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• He was born on the 1st of May, 1690, and died at the advanced age of 107 years, two months, and ten days.'

Mr. Kirkman's zeal and friendship have kept back nothing that could redound to the honour and fame of his relation. We have now an account of his funeral, and an elaborate character of him as a man, a comic writer, a husband, a parent, and a friend, in the true style of a monumental inscription. His biographer, or rather panegyrist, determined not to "draw his frailties from their dread abode," has made him all perfection!

A description of his extraordinary manner of living, which his great longevity has rendered interesting, is also given; and, in the appendix, we have a list of Mr. Macklin's dramatic works, consisting of six pieces; four of which were unsuccessful, and never printed. The other two, Love-à-la-mode, and The Man of the World, which are printed, never failed, during his performance in them, to attract a crowded audience, and to receive very just applause.-To this enumeration of his productions, is added a list of the characters which he performed while he trod the stage, amounting to upwards of 160.

The memory of Mr. K. cannot be deemed deficient: for he remembers his anecdotes so well as to repeat them two or three times. In the first vol. p. 264, speaking of the great applause which M. received when he first appeared in Shylock, he says:

In the dumb action of the trial scene he was amazingly descriptive; and, through the whole, displayed such unequalled merit, as justly entitled him to that very comprehensive, though concise, compliment paid him by Mr. Pope, who sat in the stage-box, on the third night of the representation, and who emphatically exclaimed"This is the Jew

That Shakspeare drew."

In the 2d vol. p. 427, the same tune is again played, with

variations.

• Several years before his death, Mr. Macklin happened to be in a large company of ladies and gentlemen, among whom was the celebrated Mr. Pope.-The conversation having turned upon Mr. Macklin's age, one of the ladies addressed herself to Mr. Pope, in words to the following effect:-" Mr. Pope, when Macklin dies, you must write his epitaph."-"That I will, Madam," said Pope; “nay, I will give it to you now:—

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The whole company highly approved of this Epitaph, and Mr. Macklin has often related this anecdote in our hearing with great gice; and a more just, comprehensive, and concise inscription never was written.'

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This epitaph, or impromptu, ascribed to Pope, is a two-edged sword: as it at once paints the actor and the man. Indeed, we know not whether he was as sordid as vulgar Jews are supposed to be, but we believe that his tender feelings for such Christians as he disliked were of the same sort.

We are willing to allow to Macklin his due portion of professional merit, which was certainly very considerable, though much more confined than he was willing to allow. We do not remember that he succeeded in any character which bespoke a Sir Francis good heart, except Ben, and Sir Hugh Evans. Wronghead's simplicity and folly he represented very well: but in tragedy, he never could gain cordial and hearty applause in any one character. Macbeth and Richard he not only thought he could represent better than Garrick, but he insisted on the town thinking so too: the town, however, knew that envy and presumption were the stimuli to these attempts, and it was with great unwillingness that he was ever heard. He never could His theories were specious, and obtain a hearing in Lear. imposed on young actors: but neither his own declamation, nor that of any of his pupils, ever succeeded in serious parts.— His uncommon longevity latterly excited a respect and a reverence for his opinions, to which the world would not have subscribed in antecedent times, before oblivion had veiled the events of the earlier years of his, life.

Of the merit of these Memoirs, we have incidentally given our opinion already, by detecting inaccuracies in facts, dates, and language, and violations of impartiality. We could still point out others: but the article is already extended to such a length, that the additional space which we can afford shall be chiefly appropriated to an indication of the most agreeable parts of the work, to those of our readers who may be curious to know more of this celebrated Comedian's life than they have already learnt. Imprimis, we must inform them that there is a very good print of Macklin facing the title-page.

The account of his first performance of Shylock is amusing, and (we believe) tolerably accurate: as is that of Barry's first appearance in Othello. Dr. Johnson's admirable Prologue on Garrick becoming patentee and manager of Drury-Lane theatre, though often printed before, will always be read with pleasure. There is also inserted a good Prologue, which was spoken by Macklin on his return to Drury-Lane after a quarrel and a long absence;-and a farewel Epilogue on quitting the theatre to open a tavern.

The materials of the second vol. seem to be much more interesting than those of the first; but Macklin's inveterate hatred

of

of Garrick, and his biographer's distortion of every narrative in which Mr. G. has any concern, will be offensive to a great part of the nation whom his talents had delighted on the stage, and whom his wit and humour had enlivened in society.

The history of Macklin's undertaking to play tragedy at Covent-Garden, of the riots which it occasioned, and of the trial of the rioters, we have already described as entertaining, and as instructive to young men of spirit and of turbulent dispositions; since it will enable them to judge how far they may proceed in damning a play, or in pelting an offending actor off the stage, provisionally, with impunity; and what it will cost to form a party to drive him thence entirely for the rest of his life.

The character of Mrs. Macklin, the last wife of our hero, and her behaviour to him in every situation until his last sigh, not withstanding the great disparity in their age, are extremely praiseworthy, and are well recorded;-and the account of the decay of his faculties, and of its effects on his memory, is (as we have before said) very curious and interesting. We should have made some citations from this part, but were obliged to desist by the consideration of the length of this article; to which we now put a period.

D! B....y.

ART. XIV. The British Cabinet: containing Portraits of illustrious
Personages, engraved from original Pictures; with Biographical
Memoirs. By John Adolphus, F. S. A. Vol. I. Large 4to.
21. 28. Boards. Harding. 1799.

