Wignell The Actor





ONE of old Mr. Sheridan's favorite characters was Cato: and on its

revival at Covent Garden Theatre, a Mr. Wignell assumed his

old-established part of Portius; and having stepped forward with a

prodigious though accustomed strut, began:--



The dawn is overcast; the morning lowers,

And heavily, in clouds, brings on the day.



The audience upon this began to vociferate Prologue! prologue!

prologue! when Wignell, finding them resolute, without betraying any

emotion, pause, or change in his voice and manner, proceeded as if it

were part of the play:--



Ladies and gentlemen, there has been no

Prologue spoken to this play these twenty years--

The great, the important day, big with the fate

Of Cato and of Rome.



This wonderful effusion put the audience in good humor: they laughed

immoderately, clapped, and shouted Bravo! and Wignell still

continued with his usual composure and stateliness.





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