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In misery's darkest caverns known,
His ready help was ever nigh,
No petty gains disdained by pride;
Nor made a pause, nor left a void:
Unfelt, uncounted, glided by ;
No cold gradations of decay,
And freed his soul the nearest way.
CURIOUS ANECDOTES OF A POPULAR PERFORMER.
From Ryley's Itinerant ; or, the Memoirs of an Actor. COOK is so well known as an actor, that my opinion can neither add to, nor diminish his fame ; were either in my power, panegyrick would run through a dozen pages, and yet fall short of his merits. In some characters he is as much superiour to any actor of the present day, as Garrick was to those of his time, but they are limited to such parts as suit his figure, which wants grace and proportion. Where these can be dispensed with, he has no competitor. As a man in private life, he is the gentleman, the scholar, the friend, the life of every party, an enemy to scandal and detraction, and benevolent even to imprudence.
Such is Cook in his sober moments; but, when stimulated by the juice of the grape, he acts in diametrical opposition to all this. No two men, however different they may be, can be more at variance than Cook sober, and Cook in a state of inebriety, At these times, his interesting suavity of manr.ers changes to brutal invective, and the feelings of his nearest and dearest friends are sacrificed. Such are the unfortunate propensities of this singular man, unfortunate, I say, because he seems incapable of avoiding them, although they have a tendency to ruin his health, injure his property, and destroy his social connexions. No one can more regret these failings than he does in his hours of sanity, or make more handsome apologies ; and if at night he creates enemies, his conciliatory manners in the morning are sure to raise double the number of friends.
Of this great actor many ludicrous anecdotes are related. I shall point out a few which came under my own observation.
One evening, in Manchester, we were in a publick bar amongst a pro. miscuous company, where Cook was, as usual, the life of the party, Mirth and good humour prevailed till about ten o'clock, when I perceived a
something lurking in his eye which foretold a storm. Anxious to get him home before it burst forth, I pressed our departure, under the plea of another engagement; but, instead of having the desired effect, it precipi. tated what I had foreseen. With a haughty, supercilious look, he said: " I see what you are about, you hypocritical scoundrel! You cantir metho. distical thief! Am I, Cook, to be controlled by such a wn: buritan as you? I'll teach you to dictate to a tragedian.” Then :
coat, and holding his fist in a menacing attitude" Come
he “ thou prince of deceivers ; though thou hast faith t.
ins, thou shalt not remove me-Come out, I say.” With "
he was pacified and resumed his coat. There was a large fil which stood, with his coat skirts under each arm, a pi. buckism, very deficient in cleanliness and costume.
His . and his neckcloth of the same tint, which, nevertheless, was r. folds about his throat ; his hair was matted, and turned up greasy hat, with narrow brinis, conceitedly placed on one side which noddled under it like a shaking mandarin. Thus equippe fop straddled before the fire, which he completely monopolized. he caught the eye of our tragedian, who, in silent amazement, for of half a minule, examined him from top to toe; then turning to burst into a horse laugh, and roared out, “ Beau Nasty, by .-} intimidated by Cook's former blustering, this insensible puppy little notice ; but I knew he would not stop here, and, indeed, I though stranger fair game. Cook now rose from his seat, and taking up skirts of his coat, in imitation of the other, turned his back to the fin « Warm work in the back settlements, sir,'' said he; then approaching su nearer, as if he had some secret to communicate, whispered, though loua enough for every one to hear : “Pray, sir, how is soap ?”
Here was a general laugh, which the stranger seemed not to regard, but nodding bis head, and hitting his boots with a little rattan, rang the bell with an air of importance, and inquired “if he could have a weal killet, or a matton chip ?”
• What do you think,” said Cook, “of a roasted puppy? because," taking up the poker, " I'll spit you, and roast you in a minute."
This had a visible effect on the dirty beau. He retreated lowards the door, Cook following: “ Avaunt, and quit my sight; thy face is dirty, and thy hands unwashed ; avaunt! avaunt! I say.” Then replacing the poker, and returning to his seat, he continued: “ Being gone, I am a man again.”
It happened that Perrins, the noted pugilist, made one of the company this evening. He was a remarkable strong man, and possessed of great modesty and good nature. The last scene took such an effect on his ima. gination, that he laughed immoderately. Cook's attention was attracted, and turning towards him with his most bitter look-" What do you laugh at, Mr. Swabson? hey? why, you great lubber-headed thief, Johnson would have beat two of you ! laugh at me! at Cook! come out, you scoundrel!!”