IT is certainly a pleasing employment to contemplate the portraits of eminent characters; for it is in some measure similar to being introduced to their acquaintance, and we had almost said enjoying their conversation:-but the degree of this pleasure depends on the celebrity of the persons represented, on the likeness exhibited, and on the excellence of the painter's performance. Where the character is highly distinguished, the resemblance powerful, and the artist deservedly illustrious, then our satisfaction is complete. Our curiosity, on the other hand, is faintly excited, and our gratification proportionably small, if "names ignoble, born to be forgot," are the objects; or if the painter's or the engraver's task has been indifferently executed.

Of the present publication, the author thus speaks in his Preface:

The British Cabinet is presented to the public as a collection comprising portraits of persons illustrious either for birth, actions, or acquirements, of whom a memorial is preserved in the volumes of history and biography, but no respectable or authentic portraits have been perpetuated by engraving.

Collections

Collections of family pictures, in which the likenesses of illus trious personages are preserved, are so liable to be destroyed by fire, or dispersed by accidents, that the means here adopted of preserving those features from total oblivion which are regarded with respect and esteem, seem to be peculiarly advantageous; gratifying, at the same time, the curiosity of the public, and the feelings of individuals.

In this and in foreign countries, we have had similar works*: Birch's Lives, and Les Hommes illustres, de M. Perrault, both reflect distinguished credit on their respective artists; and in the case of each of those splendid publications, the subjects of the engravings were men of such eminence, that it was disgraceful to be unacquainted with the circumstances of their lives. We by no means think, however, that Mr. Adolphus has been equally fortunate in his selection; for, with the exception of three or four persons introduced into the volume, his characters bring with them but slight recommendations to public attention and esteem; the engravings are not all of them deserving of the highest praise; and of the painters we have it not in our power to say any thing, for the author has omitted to inform us by whom the respective portraits were executed.

Both the account and the engraving of Margaret Countess of Richmond and Derby, the mother of Henry VII. are among the most interesting in the collection:-we shall present the biography to our readers:

Margaret, daughter and heir of John Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, was born at Bletshoe in Bedfordshire, in 1441. Her edu cation, though sufficient for that age, was not very extensive. She was mistress of French, and had some knowledge of Latin; but her abilities were, according to Ballard, superior to her acquirements, and her disposition perfectly amiable.

Her good qualities and vast inheritance procured her many advantageous offers, particularly the son of the celebrated favorite of Queen Margaret, William Duke of Suffolk, and Edmund, halfbrother of King Henry VI. Being in doubt to which of these two she should give the preference, she consulted an old lady, who recommended her to St. Nicholas, the patron of Virgins. The Saint very good-naturedly made his appearance in the habit of a bishop, and advised her to marry Edmund. This story is related by Ballard, on the authority of a popish bishop, and the great Sir Francis Ba. con but it is so absurd, as to be even below the ridicule with which Lord Orford has assailed it . By this marriage, and in consequence of her birth, she became allied within the fourth degree, to thirty

*Vide M. R. vol. vii. p. 255.

·

+ British Ladies, p. 7, 8, octavo edit.'

Royal and Noble Authors, article Margaret Countess of Rich} mond and Derby.'

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Kings and Queens, besides Earls, Marquisses, Dukes and Princes; and as Henry VII. was the offspring of the match, she became allied in her posterity, to thirty more.

Her first husband dying in 1456, she married Sir Henry Straf ford, second son of Humphry Strafford, the great Duke of Buckingham. Soon after the death of this husband, she married Thomas Lord Stanley, who, after her son Henry's accession to the crown, was created Earl of Derby, and died in 1504.

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Though this lady's education was so defective as not to afford means of original composition, her love of piety, and desire to increase it in England, induced her to translate from the French a book called Speculum Aureum Peccatorum, or, a Mirror of Gold for a sinful Soul; and the 3d and 4th books of Dr. Gerson's Treatise of the Imitation of Jesus Christ. She also composed, in the 23d year of the reign of Henry VII. Orders for great Estates of Ladies and noble Women, for their Precedence, Attires, and wearing of Barbes at Funerals, over the Chin, and under the same. Hill s'

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These performances, though they receive a certain recommenda tion from the quality and devotion of their author, would not have preserved her fame to posterity; but her munificence, equally influenced by piety and good sense, induced her to make those public foundations and endowments, which will cause her name to be repeated with gratitude while learning and religion yet claim an asylum in Britain.

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Her principal acts were the foundation of two colleges," Christ's and St. John's, in the university of Cambridge. She also instituted Lectureships in divinity at Cambridge and Oxford, and afforded a maintenance to many poor students. She established at Cambridge a perpetual public preacher. She built an alms-house at Westminster for poor women, which was afterward turned into a lodging-house for the singing-men of the college, and founded a free-school at Wymbourn in Dorsetshire. She lived some time at Torrington, in Devonshire; and, pitying the minister for his long walk from the parsonage house to the church, gave to him and his 'successors the manor-house, and the lands belonging, lying close to the church.

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These virtuous deeds breathe so true a spirit of piety and charity, that the superstitions which marked Margaret's character, ifley claim notice, can be considered only as the excess of the same, principles. She is commonly drawn in the habit of a Nun, and was admitted into the fraternity of five several religious houses, Westminster, Crowland, Durham, Wymbourn, and the Charter-house. She was at prayers soon after five o'clock in the morning, and went through the religious offices of the church of Rome with so much strictness, and added so many private devotions, as to occasian bodily indispositions. She had girdles, and shifts of hair; and, en in health, constantly wore one next her person on certain day insevery - week: so that she declared to her confessor that her skin was frequently lacerated. From her last husband, she obtained sometime before his death, a licence to live chaste, and thereupon took a vow of celibacy. Lord Orford sneers at this; and certainly, considered by itself, it would form but a whimsical title to celibacy. v.

Her

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