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have surpassed the acting of Betterton in the parts which he had played on the English stage. The wonderful agony which he appeared in, when he examined the circumstances of the handkerchief in 'Othello,' the mixture of love and tenderness that intruded on his mind as he listened to the innocent answers of Desdemona, betrayed in his gestures such a variety and vicissitude of passions as would warn any man to keep watch over his own heart, lest he should stab it with that worst of daggers, jealousy. The charming passage in the same tragedy, where Othello tells how he won the love of Desdemona, was delivered by Betterton with so moving and graceful an energy, that, walking there in the cloisters, Steele thought of him with the same concern as if he waited for the funeral of one who had done in real life all that he had seen Betterton do in the shadowy representation of the stage. The gloom of the place and the faint lights glimmering through the evening shadows deepened the feeling of sadness which oppressed him. He began to sorrow that Brutus and Cassius had ever quarrelled; that Hotspur's gallantry was so hapless; and that all the mirth and good humour of Falstaff could not exempt him from the grave. Nay, habituated as he was to look upon the distinctions between men as merely scenical, he reflected on the emptiness of all human greatness, and could not but regret that the sacred heads which mouldered in that little parcel of earth, to which the mortal remains of his old friend were so soon to be consigned, were returned to dust as well as he, and that there is no difference in the grave between the real and the imaginary monarch.
In the theatre Addison kept a keen eye on the audience as well as on the stage; and from his pages we can gather many details as to the appearance and behaviour of the spectators. We learn that in those days some members of an audience used to express their disapprobation of bad plays and bad players by means of a cat-call. This was a simple musical instrument designed to imitate those melodious sounds with which, in neighbourhoods frequented by cats, the silence of night is often broken, and which are commonly known as caterwauling. Played in concert by a number of performers dispersed throughout the theatre, the instrument
exerted a powerful effect upon the actors; it struck a damp into generals, and frighted heroes off the stage at the first sound of it a crowned head had been seen t tremble, and a princess to fall into fits. When Beaumon and Fletcher's play, 'The Humorous Lieutenant,' wa revived on the stage in Addison's time, it was receive with such a powerful chorus of caterwauls as effectuall stopped the mirthful sallies of the lieutenant.
At the opera a cluster of ladies in gay hoods some times presented as pleasing a spectacle as any on th stage, and diverted the eyes of the audience from th performers. One evening Addison, seated in the back of a box, noticed such a bevy and compared it to a be of tulips, the hoods varying in colour from blue to yellow and philomot and pink and pale green. By the un speakable satisfaction which appeared on the faces o the wearers it was easy to see that their thoughts wer more taken up with their pretty hoods than with th singers on the stage. Another time, sitting at an opera in the Haymarket theatre, he observed two parties o very fine women, who had placed themselves in opposit boxes and seemed drawn up in a kind of battle-array one against another. Those on the right were Whig and those on the left were Tories; and, as the badges o their respective parties, they had disposed the fashion able black patches of the day on different parts of thei faces. The intermediate boxes were occupied by ladie whose principles and patches were midway between these extremes, and who seemed to sit there, strangely enough, for no other purpose but to see the opera. I order to ascertain the state of political opinion among the ladies, Addison had the curiosity to count th patches on both sides, and he found that the Tories had it by about twenty; but the balance of opinion wa turned the next morning at the puppet-show, where al the ladies were spotted in the Whig manner.
The taste for snuff-taking would seem to have bee equally diffused among both sexes in the age of Queer Anne. Men and women alike carried snuff-boxes adorned with pictures on the lids. At the time when the infamou impostor and perjured scoundrel, Titus Oates, was in al his glory, posing as an idol of fashionable ladies, a saviou: of the State, and a pillar of the Protestant faith, al
acquaintance of Will Honeycomb's exhibited a portrait of the so-called doctor on the lid of her snuff-box. And as a singular proof of the extent to which the habit of snuff-taking was carried in the other sex, it may be mentioned that, when the head of a beau was dissected after death, the cavities of the skull, which in ordinary people are filled with brains, were discovered to be stuffed with Spanish snuff. Yet in outward shape and appearance the beau had not differed from other men ; he ate and drank like other people, dressed well, talked loud, laughed frequently, and on several occasions acquitted himself tolerably at a ball; some ladies even took him for a wit. He was cut off in the flower of his age by the blow of a paring shovel, having been surprised by an eminent citizen as he was tendering some civilities to his wife.
