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[heard his situation was not as agreeable as he
could wish; that his income was a confined one;
she was therefore desirous to do him all the
service that lay in her power. Prigmore, con-
sidering this as an express declaration of her
affection, was about to throw himself at her
feet, when she suddenly summoned her servant,
and exclaimed, "Rachel, bring the breeches!"
These words astounded him. The widow, on
receiving the habiliments, folded them carefully,
and, remarking that they were "as good as
new," begged his acceptance of them.

"And was it for this you wanted me, madam?"

"Yes, sir."

He put on his hat and walked to the door
with indignation. The good woman, as much
astonished as himself, followed him with -

"Won't you take the breeches, sir?"

He replied, pausing at the door to make some
bitter retort:

"Wear them yourself."

James West was the singer and walking gen-
tleman of the company. He was known by the
sobriquet of the "leather breeches beau." He af-
terward became a manager in the Virginia Cir-
cuit with Bignall. They acquired some title to
the theatres in Norfolk and other places, which
their heirs, some few years since, were endeav-
oring to reclaim through the agency of the law.
We learned that they did recover a portion of
them. They also held the North Carolina Circuit.
I understood however, that Mr. Douglas first
built the Newbern and Wilmington theatres.
Both were composed of brick, and substantially
erected. These theatres, however, were inclu-
ded in 1797, in Mons. Solée's cicuit, his head-
quarters being Charleston, S. C., with Norfolk
and Richmond. Luke Robbins was a tall beau,
upwards of six feet and two inches in height. -
He was a scene painter, singer, and actor. He
was very useful in the singing captains and
fathers of the old musical pieces - a class of lyri-
cal drama now obsolete to our stage. The con-
tour of his features and style of figure ap-
proached that of General Washington. This
resemblance led the managers to cast Robbins
as the representative of the Father of his Coun-
try in any of the national plays wherein the
General formed one of the dramatis personae.
This circumstance gave Robbins much notorie-
ty with the public of the day. He made a very
remarkable appearance in the street, as he was
ever clad in the extreme of fashion - viz: gold
laced three-cornered hat, gold lace collar, and
all the tawdry tinsel of the fop of 1789. We re-
member his following the fashion of the times,
with strictness, up to his last days.

Floar, the property man, was a very able offi-
cial, and an ingenious machinist; but, he, too
often, in business, sacrificed to the "jolly god!"
Thomas Bignall, during this season, was the
prompter, and, what is very extraordinary, his
first prompting act was to give the inimitable
Hodgkinson, in Belcour, on meeting Stockwell, in
his first scene in his opening night, the first line
of his part - which, strange to say, he had total-
ly forgotten in the excitement of a first appear-
ance in a new land. The late John North, who
was a witness to this scene, thus described it to

me: - "The night Hodgkinson made his first
appearance in this theatre, he entered on the
P.S. side, as Belcour, in the 'West Indian.' He
went down to the foot lamps, and made a very
low bow, and after the applause, he went to the
prompt-side, and said to the prompter, (who
was old Bignall,) loud enough for the audience
to hear him - 'Mr. Prompter, give me the word'
- which was 'Mr. Stockwell!' A general sur-
prise seized upon all. It was wondered whether
this action should be attributed to freak, or
really a want of the word. After he got the
word, he went on glibly and smoothly with the
dialogue of the scene. Why it so happened,
Hodgkinson said afterward, he could not tell -
such a thing never occurred to him again. He
said a strange sensation came over him - he had
forgotten the character he was to personate - he
forgot the very play."

