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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 257 No. CCLVI. THE RIGHT HON. WILLIAM PITT, AND ’ HENRY DUNDAS, AFTERWARDS LORD MELVILLE. TEE Caricature of the “MODERNC AIN’SL AMENTw”a s a bold satire on the Prime Minister, at the time hostilities were commenced by Great Britain against the Republican forces of France. In conjunction with his able coadjutor, HENRYD UNDASP, m is represented as highly alarmed at the ma,pitude of the undertaking he had been so instrumental in promoting. Most readers will be capable of appreciating the effort of Kay’s pencil in this flight of fancy. Of the light, fragile figure of the Minister he has taken felicitous advantage ; while the features and more athletic form of his colleague are strikingly characteristic of the self-possession and calmness for which he was almost proverbial. The friendship that existed betwixt Pitt and Dundas was of a warmer description than what might be supposed to spring from a unison of political sentiments alone. “As early as the year 1787,” says Wraxall Memoirs, “Dundas had obtained a commanding influence which no other individual ever acquired over ’Pitt’s mind. With the other members of the Cabinet, Pitt maintained only a politicaI union : Dundas was his companion, with whom he passed not only his convivial hours, but to whom he confided his cares and embarrassments.” No two individuals, nevertheless, could be more dissimilar in their deportment- the one grave, stiff, and formal ; the other free, open, and even careless; yet Dundas, by a sagacity and clearness of judgment peculiar to himself, became the most influential member of the Cabinet ; and, by his talent in the House, ably defended the measures of Government. The commanding position attained by the Scottish Minister was a circumstance not to be overlooked by the Opposition. They inveighed against what they deemed his political inconsistency, and levelled their sarcasms with surpassing skill and talent; yet their bitter invectives served only to render more conspicuous the solidity of that influence which they wished to destroy, Alluding to his ascendancy over the Premier, the “ Rolliad ” says- “ True to public virtue’s patriot plan, He loves the Minister and not the nzam : Alike the advocate of North and wit, The friend of Shelburne, and the guide of Piit.” VOL 11. 2L
Volume 9 Page 342
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258 B I0 GR AP HI C AL S KET C HE S. No. CCLVII. MR. AND MRS. LEE LEWES, IN THE CHARACTERS OF ‘‘ GOLDFINCH ” AND ‘‘ WIDOW WARREN.” NEARLYh alf a century has elapsed since the above performers were in Edinburgh ; yet they are well remembered by many of the old play-going citizens, who still revert to their early days as the golden age of the Scottish drama. MR. and MRS. LEE LEWESf,r om the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, made their first appearance in this city in 1787 ; at which period the Theatre was the property, and under the management of Mr. Jackson. On the first night of their engagement, which was limited to four nights, Lee Lewes enacted the part of Sir John Falstaff ; the next, he appeared in “ Love Makes a Man “-the third, in the “ Busy Body ”-and on the fourth night, he delivered a comic entertainment, which was announced as follows :- “MR. LEE LEWES WILL EXHIBIT THE ORIGINAL LECTURE ON HEADS,* which, with all its whimsical apparatus, he purchased of the late Mr. G. A. Stevens, and lately revived at the Theatre Iioyal, Covent Garden, several successive nights., with additions by Mr. Pilon. The whole is a display of upwards of sixty different characters of approved WIT AND HUMOUR-SATIRAEN D SENTIMENT.” The success of his lecture was such as to induce a repetition on two subsequent evenings; and the public were informed, through the medium of the press, that the lecture, an “ admirable piece of satire,” was to be totally withdrawn after Saturday night next [2d June]. ‘‘ An entertainment so comic, versatile, and moral,” continues the paragraph, “ the public have seldom an opportunity of seeing ; and we hope, for the honour of taste, its last representation will be crowdedly attended.” Thus terminated the first short season of Lee Lewes on the Scottish boards. Jackson, the patentee, having become bankrupt, Mr. Stephen Kemble came forward, and from the trustees took a lease of the Theatre for one year. This he did at the suggestion of Mr. Jackson, who, according to a private missive, was to have an equal interest in the concern. Mr. Kemble, however, refusing to accept the security produced by Mr. Jackson, retained the sole management 1 That is since 1837, when this was written. a The first complete edition of this clever jeu d’@t was published by Lee Lewes in 1785, with an address to the public, written by him, prefixed.
Volume 9 Page 343
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