This unfortunate accident probably prevented the beau from having the pleasure of meeting the lady's husband in the fields at the back of Montague House, to which gentlemen frequently retired for the settlement of any little differences which might have arisen between them, the seclusion of the spot being eminently favourable to the calm consideration of the points in dispute. Even on their way to the fields some of the disputants thought better of it and came to an amicable arrangement to be both of them arrested by the police, which saved a needless expenditure of gunpowder and a possible effusion of blood. But it was not always so, nor did the meetings always take place in the fields at the back of Montague House. On Nov. 15, 1712, while the 'Spectator' was being read at many breakfast tables in London, Lord Mohun and the Duke of Hamilton met and fought in Hyde Park at seven o'clock in the morning. Lord Mohun was killed on the spot, and the duke was mortally wounded. They tried to help him to the cake-house by the ring in the park, but he died on the grass before he could reach the house.
In the reign of Queen Anne the streets of London must have presented a much more picturesque aspect than at the present day; for they were lined on both sides by an endless succession of gay sign-boards, which exhibited an almost infinite variety of Blue Boars, Black Swans, and Red Lions, not to mention Flying Pigs, Hogs
in Armour, and many other creatures more extraordinar than any in the deserts of Africa; while the exuberan fancy of the sign painter ran riot in combinations lik the Cat and the Fiddle, the Fox and the Goose, the Do and the Gridiron, the Lamb and the Dolphin, the Be and the Neat's Tongue, the Three Nuns and the Har the Bible and Three Crowns. The reason for this pro fusion of strange devices was that in those days th houses in the streets were not numbered; hence it wa necessary to hang out sign-boards for the guidance passengers, if they were to find the places they wishe to go to. Even with this clue it was often very difficul to discover the shop, tavern, or house of which you wer in search; for the signs were frequently so badly painte that it would have puzzled a naturalist to say whethe the animal at which he gazed was intended to represen a boar or a buffalo, a cat or a crocodile, a mouse or a elephant; and to make matters worse, their names wer often misspelled. Many a man, we are told, lost hi dinner through not being able to find his way to th tavern to which he had been directed. A cousin o Steele's, a Bachelor of Queen's College, who was to hav dined at the sign of the Bear in Barbican, wandered whole day through the mistake of a letter in the sign board, which bore inscribed on it, 'This is the Beer,' in stead of 'This is the Bear.' He was only set right a last by inquiring of a fellow who could not read, bu who was well acquainted with the tavern in questio because he had often been drunk there. When Steel in his boyhood attended the Merchant Taylors' Schoo he frequently stopped on the way to read the inscrip tions on the sign-boards and was afterwards thrashed b his schoolmaster for his pains, because he spelled th words according to the orthography, or rather the caco graphy, of the sign-boards instead of the books. Som people adapted the sign of their house to the sound c their name or the nature of their occupation. Thus Mi Salmon, who kept a wax-work in Fleet Street, had fo her sign a golden salmon; and a French tavern-keepe near Charing Cross delicately hinted at the quality o the liquor which he served to his guests by a punch-bow with a couple of angels hovering over it and squeezing lemon into it.
Not only the sights but the sounds of the London streets were very different in Addison's day from what they are now. At night the sleepers were roused from their slumbers by the thump of the watchman on the door, and listened drowsily to the drone of his voice proclaiming the hour, and to the tinkle of his bell, as they receded together down the street. And by day there was nothing which more astonished a foreigner and frighted a country squire than the cries of London. When Sir Roger de Coverley quitted the silence of his park and the stillness of the green lanes and meadows of Worcestershire for the busy thoroughfares of London, he used to declare that he could not get the street cries out of his head, or go to sleep for them, the first week that he was in town. On the contrary, Will Honeycomb preferred them to the song of the lark and the warbling of the nightingale, and listened to them with more pleasure than to all the music of the hedges and groves,
The cries of London in those days fell into two classes, the vocal and instrumental. The instrumental included the twanking of a brass kettle or a frying-pan, with which any man was free to disturb a whole street and to drive the inhabitants to the verge of distraction for a whole hour together. The sow-gelder's horn had something musical in it, but it was seldom heard within the Liberties, the animals on which the musician operated not being common objects of the streets. But the vocal cries were far more numerous and varied. The sale of milk was announced in sounds so shrill that they set the teeth of sensitive people on edge. The chimney-sweeper commanded a diapason of much richer compass, his notes sometimes rising into the sharpest treble and sometimes sinking into the deepest bass. The same observation applied to the retailers of small coal, not to mention broken glass or brick dust. The cooper swelled his last note with a hollow voice that was not without its harmony; and it was impossible not to be affected with a most agreeable melancholy on listening to the sad and solemn air with which the public were very often asked, if they had any chairs to mend. The time of the year which is proper for the pickling of dill and cucumber was celebrated by strains which ravished the soul with an uncommon sweetness; but Vol. 287.-No. 470.