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she treated it. She rejected his offer with contempt, and called him not only a base coward and a slanderous buffoon, a merryandrew and a theatrical assassin, but struck at him with even fouler and more terrible imputations. Walpole has described her letter and its sequel. Drunk with triumph she would give the mortal blow with her own hand, but, as the instrument she chose was a goose-quill, the stroke recoiled on herself. She wrote a letter in the Evening Post which not the lowest of her class, who tramp in pattens, would have set her mark to. Billingsgate from a Ducal coronet was inviting; however, Foote, with all the delicacy she ought to have used, replied only with wit, irony, and confounding satire. The Pope will not be able to wash out the spots with all the holy water in the Tiber. I imagine she will escape a trial, but Foote has given her the coup de grace. Soon after he wrote to Mason, What a chefd'œuvre is Foote's answer!' to which Mason responds, ‘I with you in thinking Foote's answer one of the very best things in the English language, and prefer it in its kind: Mr. Pope's letter to Lord Hervey is nothing to it.' The Duchess is a clever sort of woman,' said a country squire who had received some services from her, but she was never so much out in her life as when she ventured to write a letter to Mr. Foote.'

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agree

Masterly and complete as the answer was, however, it was written with an aching heart. Openly Foote would not now shrink, but her stab was rankling in him. She did not escape her trial. She was arraigned for bigamy before her peers, was convicted, stripped of her title of Duchess, and, as Dunning threatened her, might have been burnt in the hand, but that meanwhile the death of her first husband's brother, Lord Bristol, had given her still the right to that privilege of peerage she claimed, and which, enabling her to leave the court punished only by a lower step in the rank of nobility, left the record of those portentous proceedings, partly a State Trial and partly a History of Moll Flanders, to carry its traits of dignified morality and justice down to succeeding generations. But though her trial was thus over, Foote's was but to begin. He resolved to drag forth the secret libeller and fight the matter out with him. He recast the Trip to Calais; struck out Lady Kitty Crocodile; put in, under the guise of a low Irish pimp and pander whom he called Dr. Viper, his hidden slanderer Dr. Jackson; and announced the first night of the Capuchin.

The comedy was played at the Haymarket a few months after the Kingston trial, when Foote played Dr. Viper and threw into it his bitterest pungency of manner as well as words. successful, yet with a difference from old successes.

2 N 2

It was

The house

was

was packed with enemies, and, though the friends were strong enough to carry it against opposition, the opposition was also strong enough still to make itself heard. Jackson's libels had not been without their effect even within the walls of the Haymarket. There was great applause, but rather more disapprobation,' says Miss Wilkes, when she saw it, some nights after the first. Nevertheless it was acted until the theatre closed. Jackson had meanwhile resolved that if possible the theatre never should reopen, and he took his measures acordingly.

Such was the character of the libels against Foote, and their inveterate frequency between the closing of that season and the opening of the next, that it soon became obvious the matter could not rest where it was. The impression became general that, without first applying authorised means to arrest the calumny, the Haymarket must remain shut. Notices to this effect appeared in respectable journals. But, whatever Foote may have felt, his attitude betrayed no discomposure. He took no public notice of the rumours. His advertisements appeared as usual, only a little later; and at the close of May he opened his season of 1776 with the Bankrupt. The house was crammed, men of rank and men of letters were in all parts of the theatre, and something too evidently was expected. It broke out as soon as Foote appeared, when such was the reception given him by a small knot of people stationed in the gallery that all the ladies present in the boxes immediately withdrew. But even then he showed no lack of courage, and the spirit and feeling with which he at once stepped forward and addressed the audience produced a sudden revulsion in his favour among those who before had shown indifference. He appealed to their humanity and justice. He had summoned his libeller into the Court of King's Bench, and that very day the rule had been made absolute. Were they not too noble and too just to discard an old servant without giving him time to prove that he had never been unworthy of their favour, and would never disgrace their protection? The comedy was permitted to proceed, and a riot was not again attempted.

But Jackson had not yet thrown his last stake. He had hardly been convicted as a libeller in the highest common-law court, and publicly dismissed from the paper which had to make a formal apology for his libel, when there appeared suddenly at Bow-street a discarded coachman of Foote's, a fellow of the worst character, whom the subsequent proceedings branded with unspeakable infamy, who preferred a charge against his late master giving open, confessed, and distinct form to all the unspeakable rumours for which Jackson had been convicted. We spare the reader the miserable detail. For months Foote

was

was kept with an accusation hanging over him, of such a kind as to embitter the most unsullied life against which it might be breathed. Every artifice was used to prolong the time of trial. But meanwhile he proved his friends. There was not a step in the preparation of his defence which was not solicitously watched by Garrick. I have been most cruelly used,' Foote at last writes to him, but I have, thank God, got to the bottom of this infernal contrivance. God for ever bless you.' 'My dear, kind friend,' he writes the following day, 'ten thousand thanks for your note. I shall make the proper use of it directly. I am to swear to an information this evening. My spirits are much better, but I am fatigued to death with such a crowd of comforters; I have this instant got rid of a room-full. May nothing but halcyon days and nights crown the rest of your life! is the sincere prayer of

S. FOOTE.'

With such crowds of comforters flocking round him, he was able to play his various comedies as usual, and is said never to have played better. So far from being abandoned, so far from any one doubting or turning from him, Cooke says that 'his theatre, from the first moment of the charge to the close of the trial, exhibited a continual assemblage of rank, learning, fashion, and friendship. Among the two former classes particularly are to be numbered two royal Dukes, the late Duke of Roxburghe, the Marquis of Townshend, Mr. Dunning, Mr. Burke, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Mr. Fitzherbert, many foreign noblemen, and a group of others of the first respectability.' * Mr. Dunning was his counsel, and, the case having been moved into the King's Bench, Lord Mansfield was his judge. The charge had scarcely been stated before it was demolished, and the special jury, even refusing to turn round in the box, at once cried out together, Not guilty. But hardly could it have been guessed, until this issue was known, what a deep and sensitive suffering Foote's manliness and spirit had concealed. Murphy hastened from the court to Suffolkstreet to be messenger of the glad tidings, when his old friend, instead of manifesting joy, fell to the ground in strong hysterics.

