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MRS. SIDDONS. MR. ROGERS once said to him, “ Your admiration of Mrs. Sid ! dons is so high, that I wonder you never made open love to her.” “To her!” said Sheridan, “to that magnificent and I appalling creature ; I should as soon think of making love toi the Archbishop of Canterbury."
SHERIDAN AND GEORGE ROSE. SHERIDAN, lounging towards Whitehall, met George Rose coming out of St. Margaret's. “Any mischief on foot, George, that you have been at church pod “No, I have been getting my son christened; I have called him William Pitt.” “ William Pitt!
"* A rose By any other name would smell as sweet,' * said Sheridan.
SHERIDAN'S HOAX ON THE HOUSE OF COMMONS. LORD BELGRAVE (afterwards the Earl of Grosvenor) having clenched a speech in the House with a long Greek quotation, Sheridan in reply admitted the force of the quotation so far as it went, “but," said he, “had the noble lord proceeded a little further and completed the passage he would have seen that it applied the other way.” Sheridan then spouted something, ore rotundo, which had all the ais, ois, ous, kon, and kos, that give the wonted assurance of a Greek quotation; upon which Lord Belgrave very promptly and handsomely complimented the honourable member on his readiness of recollection, and frankly admitted that the continuation of the passage had the tendency ascribed to it by Mr. Sheridan, and that he had overlooked it when he gave the quotation. On the breaking up of the House Fox, who piqued himself on having some Greek, went up to Sheridan and asked him, “Sheridan, how came you so ready with that passage? It is certainly as you say, but I was not aware of it before you quoted it.” It is unnecessary to say that there is no Greek at all in Sheridan's impromptu.
SHERIDAN AND HIS WILL.'. SHERIDAN wished his son to marry a young lady of large fortune who was enamoured of him, but knew that Miss Callander had won his heart. One day,' when talking on the subject, Sheridan grew warm, and expatiating on the folly of his son, exclaimed, “Tom, if you marry Caroline Callander I'll cut you off with a shilling !" Tom could not resist the opportunity of replying, and looking archly at his father, said: “Then, sir, you must borrow it.” Sheridan was tickled at the wit and dropped the subject. The future proved how correctly Tom had judged.
LORD THURLOW. SHERIDAN was dining with the black-browed Chancellor, when he produced some admirable Constantia, which had been sent him from the Cape of Good Hope; the wine tickled the palate of the connoisseur, who saw the bottle emptied with uncommon regret, and set his wits to work to get another. The old Chancellor was not to be easily induced to produce his curious Cape in such profusion, and foiled all Sheridan's attempts to get another glass. Sheridan being piqued, and seeing the inutility of persecuting the immovable pillar of the law, turned towards a gentleman sitting farther down, and said, “Sir, pass me up that decanter, for I must return to Madeira since I cannot double the Cape.”
AMBITION AND AVARICE. BEING asked, “Why do we honour ambition and despise avarice, while they are both but the desire of possessing ?” “Because," said Sheridan," the one is natural, the other artificial, the one the sign of mental health, the other of mental decay; the one appetite, the other disease.”
ANOTHER BULL. ANOTHER bull that Sheridan invented for Micbel Kelly was as follows :- Michael was looking through a 'role in the curtain when the theatre was crowded to excess. John Kemble asked
him how the house looked. Sheridan said that Kelly replied, “By J-s, you can't stick a pin's head in any part of it, it is literally chuck full ; but how much fuller it will be to-morrow night when the king comes !"
MR. PITT'S SINKING FUND. THOUGH, from the prosperous state of the revenue at the time of the institution of this fund, the absurdity was not yet committed of borrowing money to maintain it, we may perceive by the following acute pleasantry of Mr. Sheridan (who denied the existence of the alleged surplus of income), that he already had a keen insight into the fallacy of the plan of redemption afterwards followed :-"At present," he said, “it was clear there was no surplus, and the only means which suggested themselves to him were a loan of a million for the special purpose, for the right hon. gentleman might say, with the person in the comedy, 'If you won't lend me the money how can I pay you go "
SHERIDAN AND PALMER. The return of Palmer, the original Joseph Surface, to Drury Lane, was a subject of infinite importance, in a theatrical point of view, both to himself and Sheridan. The meeting between these men of address was, therefore, expected to produce something remarkable. Palmer made quite a scene of it. After his profound bow, he approached the author of the “School for Scandal,” with an air of penitent humility, his head declined, the whites of his eyes turned upwards, his hands clasped together, and his whole air exactly that of Joseph Surface before Sir Peter Teazle. He began thus :—My dear Mr. Sheridan, if you could but know what I feel at this moment HERE (laying his hand upon his heart). Sheridan, with inimitable readiness stopped him.
