Thirty Years Passed Among the Players in England and America, Vol. 1 of 2: Intersperesed with Anecdotes and Reminiscences of a Variety of Persons, Directly or Indirectly Connected with the Drama During the Theatrical Life of Joe Cowell, Comedian
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Excerpt from Thirty Years Passed Among the Players in England and America, Vol. 1 of 2: Intersperesed With Anecdotes and Reminiscences of a Variety of Persons, Directly or Indirectly Connected With the Drama During the Theatrical Life of Joe Cowell,MoreExcerpt from Thirty Years Passed Among the Players in England and America, Vol. 1 of 2: Intersperesed With Anecdotes and Reminiscences of a Variety of Persons, Directly or Indirectly Connected With the Drama During the Theatrical Life of Joe Cowell, ComedianBut whats his name, and wheres his hame, I dinna choose to tell. Coming through the Rye. But whence his name And lineage long, it suits me not to say. Childe Harold. On the seventh day of August, Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two, I came into this breathing world. Chapter H.I have neither the scholars melancholy, which is emulation- nor the musicians, which is fantastical- nor the courtiers, which is proud- nor the soldiers, which is ambitious- nor the lawyers, which is politic- nor the ladys, which is nice- nor the lovers, which is all these- but it is a melancholy of my own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects: and, indeed, the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me, is a most humorous sadness. Shakspeare. The only spot on earth to which my memory turns with that peculiar feeling which they alone can appreciate who can remember the cot where they were born, is the little village of Tor-Q.uay, in Devonshire. But it was not where I was born: all I can recollect of the place of my nativity is, a very large, dark-looking room, and a very large, black-looking chimneypiece. Children always imagine every object much larger than it really is, and generally much brighter: it appears I was an exception to the latter supposition. I remember no little window. Nor Where the sun came peeping in at morn- Fir-trees close against the sky, as Hood says so prettily- nothing but the large, dark room, and large, black chimneypiece: perhaps a sad prognostic of my future fortunes. The local inhabitants of this insignificant little village it was so then, and I suppose is so now were fishermen, pilots, and boatbuilders- a simple, industrious, kind-hearted people. How often have the little shoeless urchins slyly thrust me a slice of their dark-brown bread through the trellis-work of the flower-garden, in front of the house- and many a weather-beaten handful of forbidden fruit has been dropped into the ready pin-a -fore of Master Joe, and devoured with ecstasy in the most private place on the premises. The county of Devon is called, and justly so, the garden of England. Climate gives character to all animals, and in that calm, yet genial spot, where, in the open air, the simple jessamine- twines its perfumed tendrils amid the dazzling beauties of the passion-flower, the blood so smoothly flows to work its task of life, that mans nature partakes of the serenitude of the atmosphere, and all is health, and peace, and calm content. At the period to which I allude (I shall purposely avoid all useless dates) Tar-Bay was the chosen rendezvous of the Channel fleet. The satirical couplet of Lord Howe he went out, And, lord! how he came in, would have been equally applicable to the fleet then under the command of Earl St. Vincent, but that the Saint precluded the pun. Adverse winds, in that most adverse channel, and the nothing-to-do-duty this then terror of the ocean had to perform, made even mooring and unmooring a precautionary employment, for thousands of men to be kept in subordination literally by one: all old man-o -ivars men know it is safe policy never to let Jack have time to think of anything but his duty. Frequently the fleet would be in harbour two and three weeks at a time, diverting the people with cleaning, painting, polishing, and punishing- then to sea for a like period, and into port again. The beauty of the climate, the facilities for sea-bathing, and the joy which every sailor feels at being surrounded by wife, children, and friends, induced many of the superior officers to hire the better sort of houses which could be procured, or build slight compact ones for the accommodation of their families. In a l.