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Garrick and Rich

Anecdotes Home

Soon after the appearance of Garrick at the theatre of
Drury Lane, to which he, by his astonishing powers, brought all the world,
while Mr. Rich was playing his pantomimes at Covent Garden to empty
benches, he and Mr. Garrick happened to meet one morning at the Bedford
coffee-house. Having fallen into conversation, Garrick asked the Covent
Garden manager, how much his house would hold, when crowded with company.
"Why, master," said Rich, "I cannot well tell; but if you will come and
play Richard for one night, I shall be able to give an account."

Morand, author of _Le Capricieuse_, was in a box of the theatre during the
first representation of that comedy; the pit loudly expressing
disapprobation at the extravagance and improbability of some traits in this
character, the author became impatient; he put his head out of the box, and
called, "Know, gentlemen, that this is the very picture of my
mother-in-law. What do you say now?"

Foote, on his last journey to France for the recovery of his health, while
waiting for the packet, entered the kitchen of the Ship tavern at Dover,
and, addressing the cook, who prided herself in never having been ten miles
out of town, exclaimed, "Why, cookee, I understand you have been a great
traveller." She denying the charge, Foote replied, "Why, they tell me up
stairs that you have been all over _Grease_, and I am sure I have seen you
myself at _Spithead_."

A person talking to Foote of an acquaintance of his, who was so avaricious
as even to lament the prospect of his funeral expences, though a short time
before he had been censuring one of his own relations for his parsimonious
temper--"Now is it not strange," continued he, "that this man would not
remove the beam from his own eye, before he attempted to take the mote out
of other peoples?" "Why, so I dare say he would," cried Foote, "if he were
sure of selling the timber."

General Mackenzie, when commander-in-chief of the Chatham division of
marines, during the late war, was very rigid as to duty; and, among other
regulations, would suffer no officer to be saluted on guard if out of his
uniform. It one day happened that the general observed a lieutenant of
marines in a plain dress, and, though he knew the young officer quite
intimately, he called to the sentinel to turn him out. The officer appealed
to the general, saying who he was; "I know you not," said the general;
"turn him out." A short time after, the general had been at a small
distance from Chatham, to pay a visit, and returning in the evening in a
blue coat, claimed entrance at the yard gate. The sentinel demanded the
countersign, which the general not knowing, desired the officer of the
guard to be sent for, who proved to be the lieutenant whom the general had

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