« ПредишнаНапред »
into the humor of his Pistol-like bravery, Doran, the second on that of Mr. Procand challenged him. “You must apolo- ter (Barry Cornwall in his 'Life of Edgise or fight,” said one of these, after mund Kean'). the actor had been as usual railing against After his death the doctors not only the country. “I will not apologise, opened his body to discover the cause, young gentleman," he answered loftily; but one, Dr. Francis, took possession of “I will fight you. But if I fight you his head for phrenological purposes, and I shall shoot you. I am the best shot in kept the skull in his surgery. One night Europe. If you insist upon it I will ‘Hamlet' was performed at the Park;' shoot you. I would not willingly shed at the last moment the property man blood.” But it may be doubted whether found he had no skull, and hastened to Cooke did not see through the quiz, for the doctor's to borrow one. The one the whole routine of the duel was car- lent was Cooke's. It was returned that ried through ; the pistols, loaded only night, but next evening at a meeting of with powder, were discharged ; the the Cooper Club, the circumstance being antagonist, pretending to be shot, fell, known to several there, a desire was exand the actor, cutting the sleeve of his pressed to examine the head of the great coat, made believe he was wounded in tragedian, which was again produced for the shoulder.
the investigation of Daniel Webster, At Philadelphia his success almost Henry Wheaton, and other celebrities. eqnalled that of New York. In sixteen Anecdote number one. Now for numnights the receipts were $17,360. Upon ber two. his return to Boston
Kean was a great admirer of Cooke, “Such was the rage,” says Dunlap, “for and when he was in New York visited seeing Cooke, that though it was the depth his grave. Finding it without a memoof winter, and excessively cold, the box office rial stone, he had the body taken up, rehas been surrounded from three o'clock in the moved to another place, and a handsome morning until the time of opening, which was monument placed over it. In the tran
sition from one grave to another he conFrom the time of his landing in Ame- trived to abstract one of the toe-bones, rica his health began to fail, and on and this he brought back with him to several occasions he was incapacitated London as a precious relic. Upon his from appearing through real indisposition. arrival in England Elliston and several A constitution of iron alone could have of the Drury Lane company went as far withstood such years of debauchery, but as Barnet to meet him. When he it gave way at last. On the 31st of July, arrived at the hotel where they were, to 1812, while playing Sir Giles Overreach breakfast, he stopped all their greetings at Boston, he was taken for death, but with, “Before you say a word, Behold! lingered till the following September, Fall down and kiss this relic! This when he died. He was preparing at the is the toe-bone of the greatest creature time to return to England, Harris having that ever walked the earth-of George written to him to come back to Covent Frederick Cooke. Come, down with Gardent. “John Bull," says the letter, you all and kiss the bone !" Elliston, " is as fond of you as ever, and would to humor him, dropped upon his knees be most happy to see his favorite again." and kissed the relic, and the others folWe could have no better proof of Cooke's lowed his example. Arriving home great abilities than such an offer after Kean's first words to his wife were, “I all his disgraceful escapades. There is have brought Charles a fortune. I have not in the whole history of the stage a something that the directors of the British career more pitiable than this, not one Museum would give ten thousand pounds for the errors of which we can plead so for; but they shan't have it. Here it is, few excuses.
