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Mr. Davies remarks, that Garrick "was viewed by the world in general in a different light from all actors of this, or any other nation, ancient or modern.” Persons of the most elevated rank in his own country, ministers of state, nobility, generals, and admirals, and the most distinguished persons, visited him, and cul tivated his acquaintance. He was also visited by illustrious foreigners. When Garrick was on a visit at Mount Edgecombe, the fol. lowing lines were addressed to him by the great earl of Chatham, then in the neighbourhood :
• Leave Garrick the rich landscape, proudly gay,
MR. GARRICK'S ANSWER.
“ WHEN Peleus' son, untaught to yield,
So Chatham, whose exalted soul,
Yet thither comes the God confess'd ;
Cheerful he came, all blithe arid gay,
Mr. Davies says, that “Garrick's matiner of living was splendid, though somewhat below his income, as became a prudent man, By some he was said to be parsimonious, nay, avaricious : others gave out that he made too great and ostentatious a parade of magnificence, unbecoming the condition of a player. To at. tempt to please all the world, would be just as idle, as to despise its censures when founded upon truth or probability. Mr. Gare rick kept a plentiful table; he rejoiced to see his friends at his board; he kept horses and carriages, and had a number of servants, and an equipage, such as became a man of his large fortune : but all his expences were regulated by the strictest æconomy.
« The abhorrence of profusion and waste he imbibed in his ear. liest years ; and his moderation, during that tide of wealth which flowed in upon him constantly, enabled him to do many acts of kindness and charity. No man seemed more anxious to get money, and none more willing to bestow it generously. To those who knew the sums he constantly gave away, it would appear, that his sole end of acquiring wealth was for the benefit of others. I shall not talk of his more public charities and contributions ; I mean such actions only as were less known to the world; his benevolence was uniform, not a sudden start of humour, proceeding from whim and caprice, or like scanty streams from a sma“
rivulet; no, his bounty resembles a large, noble, and flowing river,
That glorify'd the banks which bound it in.
It was a very honorable circumstance of his life, that in the very dawnings of success, when he first tasted of fortune’s favors, and had acquired a very moderate portion of riches, he opened his hand to those who solicited his kindness, and was ready to assist all who applied to him. Were it possible to know how much money he lent without the least prospect of its being paid, we should find it amount to a very large sum. His mind was so bountiful, that he scarcely knew what it was to deny. He was once solicited by a friend to give a trifle to a poor widow, he asked how much he should give, About two guineas. No, that I will not. Why then give what you please. He presented his friend with a bank note of £30. Of this I should despise the mention, if it were not a matter of rarity and wonder. A gentlewoman, who had no claim to his regard, except the knowing him from his youth, and the being acquainted with his relations at Litchfield, applied to him for assistance in her necessities. He made her à present of £100. He had several almoners, to whom he gave sums of money to distribute to such objects as they approved. Heaven only knows the extent of that beneficence which flowed continually from this large-minded man.
“ There are two remarkably generous deeds of Mr. Garrick, which are so well authenticated, that it would be an act of in. justice to his memory, to conceal them from the world : A gentleman of fashion, and a man universally beloved and esteemed, borrowed £ 500 of Mr. Garrick, for which he gave his note of hand. By some vicissitude of fortune, the affairs of this gentleman were greatly distressed ; his friends and relations, who loved him, were determined to free him from uneasiness, by satisfying his creditors. A day of meeting, for that purpose, was appointed, on which they were to be very cheerful. Mr. Garrick heard of it, and instead of taking advantage of the information to put
in his claim, he inclosed the £500 note in a letter, in which he told the gentleman, that he had been informed, that a jovial meet. ing was to take place between him and his friends, and that it was to be a bon-fire day; he therefore desired he would consign the note to the flames.
• The other anecdote is still more to Mr. Garrick's honor. He was very intimate with an eminent surgeon, who died several years since, a very amiable man, who often dined and supped with Mr. and Mrs. Garrick. One day after dinner, the gentleman declared, that his affairs were in such a situation, that without the assistance of a friend, who would lend him a thousand pounds, he should be at a loss what to do. A thousand pounds! said Mr. Garrick, that is a devilish large sum ! Well now, pray what security can you give for that money? Upon my word, replied the surgeon, no other than my own. Here's a pretty fellow, said Roscius, turning to Mrs. Garrick, he wants a thousand pounds upon his personal security! Well come, I'll tell you one thing for your comfort : I know a man, that at my desire will lend you a thou. sand pounds. He immediately drew upon his banker for that sum, and gave the draft to his friend. Mr. Garrick never asked or received a shilling of it.”
Besides his extraordinary merit as an actor, Garrick was the , author of several ingenious dramatic pieces, particularly, “ The Lying Valet ;” “ Miss in her Teens ;” and “ Lethe."
** Authorities. Memoirs of the Life of David Garrick, by Thomas Davies, 2 volumes, 8vo. edition, 1780. Annual Re. gister, &c.
THE LIFE OF .
DR. TOBIAS SMOLLETT.
(A. D. 1720, to 1771.]
TOBIAS SMOLLETT was born about the year 1720, at a small vil. lage, within two miles of Cameron, on the banks of the river Severn. He appears to have received a classical education, and was bred to the practice of physic and surgery. At the age of eigh. teen, he wrote a tragedy entitled the “ Regicide;" founded on the assassination of James I. of Scotland; which was afterwards al. tered and improved, and published by subscription. He was some time on board a ship of war, as surgeon, or surgeon's mate; and was present at the seige of Carthagena, in 1741. His connexion with the sea seems not to have been of any very long continuance. He came to London, and applied himself to literary pursuits, and is supposed to have written several pieces before he became known to the public by his more considerable productions. In 1746, he published a satire, called, “ Advice ;” and the following year, another, which he entitled, “ Reproof.” In the former year, he also wrote the following poem, to which he gave the name of " The Tears of Scotland ;” and in which he expressed his indignation at the severities which were exercised upon his countrymen, and the ravages which were committed in Scotland, after the battle of Culloden, and the suppression of the rebellion.