Professional jealousy, (not brandy, as Dunlap
says,) the actor's bane, infused its pernicious
venom into the early business relations of the
company thus organized. The old members,
who were in possession of the "business," and
by virtue of this possession, of course the fa-
vorites of the audience, began to anticipate a
disturbance of their rights by the "foreigners,"
who now were rapidly advancing into public
favor. These innovators were claculated to
impair their popularity, and thus affect their
dearest interests. Naturalized by long resi-
dence, they might truly be said to be American
actors - natives in feeling. The new-comers looked,
doubtless, with superciliousness upon their pro-
fessional claims, as being provincial - a view
that a great majority of foreign actors entertain
on their first arrival among us, often assuming
great personal hauteur towards the "yankee hac-
tor" till time and social intercourse, mingled with
a few returning grains of common sense, mo-
dify their crude opinions, eventually curing
the dyspepsia of their prejudice. We have met,
however, with enlightened minds, who form an
honorable exception to such preconcieved no-
tions. Under mutual impressions of this ab-
surd kind, very little union of action could rea-
sonably be expected; so that at the commence-
ment of the campaign, discord had thrown the
apple of contention into the green-room, and
the game had fairly begun to arouse all the va-
riety of feeling incidental thereto. Even the
redoubtable prigmore, who in after years was
immortalized by the pen of Washington Irving
as the "White Lion," in his amusing critical
papers, under the signature of "Jonathan Old-
style," refused, on the opening of the company
in New York, to take the fine part of "My Lord
Scratch," (and ought to have been well scratched
for so doing,) and had the audacity to publish
in the papers a justification of his course,
which was "a most lame and impotent conclu-
sion." Ambition - the actor's pabulum, we sup-
pose - beckoned him on to the ridiculous.

Chapter XVIII.
The fall season of 1792 - A new play - The summer season
of 1793 - The theatre closed by the yellow fever - Dissolu-
tion of the firm of Hallam & Henry - Death of John
Henry - anecdotes of the partners - Description of the
South street theatre, &c.

The fall sason of 1792 commenced, as before
related, on the 26th of September, with the
comedy of "The Wonder" and "The Padlock."
Mr. Hodgkinson did not perform on that occa-
sion, but delivered an introductory address,
written by himself. He made his first appear-
ance in a play on the second night of the sea-
son, September 29th, as Belcour, in "The West
Indian." The season lasted until January 12th,
1793. During its continuance there were acted
the following plays for the first time: " The
Flitch of Bacon," a musical piece; "The
Romp;" "The Dramatist;" "The Farmer;"
"The Mysterious Husband," by Cumberland;
"No Song, No Supper;" "Don Juan," a panto-
mime; "He Would be a Soldier;" "The Child
of Nature;" "Ways and Means," by George

After a successful season the company went
to New York and opened the John street the-
atre, January 28th, 1793, with Reynolds' comedy
of "The Dramatist," and the musical farce of
"The Padlock." Hodgkinson made a palpable
hit as Vapid, and the ecellence of Hallam's
Mungo was established long previously. Hallam
was the originator of the negro character on
the stage, and, having an opportunity of study-
ing the genius of the African race in this coun-
try, was a better representative of the character
than the English Mungo, who had probably
never seen a negro. We may state here, en pas-
sant, that the originator of modern Ethiopian
vocalism was W. Kelly, of the Northern Liber-
ties. The song of "Coal Black Rose" was
first sung by him.

The old American company returned to the
South street theatre in July, 1793, and opened
with "The Road to Ruin," and "Love a la
Mode." The season was closed on the 26th of
August, by the growing mortality consequent
upon the ravages of the yellow fever. During
the continuance of the season the following new
plays were performed: "Such Things Are;"
"Notoriety," by the author of the "Dramatist;"
"The Chapter of Accidents;" "Animal Magnet-
ism;" "St. Patrick's Day;" and "I'll Tell You
What, or The Undesirable Something."

The Patriotic Society bespoke the perform-
ances on the 10th of August. The tragedy of
"Cato" was performed, and the afterpiece of
"The Irishman in London." The Marseilles
Hymn, and other French songs, were sung by
the company. This was the era of an excited
French feeling in this country. At Hodgkin-
son's benefit he sung "A Bow-wow Song," writ-
ten by himself, in which he introduced the
faithful dog, the knowing dog and the hearty
dog. In the mask of "Comus," the same ver-
satile genius, with his flute, echoed responsive
to the Echo Song which was sung by his wife.

This season closed the partnership of Hallam
& Henry, and although the name of the old
American company was kept up afterwards by
Hallam & Hodgkinson, the original corps of
actors may be said to have been broken up and]

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