the toe-bone of the greatest man that But not even after the grave closed over ever lived-George Frederick Cooke. him had George Frederick, at least in Now, observe ; I put this on the mantelbody, ended his eccentric career. I will piece; but let no one dare to touch it. conclude this article with two extraordi- You may all look at it-at a distance, but nary anecdotes of the post mortem period; be sure no one presumes to handle it.” the first is given on the authority of Dr. Here it lay for months an object of pride tion, affects tlie floor of the large lunar indeed to be actually lost, but still in crater Plato (called by Hevelius the such sort as to reduce all to the same greater Black Lake), is now rejected, be- dead level of temperature, whereas vitalcause the supposed change has been ity depends on differences of temperashown to be a mere effect of contrast. ture. Every orb in space, then, is tendThe apparent change is of this nature : ing steadily onwards towards cosmical -As the sun first begins to rise above death. And, so far as our power of unthe floor of the crater-or, in other words, derstanding or even of conceiving the as the light cf the filling moon gradually universe is concerned, it seems as though flows over the crater—the floor appears this tendency of every individual body bright, getting brighter and brighter as in the universe towards death involved the sun rises higher and higher, up to a the tendency towards death of the unicertain point. But afterwards the floor verse itself. It may indeed be said that darkens, becoming darkest towards since the universe is of necessity infinite, lunar mid-day. Lastly, as the lunar whereas we are finite, we cannot reason afternoon progresses, the floor of Plato in this way from what we can undergets gradually lighter again. The mid- stand, or conceive, to conclusions reday darkening was attributed to some specting the universe, which we cannot process of vegetation or else to chemical even conceive, far less understand. Still changes. It has no real existence, how- it must be admitted that, so far as our ever, but is due simply to the effect of reasoning powers can be relied upon at contrast with the great brightness of the all, the inference, from what we know, crater-wall all around, which is formed appears a just one, that the life of the of some very white substance, and looks universe will have practically departed peculiarly bright and lustrous at the time when the largest and therefore longestof lunar mid-day, so that contrasted with lived of all the orbs peopling space has it the floor looks peculiarly dark. On
On passed on to the stage of cosmical death. the other hand, during the morning and So far as we know, there is but one way evening hours, the black shadow of the of escape from this seemingly demoncrater-wall is thrown across the floor, strated, but in reality incredible, concluwhich by contrast looks brighter than it sion. May it not be that as men have really is. This explanation has indeed erred in former times in regarding the been denied very confidently by some earth as 'the centre of the universe, as who formerly advocated the theory that they have erred in regarding this period lunar vegetation causes the darkening of time through which the earth is now of the floor; but there can be no doubt passing as though it were central in all of its justice, for no one (not prejudiced time, so possibly they may have erred in favor of a theory) who has tested the in regarding the universe we live in, and matter experimentally, eliminating the can alone comprehend, as though it were effects of contrast, has failed to find the only universe ? May there not be a that there is no real darkening of the higher order of universe than ours, to floor of Plato.
which ours bears some such relation as It seems as certain as any matter not the ether of space bears to the matter of admitting of actual demonstration can our universe ? and may there not, above be that the moon is, to all intents and that higher order, be higher and higher purposes, dead. Her frame is indeed orders of universe, absolutely without still undergoing processes of material limit? And, in like manner, may not change, but these afford no more evi- the ether of space, of which we know dence of real planetary life than the only indirectly though very certainly, be changes affecting a dead body are signs the material substance of a universe next of still lingering vitality. Again, it seems below ours,* while below that are lower certain that the processes through which and lower orders of universe absolutely the moon has passed in her progress without limit? And, as the seemingly · towards planetary death, must be passed through in turn by all the members of * The work called the Unseen Universe the solar system, and finally by the sun
presents a portion of the evidence to this effect, himself. Every one of these orbs is con
but unfortunately the style of that work is not
sufficiently lucid to bring its reasoning within stantly radiating its heat into space, not the range of the general non-scientific reader.
wasted energies of our universe are order to which our lives belong. Thus poured into the universe next below should we find a new argument for the ours, may it not well be that our uni- teaching of the poet who has saidverse receives the supplies of energy
Let knowledge grow from more to more, wasted (in seeming) from the universe
But more of reverence in us dwell, next in order above it? So that, instead That, mind and soul according well, of the absolute beginning and the abso- May make our music as before, lute end which we had seemed to recog
But vaster; nise, there may be in reality but a con
a new significance in the vision of him tinual interchange between the various who said orders of universe constituting the true universe, these orders being infinite in
See all things with each other blending,
Each to all its being lending, number even as each one of them is infi- All on each in turn depending; nite in extent. We find ourselves lost, Heavenly ministers descending, no doubt, in the contemplation of these And again to heaven uptending, multiplied infinities; but we are equally Floating, mingling, interweaving, lost in the contemplation of the unques. Each from each, while each is giving
Rising, sinking, and receiving tioned infinities of space and time amidst On to each, and each relieving which our little lives are cast, while the Each-the pails of gold ; the living mystery of infinite waste, which seems so
Current through the air is heaving ; inscrutable when we consider the uni- Breathing blessings see them bending,
Balanced worlds from change defending, verse as we know it, finds a possible inter- While everywhere diffus'd is harmony unendpretation when we admit the existence ing. of other orders of universe than the
GEORGE FREDERICK COOKE.
There is a striking resemblance be- pears to have decided George Fretween the genius and characters of derick's destiny. He was taken to see Cooke and Edmund Kean.
