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Goldsmith's Marlow

Anecdotes Home




Mr. Lewis Grummit, an eminent grazier of Lincolnshire,
met late one night a commercial traveller who had mistaken his road, and
inquired the way to the nearest inn or public house. Mr. G. replied, that
as he was a stranger, he would show him the way to a quiet respectable
house of public entertainment for man and horse; and took him to his own
residence. The traveller, by the perfect ease and confidence of his manner,
shewed the success of his host's stratagem; and every thing that he called
for, was instantly provided for himself and his horse. In the morning he
called, in an authoritative tone, for his bill, and the hospitable landlord
had all the recompense he desired in the surprise and altered manners of
his guest. It was from this incident that Dr. Goldsmith took the hint of
Marlow mistaking the house of Mr. Hardcastle for an inn, in the comedy of
"_She Stoops to Conquer_."


Mr. Quick, while performing the part of Romeo, was seized with an
involuntary fit of laughter, which subjected him to the severe rebuke of
his auditors. It happened in the scene of Romeo and the apothecary, who,
going for the phial of poison, found it broken; not to detain the scene, he
snatched, in a hurry, a pot of soft pomatum. Quick was no sooner presented
with it, than he fell into a convulsive fit of laughter. But, being soon
recalled to a sense of his duty by the reproofs of the audience, he came
forward and made the following whimsical apology:--"Ladies and gentlemen, I
could not resist the idea that struck me when the pot of pomatum, instead
of the phial of poison, was presented. Had he at the same time given me a
tea-spoon, it would not have been so improper; for the poison might have
been made up as a lenitive electuary. But, if you please, ladies and
gentlemen, we will begin the scene again without laughing."





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