The coat was again pulled off, and putting himself in an attitude : “ This is the arm that shall sacrifice you.” Perrins was of a mild disposition, and knowing Cook's character, made every allowance, and answered him only by a smile, till, aggravated by language and action the most gross, he very calmly took him in his arms, as though he had been a child, set him
down in the street, and bolted the door. The evening was wet, and our hero without coat or hat, unprepared to cope with it ; but entreaty for admission was vain, and his application at the window unattended to. At length, grown desperate, he broke several panes, and inserting his head through the fracture, bore down all opposition by the following witticism : “ Gentlemen, I have taken some pains to gain admission; pray let me in, for I see through my errour." The door was opened, dry clothes procured, and about one o'clock in the morning we sent him home in a coach.
LETTER FROM POMARE, KING OF OTAHEITE, TO THE MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
POMARE, the king of Otaheite, who has long been in the habit of visiting, and familiarly conversing with the British missionaries at Matavai, in that island, has assiduously applied himself, for a considerable time, un. der their direction, to attain the art of writing, which at length he has acquired.
A letter having been sent to Pomare, by the directors of the Missionary Society, the missionaries carefully translated it, and laid it before him. The following answer was composed entirely by himself, in the Taheitan language, and was then translated by the missionaries into English, which translation was copied by the king.
The annexed is an exact copy of his English letter, and may be considered as a literary curiosity. FRIENDS,
Matavae, Otahete, Jan. 18t, 1807. I wish you every blessing, friends, in your residence in your country, with success in teaching this bad land, this foolish land, this wicked land, this land which is ignorant of good, this land that knoweth not the true God, this regardless land.
Friends, I wish you health and prosperity: may I also live, and may Jehovah save us all.
Friends, with respect to your letter you wrote to me, I have this to say to you, that your business with me, and your wishes I fully consent to, and shall consequently banish Oro, and send him to Raeatea.
Friends, I do therefore believe and shall obey your word.
Friends, I hope you also will consent to my request, which is this : I wish you to send a great number of men, women, and children here.
Friends, send also property, and cloth for us, and we also will adopt English customs.
Friends, send also plenty of muskets and powder; for wars are frequent in our country. Should I be killed, you will have nothing in Tahete: do not come here when I am dead: Tahete is a regardless country, and should I die with sickness, do not come here. This also I wish, that you would send me all the curious things that you have in England. Also send me every thing necessary for writing. Paper, ink, and pens in abundance : let no writing utensil be wanting.
Friends, I have done, and have nothing at all more to ask you for. As for your desire to instruct Tahete, 'uis what I fully acquiesce in. Tis a common thing for people not to understand at first; but your object is good, and I fully consent to it, and shall cast off all evil customs.
What I say is truth, and no lie: it is the real truth.
I wish you life and every blessing. May I also live, and may Jehovah save us all.
POMARE, KING OF TAHETE. For my friends, the Missionary Society, London.
Above we have inserted a letter from the king of Otaheite to the Mission. ary Society in London : we now present our readers with one of an earlier date to governour King, of Sidney. It is a curiosity highly worthy the attention of the philanthropist, who must admire, with secret satisfaction, the rudiments of literature and science thus diffused and cultivated in regions whose very existence, but a few years ago, was utterly unknown to the Eu. ropean world. The pleasure arising from such reflections will be enhanced, by considering, that British subjects have been the sole instruments in ef. fecting these advances in civilisation, and its character, in this instance, has been consistently maintained ; that instead of establishing its inänence by usurpation and the sword, or fostering, under the shadow of the sacred doctrines of Heaven, latent schemes of ambition, the great objects in view have been attained by steadily inculcating benevolence and peace. SIR,
Eimeo, from the Harbour of Obuno, Dec 9, 1804. From the friendship you showed to the late king, my father, and the expense the English have been at, in sending missionaries into these parts, for the improvement of myself and ignorant people, I am sure it will give you pleasure, to find it has not all been thrown away; as it has enabled me to address myself to you by letter, what I should have been incapable of but for those gentlemen --The purport of my letter is, to inform you that I am building a large schooner for the purpose of protecting myself and the English from a party of my rebellious subjects, who have frequently threatened me with war; for which vessel I am in want of two guns a quadrant, and a compass; and, as I have no friends but the English, to you I apply, sir, for those things; and in return will assist any English ship that should 'happen to call here, with every thing my country affords; or if you please, should your place be in want of pork, will give you hogs in return.