The Provoked Husband,' and from that gifted with splendid talents that through time he says, in a'Chronicle' which was their own vices became a curse rather found after his death among his papers, than a blessing to their possessors; their plays and playing were never absent from style of acting was similar; most of their his thoughts. By-and-by he formed an triumphs were secured in the same parts; amateur company of boys of his own age. both destroyed health and fortune, lost Their theatre was a deserted barn, their the respect of the world, and sank into scenery a motley patchwork of mat and utter degradation through dissipated paper, and their costumes such finery as habits; and both commonly committed they could borrow. He was at this time acts of extravagant eccentricity, to put it only thirteen years old ; his mother was in the mildest form, that it is difficult to dead, and he was then under the protecascribe to sane men.
tion of two aunts, who apprenticed him Cooke's parentage and place of birth to a printer. are both doubtful; he has been claimed Three years after their first visit the as an Irishman and a Scotchman, but, Edinburgh actors paid a second to the according to his own statement on his town. Fain would young Cooke have death-bed, he was born in Westminster attended every performance; but his in 1756, and soon afterwards removed to funds would not permit, and many were Berwick, where he was brought up. He the schemes he devised for a surreptiwas in the habit of boasting that his tious entrance. One of these, told by father was an army captain, but it is himself, is extremely ludicrous. One more probable that he was a sergeant. night he slipped through the stage door At all events, his mother was left a before the keeper was posted, or any of widow, in very straightened circum- the employés about, and groping his stances, while he was quite a child.. way behind the scenes sought for a place
The Edinburgh theatrical company where he might remain concealed until coming to Berwick for a short season ap- the curtain rose, when he hoped to be
able to ensconce himself in some ob- epithet was equally applicable both to scure spot unobserved and get a glimpse Manchester and Liverpool, at least in a of the performance. In a reniote corner theatrical point of view, in those days. he found a very large barrel-nothing During most of these years he kept a could be better for his purpose. Drop- diary, a strange record of various and ping himself into it he found at the bot- desultory reading-upon which he wrote tom two twenty-four pound cannon-balls, remarks that indicate a shrewd though about which, however, he did not trouble but half cultivated intellect-of hard prohimself. Little did he imagine that he fessonal labor, of sad dissipation and athad taken refuge within the machine by tendant repentance, but yet no record of which the Theatre Royal, Berwick, pro- such miserable struggles as those of poor duced its stage thunder. But so it was. Kean. Just as the last bars of the overture were At length, in 1794, he was engaged being played, the property man tied a for Dublin, and after eighteen years of piece of carpet over the top of the probation appeared for the first time bebarrel, without perceiving in the dark fore an audience worthy of those great its living occupant, raised it in his arms, talents which were already fully develno doubt wondering at its extra weight, oped. But alas, so convivial a city as and carried it to the side scenes. The the Irish capital was a bad home for one play was 'Macbeth,' which opens with of Cooke's habits; and although his sucthunder and lightning. As the curtain cess as an actor was great, his dissipabell sounded away he sent the machine tion, which there became worse than rolling. Horribly frightened, and pound- ever, ruined his prospects. Dunlap, in ed by the cannon-balls, Cooke roared his life of Cooke, published in 1813, and out lustily, and fighting to release himself, Mathews, in his Memoirs,' relate an sent the barrel on to the stage, burst off anecdote of this period which well illusthe carpet head, and rolled out in front trates his outrageous conduct. Maof the audience, scattering the three thews, then a very young man, was witches right and left.
member of the same company, and lived Cooke's account of his early years is in the same house with him. One night, not sufficiently trustworthy to be quoted. having played Mordecai to Cooke's Sir It appears, however, he did not long re- Archy Macsarcasm in Macklin's 'Love main in the printer's office, that he went à la Mode,' much to the latter's satisfacto sea, and afterwards spent some time tion, he was invited to sup and share a in London, where he saw Macklin and jug of whisky punch in the tragedian's Garrick in several of their finest parts.
The young novice delighted!y At twenty we find him making his pro accepted the invitation, thinking himself fessional debut in a strolling company much honored, and failed not to pour in the large room of a public-house at forth those laudations upon his host's Brentford, as Dumont, in Rowe's ' Jane talents which were so grateful to George Shore.' For two years he strolled about Frederick's ears. One jug of punch the towns of the south coast, Hastings, was quickly emptied and a second filled, Rye and others; and in 1778 appeared for and Cooke began to praise his guest in a benefit at the Haymarket as Castalio in a patronising way.
