acre, once the different ranks of society; but now, rich and poor, deemed impregnable; Mehemet Ali succumbs, and repeer and peasant, meet and mingle in the same convey- tires within his proper dominions. The Emperor of ance; they look each other in the face; they recognise China, whether right or wrong, is compelled to yield in one another the great lines of our common humanity; before this terrific power, and submit to the dictation and, though distinctions of rank still remain, there is of the Barbarians! Britain, America, and France, are more melting of heart, and more blending of kindly feel- each possessed of this mighty agent. It preserves the ings, if not greater similarity of sentiment, among all balance of power; and so long as they maintain a good classes of the community. Majesty itself now runs about understanding with each other, it secures the peace of in steam-ships and special trains; and men begin to the world. What would a Napoleon or a Nelson have discover that it is not quite so marvellous or so monstrous done—what tactics would they have adopted had this ena thing as they were accustomed to suppose. The peer gine of destruction been at their command ? finds out that the peasant and the artizan are by no We have left little space to discuss the higher branches means so abject as he thought : and the poor man en- of our theme. In combination with cheap literature and lists the sympathies of his superiors, who formerly penny postage, it will greatly increase and accelerate the treated him with haughty scorn. Men rub noses, and diffusion of knowledge. Art, literature, science, will all become friends. Each class learns something from all receive the benefit of this new power. History and geoothers. As 'iron sharpeneth iron, so doth the counte- graphy will be more thoroughly and more universally nance of a man his friend.'
known. The sacred prediction will receive a literal fulfilIt were easy to trace the modifying influence of this ment—Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.' By the friction of personal intercourse, and on the 2d of March, 1737, the famous pupil and his still by comparison of the labours of eminent men in different more famous master set off, in the same coach, for the countries, who formerly had but little intercourse with British metropolis. A letter of that date, from a gentleeach other, more brilliant results may confidently be ex- man in Lichfield, contains a passage which will gratify pected, and every fresh discovery will more speedily the curious in literary biography. "Garrick,' writes he, become the property of the whole world.
and another neighbour of mine, ont Mr Samuel Johnson, But one reflection now remains. Have we used this set out this morning for London together. Davy Garnew and gigantic power wisely, and to the best possible rick will be with you early in the next week; and Mr advantage? Have we engrafted upon it every high and Johnson goes to try his fate with a tragedy, and to see holy enterprise? Is it to be thought that He who reigns to get himself employed in some translation from the in heaven, and rules the destinies of earth, has permitted Latin or French. Such irreverent mention of undeus to girdle that earth with railroads—to penetrate the veloped genius is apt to excite a smile in those who have mysteries of science-to plunge into the midst of uncivi- witnessed its achievements, who have been accustomed lized lands, for mere commercial and political purposes ? to think of Davy Garrick' as Shakspeare's best living Has he no higher object in view, than the extension of interpreter, and to whom .one Samuel Johnson' has trade ? Shall not this be one of the great subsidiary ceased to be a great unknown. means for regenerating the world ? Shall not the same Garrick, on coming to London, betook himself first to spirit of enterprise that carries our ships to every shore, the study of law, and was entered accordingly at Lincarry the messengers of peace to every land? What can coln's Inn. This he soon abandoned, either from want more efficiently open up the earth for the reception of of inclination or from want of funds. Shortly after, the British Bibles, than the gigantic strides of British science? death of his uncle, who had just arrived from Lisbon, The very same power which produces tracts and periodi- put him in possession of £1000. He now went to cals by millions, and sends them swift as winged mes Rochester, where he placed himself under a teacher of sengers to the dwellings of the poor at home, can not mathematics. While here he lost his father, whose only produce Bibles by myriads in a short period of time widow, in little more than a year, followed him to the
- but it can now waft them in a few weeks to the most grave. They left three sons, of whom David was the distant shores of the world!
second, and two daughters.
Geometry, to the mind of young Garrick, was no more
enticing than law. In either of his earlier pursuits, “un- i BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.
stable as water, he did not excel.' Returning to London,
he entered into partnership with his eldest brother, who DAVID GARRICK.