I have the honour to be, sir,
DAVID'S GRAND PICTURE. ON Monday, the 4th of January, 1808, their majesties paid a visit to M. David, to see his picture of the coronation. They were accompanied by several ladies of the palace, marshal Bessieres, M. Le Brun, several chamberlains and pages. Horse guards preceded and followed their carriages. In order to appreciate all the details of this visit, in which the emperour seemed to intend to do honour to the arts in the person of the first painter of the age, it is necessary to have before us the picture of M. David. It is thirty feet long and nineteen high. There are upwards of 200 figures as large as life. -Wishing, as much as possible, to represent in one single action the coronation of the emperour and empress, which, during the ceremony took place successively, the artist has chosen the moment in which the empe. rour, after having placed on his own head, one after the other, two crowns, has taken the second, and, raising it, is in the act of placing it on the head of his august empress. The two principal figures occupy the centre of the picture. The emperour is standing on one of the steps of the altar. The
empress is on her knees, her hands clasped, and raised towards her sovereign in token of her gratitude and respect.- This fine figure has all the dignity which the subject could require, and all the nobleness and grace of the original. On the right, and before the altar, is the pope sitting, cardinal Fesch, grand almoner; other cardinals, an archbishop, a great number of Italian and French bishops, the arch-chancellor, the arch-treasurer the prince of Neufchatel the viceroy of Italy, the grand equerry, the prince of Ponte Corvo; further off, prince Murat, marshals Moncey, Serrurier, Bessieres, and the grand master of the ceremonies, are grouped near his holiness, and surround the altar. On the left, near the empress, are the sisters of the emperour, the queen of Naples, the queen of Holland, the kings, his majesty's brothers, marshals Lefebvre, Perignon, Kellerman, several ladies of honour, and the chamberlain of the princesses. In front in a box, are madame, the emperoúr's mother, her ladies of honour and officers of her household ; and towards the bottom, some persons eminent for their talents. In an adjoining box are the foreign ambassadours,
As soon as his majesty looked at the picture, he said : “ How delightful! What relief in all the pictures ! How beautiful! What truth!- It is not a painting—it is real life.”—His majesty then looked at the box in the middle, and immediately recognised bis mother, afterwards madame Soult, madame de Fontanges, de Lovelle, and general Beaumont.-"I see at a cistance good Mr. Vien.”—Yes, sire (replied M. David) I wished to do homage to my master, by placing him in a picture which, for its object, will be the most important of my works. The sentiment was approved of by his majesty, who appeared to take pleasure in proving to M. David that he recog. nised all the persons in the picture. His attention was next directed to the group in which he is represented as on the point of crowning the empress. He expressed bis satisfaction in these words : “ The time is well chosen ; the action well described ; and each of the figures extremely good."--The empress agreed with the emperour.
The emperour remained much longer before the picture ; praised the dil. ferent parts and the whole. The day, however, deciding, his majesty, as he was on the point of departing, stopped a moment before the artist, pulled off his hat, and expressed those sentiments of benevolence which he evinces for all great talents.-[Moniteur.]
Thursday, December 1, 1808, a New Drama, called lenoni, or the Norice of St. Marki,
from the pen of Mr. Monk Lewis, was performed for the first time.
Fable. -- Venoni, a young Sicilian nobleman, was on the point of mar. riage with Josepha, when her parents were obliged to visit the court of Naples. During their absence, Josephia was placed in a convent, where, it was reported, she shortly after sickened and died. Grief for her loss for a time robbed Venoni of his senses; and on his recovery he entered the monastery of St. Mark, which was only separated by a party-wall from the convent of the Ursulines, in which Josepha was said to have expired. At this period the piece commences. Venoni is on the eve of pronouncing his vows, when father Michael gives bim a letter from the abbess to the prior of St. Mark, which explains that Celestino, the prior, had failed in an altempt upon Josepha's virtue, and that her removal from the world had been thought necessary, to prevent her divulging to her parents the infamous