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A PORTRAIT OF JAMES COBB, ESQ. ENGRAVED BY RIDLEY, FROM A FINE ORIGINAL
Biographical Sketch of James
Olla Podrida-No. III.- Drum-
burgh through Parts of North
An Eclogue, in the Yorkshire Di-
Sonnet, by H. K. White
PRINTED FOR THE PROPRIETORS,
By 31. Wright, No. 20, Denmark-Court, Strand,
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Sold, also, by all the Booksellers in
the United Kingdom.
THE FIFTEENTH VOLUME.
W’E beg to renew our grateful acknowledgments for the libe. ral patronage uhich has been so uniformly extended to this work. Not withstanding the multiplicity of periodical productions that have lately started into existence, with various pretensions to public notice, the Monthly Mirror still continues its triumphant progress, and is enabled to set the most powerful competition at bold defiance.
This confidence in our strength will not rear our efforts to please. To our collection of PORTRAITs of eminent public characters, which, as a series, have never been equalled in a work of this description, and which, as we know the value of our peculiar resources, could not have been procured by the most respectable of our rivals, we have recently made several important additions : and, in every other department of the publication, we shall exert our best ability to support the credit which it has so long maintained in the circles of taste and literature.
67 The portrait of John ADOLPHUS, Esq. F. A. S. in
tended for the present time, shall appear in our next.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF
JAMES COBB, ESQ.
With a Portrait.
MR. JAMES COBB, whose portrait is given in our present number, has peculiar claims to the notice of a publication, whose avowed province is to hold the dramatic mirror up to nature ; since, even from his boyish days, he has uniformly evinced a strong and unconquerable attachment to the drama : few authors have taken more ardent pains to deserve success, and very few indeed have been more fortunate in its attainment.
This gentleman's first allurement to the stage, and perhaps the circumstance which attached him so strongly to dramatic pursuits, was an introduction to that admirable actress, and amiable woman, Miss Pope, for whose benefit, in the year 1773, our young candidate for fame, sent, anonymously, an occasional prologue. These annual addresses were, at that time, expected by the public from actors, as a kind of acknowledgment for past favours, and a promise of future exertion.
This poetic effort was the fifth this lady liad been favoured with that season, and, amidst a “ choice of difficulties,” she laid the whole of them, with all their imperfections on their heads, before the scrutinizing and critical eye of Garrick. Mr. COBB's was the chosen address, and a line, altered by the pen of our immortal Roscius, we understand, he still preserves as a precious relique.
His first regular performance, submitted to the awful tribunal of an audience, was a farce, or rather petit comedy, called the ConTRACT, or FEMALE CAPTAIN, represented at Drury Lane in 1779, and twice, we believe, at the Haymarket the following year. This piece was written for his friend, Miss Pope's benefit, and introduced Miss Walpole in REGIMENTALS ; no particular hopes of its lasting success were entertained by the author--the FEMALE
CAPTAIN performed her exercise with applause, and was then suffered to stand at ease upon the prompter's shelf.
Next came the WEDDING Night, a musical piece, translated from the French, and set to music by Doctor Arnold. With this entertainment Mr. COLMAN the elder was infinitely delighted : he never missed a single rehearsal ; and on the heroine, Miss Twist, not answering his expectation, Mrs. CARGILL was engaged upon the
spur of the occasion, not more than four nights preceding the performance. The quaintness of this French piece was Caviare to the general. The hisses of the audience nearly put the bride into fits; and the writer of this article well recollects the author's declaring, in a moment of conviviality, that, on walking home that night to Stratford Green, where his family then resided, he took every gust of wind through the trees for a cat-call, and every whisper among the leaves for a hiss.
The farce of “ Who'd have thought it," produced at Covent Garden, in 1779, for the late Mr. Wilson's benefit, and afterwards at the Haymarket in 1780, experienced a better fate, and we are astonished that the manager of Govent Garden has never thought of its revival. In speaking of this piece, we cannot refrain from inserting a song, sung in it by Charles Bannister, which at once proves the genius and the philanthropy of its author.
1. When in war on the ocean we meet the proud foe, Though with ardour for conquest our bosoms may glow; Let us see on their vessel's old England's flig ware: They shall find British sailors but conquer to save.
II. And now, boys, their ensigns we view from afar, With three cheers they are welcomed by each British tar, While the Genius of England still bids us advance, And our guns hurl in thunder defiance to France.