" You are young, Otway's ‘Orphan. The next year he he said, “and want some one to advise played several other parts in the same and guide you. Take my word for it, theatre, but without attracting any at- there is nothing like industry and sobrietention. Back to strolling again in the ty. In our profession, dissipation is the midland counties, until he appeared at bane of youth, villainous company, low Manchester in 1784 as Philotas in Mur- company, leads them from study,” &c. phy's 'Grecian Daughter,' in which, als Holding forth thus, the jugs of punch though a poor part, he made a most continued to disappear with ever increasfavorable impression; Lancaster and ing rapidity. Mathews rose to leave, Liverpool followed, and in 1786 he play- but was pushed back into his seat again. ed Baldwin to Mrs. Siddon's Isabella in You shan't stir; we'll have one more Southerne's tragedy, at York. Again cruiskeen lawn, my dear fellow, and the years roll on, and we still find him a then
shall go to bed," said the traprovincial actor in petty towns, for that gedian, now growing very drunk. “You
don't know me. The world don't know while Cooke reiterated his demand for me. Many an hour that they suppose mcre punch. But Mrs. Burns remained I've wasted in drinking, I have devoted to obdurate. Cooke took up the jug and the study of my profession; the passions smashed it upon the floor over her head. and all their variations; their nice and Do
you hear that, Mrs. Burns ?” “ Yes, imperceptible gradations. You shall I do, Mr. Cooke." Then smash went see me delineate the passions of the the chairs, the fire-irons, the table and human mind, by facial expressions." The between each the question “ Do you hear power of the whisky, however, acting in that, Mrs. Burns ?" Indeed, but I do, direct opposition to the will on his strong and you'll be sorry for it to-morrow." and fexible features produced contor- Up went the window, and out, one after tions and distortions of which he was in- another, went the fragments of the broken sensible. Mathews, a little hazy himself furniture into the street. Mathews, befrom the potent liquor, half alarmed, and lieving he was in company with a madyet with difficulty repressiug his laugh- man, and now thoroughly frightened, ter at these extraordinary grimaces, sat endeavored to make a bolt, but was staring at him, endeavoring to under- seized and dragged back. Finding him stand these delineations, and wishing struggle violently, Cooke threw up the himself out of the room. After each hor- window and shouted, “Watch, watch !" rible face, Cooke demanded with an air A watchman attracted by the uproar was of intense self-approval, "Well, sir, and already beneath. "I give this man in what is that?" "It's very fine, sir,” an- charge,” roared Cooke; "he has comswered Mathews, without the remotest mitted murder.” “What do you mean ?" conception of what he should say. "Yes, cried the alarmed youth. “Yes, to my but what is it?" "Well-a-oh, yes, certain knowledge he has this night comanger ?” “You're a blockhead,” roared mitted an atrocious, cold-blooded murthe tragedian; "the whisky has mud- der. He has most barbarously murdered dled your brains. It's fear-fear, sir."
It's fear-fear, sir." an inoffensive Jew gentleman named MorThen followed more contortions and decai; I charge him with it in the name nore questions, but Mathews of Macklin, the author of ‘Love à la guessed right. 'Now, sir,” said the an- Mode.'” Here Mathews, by a desperate gry delineator at last, “ I will show you effort, wrenched himself away and fled, something you cannot possibly mistake.” Cooke hurling after him the candle and And he made a hideous face, com- candlestick. pounded of Satanic malignancy and the The disgrace attending the notoriety leering of a drunken satyr." What's of this transaction, drove him on to furthat, sir?" “That? oh, revenge !" ther mad intemperance; the stage was “ Dolt, idiot! despite o'erwhelm thee,” abandoned, and, in a fit of drunkenness burst forth Cooke furiously; "it is and despair, he enlisted as a private in a love !" This was too much, and forget- regiment destined for the West Indies. ful of consequences, Mathews fell back Fortunately for him, however, sickness in his chair and roared with laughter. prevented him embarking. Yet he re“ What, sir ! Do you laugh ? Am I not mained in the army until 1796. In that George Frederick Cooke? born to com- year, Maxwell, the manager of the Portsmand a thousand slaves like thee !” mouth theatre, being in Southampton Mathews immediately apologised, aver- was accosted by a soldier, in whom he ring that the punch had stupefied him. recognised Cooke. He asked him for This inollified his host's indignation, and assistance to purchase his discharge ; with finding the jug empty he called out for the aid of the managers of the Manhis landlady to refill it. But he had chester theatre, this was accomplished. faithfully promised the previous one Maxwell heard no more of the truant for should be the last, and Mrs. Burns in- some weeks. One day a boy came to tended to keep him to his word. “Sure, the Portsmouth theatre, and accosted Mr. Cooke,” she answered from below, him with, “ A poor sick man who has “I am gone to bed, and you can't have been a soldier, sir, is now at my mother's, any more to-night.” Indeed, but I and wishes to see you before he dies.' will," he replied. Mathews tried to get He went to a low public-house, and away, but was again thrust into his chair, there found Cooke in a state of the most