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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. II


well-known on the Edinburgh stage. Thomas Campbell thus relates the reception, memorable in the annals of the Drama, of Mrs. Siddons, as he learned it from her olvn lips :-? The grave atten- ADAM BLACK. (From a Pbfozrapl by Messrs. Marrll& Co.) she would never again cross the Tweed ! When it was finished she paused, and looked to the audience. The deep silence wzs broken only by a single voice exclaiming, ? That?s 720 bad!? This tion of my Scottish countrymen,? he writes, ?and their canny reservation of praise till they were sure she had deserved it, had well-nigh worn out her patience. She had been used to speak to animated audiences, but now she felt that she had been speaking to stones. Successive flashes of her elocution that had always been sure to electrify the South, fell in vain on these Northern flints. At last, as I well remember, she told me she coiled ludicrous parsimony ot praise convulsed the audience with laughter. But the laugh was followed by such thunders of applause, that, amidst her stunned and nervous agitation, she was not without fear of the galleries coming down.? Mr. Yates, and other players, had remarked the extreme coldness or quietness of the Edinburgh audience, and while they thought it might indicate a deep and appreciative feeling regarding the play, they deprecated the loss of those bursts of hearty applause which greeted their efforts elsewhere. In people Adam Black (February 10, 1784?January 24, 1874) was a Scottish publisher. He founded the A & C Black publishing company. Black was born in Edinburgh, the son of a builder. After serving as an apprentice to a bookseller in Edinburgh and London, he began business for himself in Edinburgh in 1808. By 1826 he was recognized as one of the principal booksellers in the city; and a few years later he was joined in business by his nephew Charles. The two most important events connected with the history of the firm were the publication of the 7th, 8th and 9th editions of the Encyclopædia Britannica, and the purchase of the stock and copyright of the Waverley Novels. The copyright of the Encyclopaedia passed into the hands of Adam Black and a few friends in 1827. In 1851 the firm bought the copyright of the Waverley Novels for £27,000; and in 186, they became the proprietors of De Quincey's works. Adam Black was twice Lord Provost of Edinburgh, and represented the city in parliament from 1856 to 1865. He retired from business in 1865, and died on the 24th of January 1874. He was succeeded by his sons, who removed their business in 1895 to London. There is a bronze statue of Adam Black in East Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh. See Memoirs of Adam Black, edited by Alexander Nicholson (2nd ed., Edinburgh, 1885).
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North Bridge.] MRS. SIDDONS. 34s her first engagement the appearances of Mrs. Siddons were as follows :- May zznd, Venice Preserved. 24th, The Gamester. ? 26th, Venice Preserved. ? zfth, The Gamester. ? zgth, Mourning Bride. June Ist, Douglas. ? 3rd. Isabella. ? Sth, Jane Shore with a magnificent piece of plate. The Courunt tells us that during her performance of Lady Randolph U there was not a dry eye in the whole house.? During the summer of 1785 she was again ?. in Edinburgh, and played on eighteen nights, her receipts being more than handsome, averaging about A120 per night, and Azoo for the Gamester. Never did the old theatre behold such a firorc 1 as Mrs. Siddons excited, and during the time of VIEW FROM THE BACK OF SHAKESPEARE SQUARE. ( A f t r EdatA.) June fth, Douglas. ? ? loth, Mourning Bride. ? gth, Grecian Daughter (her beneht). 11th. Grecian Daughter (for the benefit of the Charity Workhouse). Kay gives us an etching of her appearance as Lady Randolph, in a powdered toupee ; but costume was not a study then, nor for long after. Indeed, Donaldson, in his I? Recollections of an Actor,? mentions, ?In 1815, in Scotland, I have seen Macbeth dressed in a red officer?s coat, sash, blue pants, Hessian boots, and cocked hat !? On the ~ z t h of June Mrs. ,Siddons departed for She?had shared A50 for ten nights ; at her benefit she drew &so, and was presented I Dublin: 44 her second engagement nothing was thought of or talked of but her wondrous power as an actress, and vast crowds gathered not at night, but in the day, hours before the doors were open, to secure places. It became necessary to admit then1 at three in the afternoon ; then the crowds began to gather at twelve to obtain admittance at three; and a certain set of gentlemen, by subscribing &zoo as a guarantee beforehand, considered themselves very fortunate in securing a private and early entrance to the pit; and eventually the General Assembly of the Church, then in session, were compelled to arrange their meetings with reference to the appearance of Mrs. Siddons. ?People came from distant places, even from
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