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For some time after the restoration of Charles the
Second, young smooth-faced men performed the women's parts on the stage.
That monarch, coming before his usual time to hear Shakspeare's Hamlet,
sent the Earl of Rochester to know the reason of the delay; who brought
word back, that the queen was not quite shaved. "Ods fish" (his usual
expression), "I beg her majesty's pardon! we will wait till her barber is
done with her."


Liston, in his early career, was a favourite at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and
having applied to the manager for a remuneration equal to the increased
value of his services, he refused the request, adding, "If you are
dissatisfied you are welcome to leave me; such actors as you, sir, are to
be found in every bush." On the evening of the day when this colloquy
occurred, the manager was driving to another town, where he intended "to
carry on the war," when he perceived Liston standing in the middle of a
hedge by the road-side. "Good heavens! Liston," cried the manager, "what
are you doing there?" "Only looking for some of the actors you told me of
this morning," was the reply.





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