His theatre was soon let to Colman, and under the new management he played but thrice. A few months before that final appearance we get our last near glimpse of him, and see one of

* Cooke does not mention, but it is well worth recording here, that the King also took occasion during the interval to command the Haymarket performances, when perhaps the solitary instance occurred of a play damned in the presence of royalty. It was the Contract, taken by Doctor Thomas Franklin from the Triple Marriage of Destouches, and was played after one of Foote's comedies. When Foote lighted the King to his chair, his Majesty asked who the piece was written by? By one of your Majesty's chaplains,' said Foote, unable even then to suppress his wit; ' and dull enough to have been written by a bishop.'

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the last flashes of his humour. It is at the Queen's drawingroom in January, 1777. Greeted heartily by all around him, made to feel that his infamous persecutors had not been able to sully his name, singled out for recognition by his sovereign, the old spirit for a while reasserts its sway. Sir George Warren,' says Cumberland, who also was present, ‘had his Order snatched off his ribbon, encircled with diamonds to the value of 7007. Foote was there and lays it upon the parsons, having secured, as he says, his gold snuff-box in his waistcoat pocket upon seeing so many black gowns in the room.'

In May, 1777, he played at the Haymarket for the last time, in the Devil on Two Sticks. Cooke saw him, and says his cheeks were lank and withered, his eyes had lost their fire, and his person was sunk and emaciated. Five months later he left town for Dover, not without the presentiment that he would never return. He had a choice collection of pictures in Suffolk-street, among them a fine portrait of the incomparable comedian, Weston, who had died the preceding year; and on the day before his journey, after examining them all in a way wholly unusual with him, he suddenly stopped as he was leaving the room, went up again to Weston's picture, and, after a steady and silent gaze at it for some minutes, exclaimed with tears in his voice, 'Poor Weston!' and then turning to Jewel, with what sounded as a tone of sad reproach for his own fancied security, 'it will very soon be poor Foote, or the intelligence of my spirits deceives me.'

He reached Dover on his way to France on the 20th October, 1777, attended by one servant. He had suffered much fatigue on the journey, and next morning at breakfast was seized with a shivering fit, under which he sank in three hours. Jewel had at once been sent for, and arrived only to take charge of the body for removal to London. But before he left Dover he wished to leave some memorial there of the death of a man so celebrated, and this faithful servant and treasurer, who had been for years in attendance on him, who knew all his weakness, all his foibles, all that most intimately reveals a man's nature in the hard money business of the world, could think of nothing more appropriate for his epitaph in the church of St. Mary than to express how liberal he was in spending what too many men use all their care to keep, and he therefore ordered to be cut upon the marble nothing about his humour or his genius, about his writing or his acting, but that he had a 'hand open as day to melting charity.' And so we may leave him. He lies in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey, without any memorial either in stone or marble.

INDEX

TO THE

NINETY-FIFTH VOLUME OF THE QUARTERLY REVIEW.

A.

ABERDEEN, Lord, on the Russian war,
259.

Act of Parliament, process of consider-
ing one, 15.

America, the electric telegraph in, 158.
Architecture, the present state of, 338
-new class of buildings, ib.-hypa-
thral fenestration, 339 note-periodi-
cals, 339-evils of competition, 340—
knowledge of its principles necessary,
341 Mr. Ruskin's theories, ib.
material and design of buildings,
342-great mistakes, ib.-main cause
of, 343-jealousy of the profession,
344-impediments to the progress of,
345-guide-books, ib.-photography,
346-demolition of buildings, 347-
churches worthy of note, 348-en-
graving and lithography, 349-pub-
lications calculated to render the
study popular, 350 practice of
architecture, 351-
-on style, 352-
ornament, 353-furniture, ib.-Lon-
don improvements, 354-St. Paul's,
356-Royal Exchange, 357-Ency-
clopædia Britannica, 358- modern
buildings, ib. Panopticon, 359-
Buckingham Palace, ib. British
Museum, ib.-Houses of Parliament,
360- Bridgewater and Sutherland
Houses, 361-Holford House, 362-
Travellers' Club, ib.

B.

-

Bain's chemical recording telegraph
described, 135.

Barraude, M., geological researches of,
378.

Beer, consumption of, in London, 303.
VOL. XCV. NO. CXC.

Belgium, the electric telegraph in, 156.
Bell, the; its Origin, History, and Uses,
by the Rev. A. Gatty, 308-paper on,
by Rev. H. T. Ellacombe, ib.--early
use of, 309-hand-bells amongst the
Greeks, 309-bell-hanging, 310-
bells on cattle, 311-material, ib.-
ecclesiastical use of, 312-foundries,
ib.-metal, 313-shape and propor-
tions, 314-Abraham Rudall, 315-
naming, 315-Scotland, 317-Exeter,
318- Dewsbury, ib. statistics of
peals, ib.-changes, ib.-large bells,
320 hand-bells, 323- St. Patrick,
323-Wales, 324-Sancte Bells, 325
-inscriptions, ib. liabilities from
storms, 329-tolling or passing bell,
331-the curfew, 332-tradition of
the Limerick bells, 337.
Billingsgate Market, 273.
Bommeree, the, 275.

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