carried on business as a wine-merchant. Here he was DAVID GARRICK, whose name occupies the most conspi- attracted into his congenial sphere-frequented the cuous place in the annals of the British drama, was born theatres, became a member of the theatrical clubs, assoat Hereford, in the month of February, 1716. His family ciated with the actors, and criticised the drama. This soon was of French extraction. Monsieur Garrick, his grand determined his future course. In two years he dissolved father, had taken refuge in England, along with numbers partnership with his brother; and after some time spent of his countrymen, on the revocation of the edict of in the study of characters, he regularly assumed the proNantz. Peter Garrick, the French merchant's son, and fession of a player. In the summer of 1741, he-then a father of the famous performer, entered the British young man of four or five-and-twenty-made his first army, in which he rose to the rank of captain. He appearance, under the feigned name of Lyddal, in the chanced to be at llereford on a recruiting party; and city of Ipswich. Here his merits were at once recogthere his wife, who was daughter of a clergy man at Lich- nised; and he was emboldened to offer himself to the field, gave birth to the subject of this sketch. Soon after more fastidious regards of a London audience. He acthis, Captain Garrick retired on half-pay, fixing his resi- cordingly appeared at one of the minor theatres, in the dence in his wife's native town. The more elementary character of Richard the Third (always a favourite with parts of his education over, David was sent, at the age of him), on the 19th of October, 1741, and continued his ten, to the grammar-school of Lichfield. Even at that performances throughout the season. His success was early period of his life, the bent of his mind was appa- prodigious. Drury-Lane and Covent-Garden were derent: he displayed more love of mimicry than zeal for serted; and all the wit, rank, and fashion of the metrolearning. Strolling players were his delight; and he polis flocked to Goodman's-Fields. From this time his got up, when only eleven years old, a little performance powers were universally acknowledged ; and he conof his own, in which he figured, among a juvenile com- tinued, till his retirement in 1776 (a period of thirtypany, as Serjeant Kite. In this way, the child was five years), indisputably and unapproachably at the head father of the man ;' and as Popelisped in numbers,' so of his profession-facile princeps of the British stage. Garrick gave proof in boyhood that his vocation was the To enter, as his feeble and turgid biographer has so stage.
laboriously done, on the details of Garrick's dramatic Such a turn, if distinctly developed, seems to have life-to give an inventory, with tedious minuteness, of met with no encouragement from his parents. They sent the characters which, year by year, he personated, and him, in his fifteenth year, to his uncle, a wine-merchant the stages on which he played—would be equally useless in Lisbon, at whose counting-house they meant him to and uninteresting. Neither our space nor our inclination be trained to business. It would not do, however; the permits us to devote whole chapters to a dramatic row, or drudgery and dry detail of a mercantile occupation, in to utter magniloquent rant on Garrick's trip to the its earlier. and humble branches, did not suit his light Continent as the setting of the theatrical sun. No two and mercurial temperament. He came home in about a volumes could be more meagre and unsatisfactory than year, and resumed, with somewhat better success, his that farrago of trashy gossip, and still more trashy criticlassical studies. A few years after, we find him under cism, which Mr Arthur Murphy has given to the world the care of the celebrated Samuel Johnson, who was at as a 'life' of his friend. We have a great deal, indeed, that time beginning the world with a few pupils and about an absurd drama of his own, called • The Orphan boarders, in the neighbourhood of Lichfield. This was of China,' to which Garrick, it seems, was shy of acting the commencement of an acquaintance which lasted for as protector. We have a great deal, also, of impertinent life. Both Johnson and Garrick, however, were dissatis- criticism of Shakspeare, who is admitted to have been a fied with obscurity and seclusion. The one was tired of superior genius,' and to have produced in Macheth's imparting, while he wished to acquire; the other of ac well-drawn character! But his proper subject is left to quiring, while he wished to impart. Each longed, in shift for itself. Of Garrick the actor we have little; of different departments, to make a figure in the world ; | Garrick the author, less ; of Garrick the man, nothing. and then, as now, the world was-London. Accordingly, | Almost the only anecdotes that occur in the work, worth
the trouble of extracting, are connected with him who Of the immense disparity between the function of the writes the life, and not with him whose life is written. poet and that of the player, no one could be more sensible Of these, one is suggested by its author's darling perform- than Garrick himself.' Shakspeare he regarded with ance, the unfortunate ‘Orphan of China.' On the day of the most intense veneration. To impress his beauties its introduction to the public, Mr Murphy dined in com- on an artificial age—to wean the public from his unworpany with Foote, the celebrated wit. During dinner thy rivals, and assert for the great national dramatist there arrived a note for the author, from Mrs Cibber, a his due supremacy-was the aim of his professional life. popular actress of the day, which contained, in reference Emphatically enough, though somewhat bombastically, to the play, the rather profane assurance, 'I shall offer he avowed it to be his principle, “to lose no drop of that up my prayers for your success. To this Foote appended immortal man.' His enthusiasm expressed itself in the the comment, 'Mrs Cibber is a Catholic; and you know projection of a Shakspeare jubilee, which was held acthey always pray for the dead.' His words, it need not cordingly at Stratford-upon-Avon in the autumn of 1769, be added, proved prophetic. The other
anecdote relates on which occasion he composed and recited an ode in to a farce by the same writer, entitled • The Apprentice.' honour of the immortal dramatist. On the day after it was acted, Garrick and Dr Munsey Although this and similar efforts are very far from paid him a visit. The former entered the dining-room, being failures, they are all, notwithstanding, suggestive but his friend seemed bent on ascending the stairs. "Dr of the truth, that it is one thing to act and another to Munsey, where are you going ?' said Garrick. “Up stairs, write naturally. Garrick was more in his element when to see the author, said Munsey. Pho! pho! Come versifying in a lighter vein. Here is an epigram on a down, the author is here. The doctor accordingly en- snarling critic, who had published an ironical petition tered the dining-room, and addressed, in his free and from the letters I and U, complaining of their being easy way, the master of the house—You scoundrel, I transposed by David Garrick, Esq., in such words as virwas going up to the garret. Who could think of finding tue pronounced vurtue, and ungrateful pronounced inan author on the first floor?'