“Why, Jack ! you forget I wrote it."
Palmer in telling this story himself, added that the manager's wit cost him si mething ; "for," said he, “I made him add three pounds jer week to the salary I had before my desertion."
HIS ANSWER TO A CREDITOR. He jocularly remarked one day to a creditor who demanded instant payment of a long standing debt with interest : “My dear sir, you know it is not my interest to pay the principal; nor is it my principle to pay the interest.
SHERIDAN AND THE PRINCE. The Prince of Wales, one cold day, went into Brookes's, and, complaining of the severity of the weather, called for a glass of brandy and water, which he emptied at a draught, he then immediately ordered another; after drinking the second and third glass he exclaimed, “Now I am comfortable ; waiter, bring me a rump steak.” Sheridan, who was present, wrote the fol. lowing impromptu, and handed them to his royal highness :
The prince came in, and said 'twas cold,
Then put to his head the rummer;
KELLY'S IRISH ACCENT. KELLY, having to perform an Irish character, got Johnson to coach him up in the brogue, but with so little success that Sheridan said, on entering the green-room at the conclusion of the piece, “ Bravo, Kelly ! I never heard you speak such good English in all my life.”
DR. DARWIN. WHEN the prince was expatiating on the beauty of Dr. Dar. win's theory, that the reason why the bosom of a beautiful woman has such a fascinating effect on man is, because he derived from that source the first pleasurable sensations of his infancy; Sheridan happily ridiculed the idea. “Such children, then," said he, “as are brought up by hand, must needs be indebted for similar sensations to a very different object; yet, I believe, no man has ever felt any intense emotions of amatory delight at beholding a pap-spoon."
SHERIDAN'S FRIENDSHIP FOR FOX. Of their friendship Lord John Townshend writes :
“I made the first dinner party at which they met; having told Fox that all the notions he might have conceived of Sheridan's talents and genius from the comedy of 'The Rivals,' &c., would fall infinitely short of the admiration of his astonishing powers, which I was sure he would entertain at the first interview.
“ The first interview between them (there were very few present, only Tickell and myself, and one or two more), I shall never forget. Fox told me, breaking up from dinner, that he had always thought that Hare, after my uncle, Charles Townshend, the wittiest man he had ever met with, but that Sheridan surpassed them both infinitely ; and Sheridan told me next day, that he was quite lost in admiration of Fox, and it was a puzzle to him to say which he admired most his commanding supe riority of talent and universal knowledge ; or his playful fancy, artless manners, and benevolence of heart, which showed itself in every word he uttered.”
PRACTICAL JOKES. On one occasion, Sheridan having covered the floor of a dark passage, leading from the drawing-room, with all the plates and dishes of the house, ranged closely together, provoked his unconscious play-fellow, Tickell, to pursue him into the midst of them. Having left a path for bis own escape, he passed through easily, but Tickell falling at full length into the ambuscade, was very much cut in several places. The next day, Lord John Townshend, on paying a visit to the bed-side of Tickell, found him covered over with patches, and indignantly vowing vengeance against Sheridan for this unjustifiable trick. In the midst of his anger, however, he could not help exclaiming, with the true feeling of an amateur of this sort of mischief, "But how amaz ingly well done it was !"
SHERIDAN AND RICHARDSON." RICHARDSON; was, remarkable for his love of disputation; and Tickell, when hard pressed by him in argument, used often, as a last resource, to assume the voice and manner of Mr. Fox, which he had the power of mimicking so exactly, that Richard