Edinburgh Bookshelf

Kay's Originals Vol. 1

Search

318 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. address was peculiarly agreeable and fascinating ; and both in appearance and manner he bore no slight resemblance to George IV. The Captain inherited little of his father's enthusiasm for horticulture, being more enamoured with the " flowers' of literature." He was exceedingly fond of the drama, and was one of the best performers at the private theatricals at Marrionville (alluded to in our notice of Captain Macrae). His genius in this line was rather imitative than original, and his delineations of Cook, Kemble, and other eminent actors of his time, were very successful. Had his talents for the stage been cultivated, with the advantage of his fine personal appearance, it is possible he might have made a distinguished figure, and perhaps retrieved the fortunes of his family. Besides indulging his friends with declamations from Shakspeare, and other popular dramatic poets, he occasionally contributed to their amusement by writing plays j1 and we are assured that his compositions possessed some merit. The Captain's love for the drama continued long to hold undiminished. ascendancy in his bosom, and was the occasion of his not unfrequently patronising the humblest as well as the highest in the profession. While in Edinburgh he was regular in his attendance at the Theatre; and no worn-out son of Thespis ever visited Justice Hall without experiencing the hospitality of the owner. A gentleman of our acquaintance happening to call on the Captain one forenoon, was astonished to find him in his parlour, surrounded by a company of strolling players, who, on one of their migratory excursions, had called at Justice Hall, in the certainty of obtaining-what they probabljl had not known for some time before-an hour or two of comfortable entertainment. The wine was in free circulation ; and the players, in merry tune, were repaying their host with speech and mimicry, in every variety of imitation, from the majestic Cato to the versatile Sylvester Daggerwood. The Captain was at this period perhaps less choice than formerly in the selection of his amusements, and of the means which might contribute to them. He had been married to a Miss Campbell, by whom he had one child-a daughter ; but the union proved unhappy, and a separation was the conse,quence. When disputes of this nature occur, it is a generally received maxim that there must be faults on both sides; and, in this instance, we are not prepared to assert the contrary. The Captain was undoubtedly one of the most kind-hearted mortals in existence ; but it is possible he might lack other qualities necessary to the growth of domestic happiness, There was at least a degree of eccentricity in his character not exactly suited for matrimonial felicity. Shortly after this unfortunate separation a friend of his, accompanied by an acquaintance, went to visit him at Justice Hall. .They found the Captain just returned from a solitary stroll in the fields, and a little in deshabille. He apologised for his appearance ; and, on the stranger being introduced to him, One of these WBS entitled " Hell upon Earth, or the Miseries of Matrimony," and is said to have contained many scenea indicative of the Captain'a personal experience on the subject. ,
Volume 8 Page 447
  Enlarge Enlarge  
Volume 8 Page 448
  Enlarge Enlarge