grateful :The remaining outlines of Garrick's life may be given If 'tis true, as you say, that I've injured a letter, in a few sentences. Playing now in London, now in I'll change my note soon, and, I hope, for the better. Dublin, for about £500 a season (a sum which would
May the right use of letters, as well as of men,
Hereafter be fix'd by the tongue and the pen! ROW-a-days be thought paltry in the extreme for a first
Most devoutly I wish they may both have their due, or even a second-rate actor), he continued to accept en- And that I may be never mistaken for U! gagements for about five years. At the end of that period
On the point of his professional reputation, Garrick he became joint patentee and manager of Drury-Lane; was peculiarly touchy. He dreaded, he felt sore under, an elevation which cost him £8000, and continued in that and he schemed to avert, ebullitions of critical spleen post, which was the climax of his ambition, during the which he could have well afforded to despise. The lines remaining thirty years of his theatrical career. In July, just cited, pleasing and humorous in themselves, are still 1749, he married an opera dancer, an Austrian by birth,
a proof and product of this weakness in his character. but named, for the sake of euphony, Violetti. She proved The address he delivered on the night of his last appeara most affectionate and estimable wife.
ance, exhibits at once a more agreeable trait in his disOn the 10th of June, 1766, Garrick, to the infinite re- position, and higher power in writing. Before bidding gret of its frequenters, took leave of the stage; and hav- farewell to the stage, he had signalized himself as the ing sold his share in Drury-Lane for £37,000, went to liberal and zealous supporter of a fund for the relief of spend the evening of his days to his villa at Hampton. decayed actors. To this fund the proceeds of his last He did not long survive his retirement. Disease in the appearance were devoted ; and the prologue he composed
kidneys made rapid inroads on his constitution, and on for that occasion presents, in pleasing alliance, his bene| the 20th of January, 1779, he breathed his last. On the volence and his wit. Here is part of the address :
Ist of February, his remains were interred in Westminster | Abbey, several of the nobility acting as pall-bearers, and
Might we but hope your zeal would not be less,
When I am gone, to patronize distress, the train of carriages in attendance reaching from the That hope obtain d the wished-for end secures, Abbey to Charing-Cross. He was buried in Poet's Corner, To soothe their cares who oft have lightend yours. near Shakspeare's monument, a proximity which probably
Shall the great heroes of celestial line,
Who drank full bowls of Greek and Roman winesuggested the idea of the epitaph on his own :
Cæsar and Brutus, Agamemnon, Hector,
Nay. Jove himself, who here has quaff d'his nectar-
Shall they who govern'd fortune cringe and court her,
Thirst in their age, and call in vain for porter ?
Shan't I, who oft have drench'd my hands in gore,
Stabb'd many, poison d some, beheaded more,
Who numbers slew in battle on this plain,
Shan't I, the slayer, try to feed the slain ?
Suppose the babes I smother'd in the tow'r,
By chance or sickness lose their acting power-
Shall they, once princes, worse than all be serv'd ?
In childhood murderd, and, when murderd, starv'd !
Can I, young Hamlet once, to nature lost,
Behold, o horrible! my father's ghost,
And he, the royal Dane, want half-a-crown? figured by the false taste and the false judgment of the age. Of all reputations that of an actor is of necessity In addition to some eighty prologues and epilogues, the most ephemeral and evanescent. His fame is nearly Garrick was the author (conjointly with Colman) of one as mortal as himself. To posterity his genius is merely admired comedy, “ The Clandestine Marriage,' as well as traditional ; it is from his cotemporaries alone he can of several farces and interludes, popular enough in their elicit a warm admiration, or a hearty applause. To re- time, but not calling for any special notice here. present the conceptions of the ever-living Shakspeare as In his personal character, Garrick seems to have been indebted for their future vitality to a man thus doubly universally loved and respected.
That he maintained in dead, is therefore the height of absurdity. The universal private life that propriety of feeling and action which incharmer must not be named with even the most success- duced him to correct the licentiousness of the stage, his ful of the fleeting series of his interpreters—interpreters intimacy with Samuel Johnson and Hannah More is a who may enhance, but who do not create, the spell that sufficient pledge. The latter has left a pleasing testibinds the nations. The star of Shakspeare's genius shines mony to his domestic decorum and happiness, as well as clear and calm; the acting even of Garrick is but the to the personal excellence at once of Mrs Garrick and momentary blaze of a rocket, or rather the flash of a himself. I can never cease,' she writes, “to remember, meteor, which is only seen when falling.
with affection and gratitude, so warm, steady, and disin