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indeed the press acknowledged him second in fame only to John Bunyan : his feasts kept pace in sale with Nelson's fasts; and when his own name was fairly written out of credit, he wrote himself into immortality under an alias. Now though necessity, or I should rather say the de. sire of finding money for a masquerade, drove Oliver Goldsmith upon abridging histories and turning Buffon into English, yet I much doubt if without that spur he would ever have put his Pegasus into action ; no, if he had been rich, the world would have been poorer than it is by the loss of all the treasures of his genius and the contributions of his pen. CUMBERLAND,
HENDERSON THE ACTOR. He was an actor of uncommon powers, and a man of the brightest intellect, formed to be the delight of society; and few indeed are those men of distinguished talents who have been more prematurely lost to the world, or more lastingly regretted. What he was on the stage those who recollect his Falstaff, Shylock, Sir Giles Overreach, and many other parts of the strong cast, can fully testify; what he was at his own fireside and in his social hours, all, who were within the circle of bis intimates, will not easily forget. He had an unceasing flow of spirits, and a boundless fund of humour irresistibly amusing: he also had wit, properly so distinguished, and from the specimens, which I have seen of his sallies in verse, leveled at a certain éditor of a public print, who
had annoyed him with his paragraphs, I am satisfied he had talents at command to have esta. blished a very high reputation as a poet. I was with him one morning when he was indisposed, and his physician, Sir John Eliot, paid him a visit. The doctor, as is well known, was a merry little being, wbo talked pretty much at random ; upon the present occasion, however, he came professionally to inquire how his medicine had succeeded, and in his northern accent demanded of his patient-“ Had he taken the palls that he sent him ?”-“ He had.” “ Well! and how did they agree? What had they done ?”—“ Wonders," replied Henderson, “ I survived them.”— “ To be sure you did,” said the doctor, “ and you must take more of them, and live for ever : I make all my patients immortal.”-“ That is ex. actly what I am afraid of, doctor,” rejoined the patient: “I met a lady of my acquaintance yesterday ; you know her very well : she was in bitter affliction, crying and bewailing herself in a most piteous fashion: I asked what had happened : a melancholy event ; her dearest friend was at death's door.”_" What is her disease?” cried the doctor.-" That is the very question I asked,” replied Henderson ; “ but she was in no danger from her disease ; it was very slight; a mere excuse for calling in a physician.”-“ Why, what the devil are you talking about,” rejoined the doctor, “ if she has called in a physician, and there was no danger in the disease, how could she be said to be at death's door ?"_" Because,” said Henderson, “ she had called in you : every body calls you in ; you dispatch a world of busi
ness; and, if you come but once to each, your practice must have made you very rich.”-“Nay, nay,' quoth Sir John, “ I am not rich in this world ; I lay up my treasure in heaven.”—“ Then you may take leave of it for ever,” rejoined the other, “ for you have laid it up where you will never find it.”
Henderson's memory was so prodigious, that I dare not risk the instance which I could give of it; not thinking myself entitled to demand more credit than I could probably be disposed to give. In his private character many good and amiable qualities might be traced, particularly in bis conduct to an aged mother, to whom he bore a truly filial attachment; and in laying up a provision for his wife and daughter he was sufficiently careful and economical. He was concerned with the elder Sheridan in a course of public readings: there could not be a higher treat than to hear his recitations from parts and passages in Tristram Shandy: let him broil his dish of sprats, seasoned with the sauce of his pleasantry, and succeeded by a dessert of Trim and my Uncle Toby, it was an entertainment worthy to be enrolled amongst the noctes cænasque Divům. I once heard him read part of a tragedy, and but once; it was in his own parlour, and he ranted most outrageously: he was conscious how ill he did it, and laid it aside before he had finished it. It was clear he had not studied that most excellent property of pitching his voice to the size of the room he was in ; an art which so few readers have, but which Lord Mansfield was allowed to possess in perfection. He was an admirable mimic, and in his sallies of this sort he invented speeches and dialogues, so perfectly appropriate to the characters he was displaying, that I do not doubt that many sayings have been given to the persons he made free with, which being fastened on them by him in a frolic, have stuck to them ever since, and perhaps gone down to posterity amongst their memorabilia. If there was any body now qualified to draw a parallel between the characters of Foote and Henderson, I do not pretend to say how the men of wit and humour might divide the laurel between them; but in this all men would agree, that poor Foote attached to himself very few true friends, and Henderson very many, and those highly respectable, men virtuous in their lives, and enlightened in their understandings. Foote, vain, extravagant, embarrassed, led a wild and thoughtless course of life, yet when death approached him, he shrunk back into himself, saw and confessed his errors, and I have reason to believe was truly penitent. Henderson's conduct was uniformly decorous, and in the concluding stage of it exemplarily devout.
THE ABBÉ HUSSEY. I had now manoeuvred the Abbe Hussey into a mission, the most acceptable to him that could be devised, as it took him out of Spain, and liberated him from the necessity of acting a part which he could not longer have sustained with any credit to himself; for it was only whilst the treaty was in train with the sincere good will of
Spain that he could be truly cordial in the cause ; when unforeseen events occurred to check and interrupt the progress of it, his sagacity did not fail to discover that he could no longer preserve a middle interest with both parties, but must be hooked into a dilemma of choosing his side ; which that would have been when duplicity must have been thrown off, was a decision he did not wish to come to, though I perhaps can conjecturewhere it would have led him. He had no great prejudices for England; Ireland was his native country, but even that and the whole world had been renounced by him, when he threw himself into the oblivious convent of La Trappe, and was only dragged from out of his cell by force and the emancipating authority of the Pope himself. Whilst he was here digging his own grave, and consigning himself to perpetual taciturnity, he was a very young man, high in blood, of athletic strength, and built as if to see a century to its end. It was not the enthusiasm of devotion, no holy raptures, that inspired him with this desperate resolution : it was the splenetic effect of disappointed passion; and such was the change, which a short time had wrought in him, that father Robinson, the worthy priest, with whom he afterwards cohabited, told me, that when he attended the order for his deliverance, he could hardly ascertain his person, especially as he persisted to asseverate in the strongest terms that he was not the man they were in search of.
When he came forth again into the world with passions rather suspended than subdued, I am inclined to think that he considered himself as VOL. II.