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sion of this Island; Dorchester was one of their principal stations. Many evident signs of its ancient grandeur still remain, particularly sereral large mounds and barrows on the plains near the town, and most especially a noble embankment called the Roman Ampitheatre! Within this spacious circle (or rather this spacious oval) gladiators used to amuse the ancient British Ladies by their fierce encounters with each other, as well as with wild beasts, &c. These points were alluded to in a prologue which I wrote for the opening of the Theatre.
My first season at Dorchester was in the year of 1792: after which we made a short stay at Bridport, and removed to Lyme and to Sidmouth. At the latter place we had a new Theatre erected in a regular manner, and which we took for a certain term. It was at Lyme that Mr. Woods, Mr. Hatton, and Miss Hinds first joined us. I had known them while at Brighton : of Mr. Woods I shall speak more in another place. The two latter, Mr. Hatton and Miss Hinds, wero matried at Lyme soon after they came, and they stoppód some years in our companies, for we occasionally had two. This season we had but one at Lyme whore I was stationed ; and the other at Sidmouth which my partner Mr. Shatford conducted. We at times changed about and assisted each other, being about fifteen miles apart. Mr. Hatton was the son-in-law of Mr. Thornton, thien well known as the manager of several Theatres at Reading, Gosport, &c. Mr. Hattoa was a clever actor in his line ; of a bustling spirit; could do any thing-tragody or comedy; but be was rather unsteady in his conduct. He was engaged I think two seasons at the Haymarket, and has a son clever in pantomime, still I believe in one of the London Theatres. Mr. Hatton himself died in America : his widow married again, and she is now Mrs. Brooks, an actress of great merit in the Surrey, or some other of the London Theatrical establishments.
But it is now necessary that I here retrace my steps, and resume the thread of my story at the towns where I left it, (namely, Lyme and Sidmouth.) From these towns, then, (and still, I believe,) of some consideration, as fashionable bathing places, we removed to the city of Wells, where we purchased a place and converted it into a Theatre, which still forms a part of this circuit; the company going occasionally to catch the races, and once in two years to perform there during the summer assize. On our being at Wells the first season; we were warmly patronized by the officers of the Somerset Militia, then stationed there. The Earl of Cork, Lord Dungarvon, Captain Barton, and others very frequently attended the Theatre. Several of the officers. occasionally went on the stage, and the Ho. nourable David Anstruther played several parts then, and the following seasons. Captain Porch and his brother were both very Theatrical. Captain John Porch 'nearly forty years ago was determined to go on the stage, but I persuaded him to the contráry. Then (said be) »“ Í'll fight a duel !". Indeed ! who will you fight with? --Curse me (said he) if I know or care a pin who with ! With you or any body!-What do: you sáy!-Will you fight ???..No thank you;*:(said I)." « Zounds! (he continued) I am tired of an idle life! I must fight somebody, or do some mad trick or other !:4 Many years after this I used to dine with him, at his own house and at Colonel Seymour's, and used to laugh at his former pranks, mad fighting fits, &c. We went again to Salisbury, and were again successful: we purchased and rebuilt a Theatre at Devizes, to which place we removed in the spring after finishing at Salisbury. It was at Derizes where Miss S. Keys first joined our company, and whom I afterwards married. Mr. Shatford and myself porchased some ground, and erocted a Theatre at Lymington in Hampshire, so as to be ready for the approaching season, it being a watering place. From Devizes I went to Prome, where I stopped until the autumn, when I again went to Wells : Mr. Shatford with his company was at Lymington. During the Bath vacation, we had engaged Mr. J. Durravan and Mr. Charles Murray: the former was a very clever actor, and a great favorite in sprightly fops and youthful low comedy. Mr. Murray has been since known in London at Covent Garden, a very good actor, and a most respectable character. He has been noticed here already and must again at least once more : I cannot omit any story that relates to my old story-telling worthy friend. While at Lymington, the weather warm and he quite thirsty, he had drank at least two quarts of porter during tho performance : the play was Wild Oats : he performed the part of Sir George Thunder. Ho drossed the cha. racter well-bad on a handsome naral uniform : no one could look, and none could play it botter. After the
piece was over he went, without taking off any part of his stage dress, to the chief Inn, near which the Theatre stood, and called for a large glass of cold brandy and water : he bade them take it into the front parlour where Charles opened the door, and seated himself at a table near the middle of the room. The waiter took in the liquor to him and said “ Sir I will bring in a candle directly.” “Oh never mind a candle.” “ But the boy is putting up the shutters !” “Very well, just as you like.” Charles closed his eyes, and dosed a little! The waiter brought in a candle, set it down and left him still a nodding (as the song has it). Charles opened his eyes to drink and soon perceived the figure of an officer sitting on the other side.
Sir, your good health” said Charles. The figure bowed in return but spoke not: “ What! continued Charles, not a word ? Perhaps a little deaf!. I drank your good health sir! (speaking louder) - Dumb still! Why who the devil are you? You look like a naval officer-therefore a gentleman ! but you dont behave like one.. Waiter ! (Charles rang a bell laying on the table.). “ Coming sir! “ Why waiter come nearer ! who was that fellow came in just now, and placed himself while I dosed on the other side the table? What did he mean by not speaking to me? I did not see any one come into this room sir ! but I saw the gentleman who is in the bar with my missis peeping at you through the bar window.” Bar window ! that window sir; that's the bar window sir, close by the lookingglass ! Ay, ay, said Charles I see him, a naval gentleman ? “I think he is a naval gentleman, (said the
waiter) and I fancy he is the Captain of the vessel Jying at the mouth of our river !” “My best.compliments to him waiter, tell him I am. partly a sailor myself; I have been in all parts of the Mediterranean and I shall be glad to take a glass of brandy and water with him. Mr. Murray had entirely forgot his having his stage uniform on. The waiter went into the bar and returned in less than a minute: the gentleman's compliments to you, sir, but he has been sent for by a friend at whose house he sleeps: the servant is waiting for him—he is finishing his glass, drinks your good health and hopes to be better acquainted with you to-morrow !-See sir, the gentleman is now standing with his glass in his hand to pledge you; (the waiter pointed in the direction of the bar and looking-glass) “ I'm his most obedient,” said Charles. Tell the gentleman I drink bis good health and hope to be better acquainted with him! Charles bowed in a very formal manner to the looking glass, which of course returned the salute : he never looked into the bar window at all, but the land-lady peeping from the bar window saw Charles bowing to, and talking to himself and the glass : Charles paid his reckoning and gave the waiter a shilling to see him home to his lodgings. The waiter now discovered that all Mr. Murray's discourse and allusions had been between himself and the large looking-glass, and that he had never once glanced at the bar or to the gentleman he supposed sitting there.
But as he got to the door of his lodgings, he observed to the waiter “Whoever that sea-faring stranger is, I mean the one just now in your bar, I shall be happy