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Feb. 16, 17
HAD cleared at my benefit the last season up
HAD wards of eleven hundred pounds. This was owing to several causes. I had for some time been allowed to be sole dictatress among the polite ranks in the article of dress. My judgment in this point was held in so much estimation, that the ladies would have been wretched who did not consult me relative to their birth-day or fancy cloaths. A masquerade had been given by the foreign Ambassadors, which was the most splendid entertainment of the kind ever seen in England. This afforded me and my drefler, Mrs. Tinno, (whom I had left behind me at Drury-lane when I removed from that Theatre) VOL, III,
sufficient employment. Fancy was tortured to fix on different dresses for the crowds of ladies that applied to us. Had I suffered it, there would have been a hundred Eltrudas. Lady Kildare and Lady Granby were now added to my list of patronesses. In return for the assistance I had given the numerous ladies upon this occafion, they each of them made a point to employ all their interest to encrease the emoluments of my night.
Dr. Francis having been promoted through my application to Mr. Fox, and his promotion much talked of, I was looked up to as a proper person through whom to seek for preferment. All the military gentlemen, therefore, seized this opportunity to court my
favour ; and as the surest way to do so, paid a handsome tribute to my theatrical merit. Lord Kildare, Lord Granby, Mr. Fox, and Mr. Digby, who was now returned from abroad, took four tickets at one hundred pounds each ; and the three last continued their liberality to me till death. All these circumstances combined, account for the largeness of the before-mentioned fum.
I besides received presents from Asia, Africa, and America, together with others the produce of our own climate. in short I was now in possession of every thing that could excite the envy of the world. And yet amidst all this, even in the very zenith of
my splendour, I was not happy. Like the celebrated Harlequin Carolini, who wept under the mafquc, while he excited peals of laughter from his admiring audience, my smiles covered an uneasy mind. And many a time when I have been thought by my furrounding guests to be as happy as affluence and the acquisition of faine could make me, I have secretly exclaimed: “Where art thou to be found, Ohap“ piness! Thy only residence can be with tho.e u bleffed votaries to Heaven, who having never ex« perienced the delusive pleasures and corroding
of the world, secure within the cloistered “ walls, the peaceful abode of innocence, know not “ a wish but to render themselves acceptable to their « God.”
The constant perturbation I underwent from these uneasy reflections, and the unceasing fatigue I had gone through, had greatly impaired my health. It was therefore thought adviseable for me to go to Bristol for a few weeks, before the ensuing season commenced. I was accompanied by the Widow Delany, who, as usual, was generally with me, and who had married one of Mr. Calcraft's clerks whose name was Walker. · When we reached Marlborough, as we drove into the yard of the castle, Mr. Ryan ran out to receive me, and greeted me with the pleasing intel
ligence, that my Daddy Quin was in the house; adding, that he would go and wake him.
It being eight o'clock in the evening, I was apprehensive, from his being in bed, that Mr. Quin was indisposed. But I was informed by Mr. Beard, who was likewise one of the company, that my worthy friend, having been detained longer in town, the last time he visited the metropolis, than he wished, through his engagements with his numerous acquaintance; he had made a resolution not to go to London again. And as he did not choose to be totally deprived of the society of a few of his particular friends, he had requested them to make a party, and meet him every summer at Smith's. It was agreed that they should remain here till they had drank such a quantity of wine. I cannot now recollect how much that was ; but when Mr. Beard mentioned it, I thought it was sufficient to serve them for a year.
Whilst I was receiving this information, by which time we had reached the garden, I heard his muchloved voice calling out to me, “I will come to you “presently !” Turning about, I perceived him at the window, with his night-cap on; and before I could suppose he had pulled it off, he joined us. As he came along, he had ordered Smith to dress every thing in the larder; and if he could procure any niceties in the town, to do so. His orders were obeyed
to the very letter of the command ; and my journey being protracted by this unexpected encounter, before ten o'clock we sat down to dinner, fix and twenty in company, to a table furnished like a Lord Mayor's feast.
Previous to our dining, I had the happiness to enjoy an agreeable tête-à-tête with this best of men. In it, I acquainted him with every circumstance relative to myself, that had passed since I saw him laft. And as I had the inexpreffible satisfaction to find that his friendship was unabated, and he still loved me with the fondness of a father, I received that confolation from his advice, which I always experienced from unbosoming myself to this most disinterested and sincereft of friends. At three o'clock I retired and ordered a poft chaise to pursue my journey ; leaving those chearful fons of Bacchus, I cannot say to their nocturnal orgies,, for it was one of the finest mornings I ever beheld, but to conclude their oblations to his divinityship.-Great geniuses will be excentric-Defying the common rules of common mortals, they will not admit of any restraint from time; but indulge the vivifying inspirations, till wearied nature, unable to keep pace with the intellectual powers, calls for repose.-This accounts for the not unfrequent irregularities, with regard to hours, of my friend Quin.