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1800, exhibits his qualifications for the profession he adopted, and his talents were so fully recognized that he was solicited in 1759 to accept the professorship of the English language in the Hibernian Academy, founded in that year on the plan laid down by Sheridan. Conceiving, however, that the latter had not been honorably treated by the managers of the institution, he declined the proffered chair, and applied himself assiduously to the business of his own establishment, which advanced so rapidly in reputation that before it had been many years founded he was enabled to reckon among his pupils the sons and daughters of the principal families in Ireland. When the pressure of accumulated difficulties obliged Thomas Sheridan to retire to France, Whyte endeavoured to repay the obligations which he owed to his chief friend and benefactor. He not only rendered him pecuniary assistance while abroad, but also, although himself a principal creditor, by great exertions in 1766 procured for Sheridan the benefit of a statute then pending for the relief of debtors. Having failed to obtain the signatures of any of the other creditors Whyte presented his petition, signed only by himself, to the house of commons, by whom it was unanimously referred to a parliamentary committee, which Whyte was ordered to attend :

"The late lord viscount Doneraile, and the present (1800) lord viscount Northland, his earliest and most steady patrons, then in the Commons, received him at the door, and taking him by the hand announced him to the committee, saying, 'Here comes the worthy petitioner for Mr. Sheridan.' This was an encouraging reception, and the prelude to a more signal instance of favor in the sequel. Standing at the foot of the table, the book, as is the usage, was handed to him; but the test of an affidavit was dispensed with. Mr. Tottenham immediately rose, and addressing the chair, expatiated at some length on the purport of the petition before them, and the extraordinary circumstance of its introduction to the house. A creditor petitioning the legislature in behalf of his debtor, he observed, was very much out of the usual course, and the single instance of the kind, he believed, that ever solicited the attention of parliament. Among other encomiums, of which he was by no means sparing, he said, it was a spirited and laudable exertion of friendship, evidently proceeding from a disinterested principle, and in his opinion merited particular consideration and respect, adding, 'I therefore move you, that petitioner shall not be put to his oath but the facts set forth in his petition admitted simply on his word.' His motion was seconded by an instantaneous ay, ay! without a dissenting voice. A few questions were then put, purely as it were

for form's sake, and petitioner was dismissed with repeated testimonies of applause and congratulations of success. The creditors, most likely, either did not wish or imagine he would carry his point; for when they found the business effected, they appeared in a combination to abuse him; and not only reproached him for meddling, as they called it, but affected to look upon him as responsible to them for the whole of their respective demands; because, as they alleged, he had without their concurrence had recourse to parliament to their prejudice, and deprived them of the means of prosecuting their just claims. Some of them actually consulted counsel, and took steps for the purpose of compelling him to pay them out of his own pocket. The idea may be now laughed at; but the thing was very seriously menaced: and in his situation, unhackneyed as he was in the ways of men; of a profession too of all others the most exposed to anxiety and trouble, with at best very inadequate compensation, it must have been an accumulated grievance, and their vindictive malice not a little alarming."

Whyte's son gives the following details of the subsequent relations of his father with Sheridan, whose difficulties were perpetually augmented by his own unswerving principles of rectitude:

"The point being unexpectedly obtained, Mr. Sheridan quitted France, where he had been deserted by all his wealthy and protesting friends, whom his warm prosperity had graced; and was once more happily restored to his native land. He arrived in Dublin the latter end of October 1766, and on Monday, February 2nd following, appeared at Crow-street in Hamlet, and continued performing there for fourteen nights, with his usual eclat, ending with Maskwell in the Double Dealer, for his own benefit. That day, after dinner, he consulted my father, on the subject of calling a meeting of his creditors, a point he had sometimes in contemplation. My father warmly opposed it; conceiving it likely to involve him in fresh embarrassments, by exciting expectations which could not be gratified, and by implicated promises again endanger his personal safety, notwithstanding the measures recently adopted; upon the whole, as savoring more of ostentation, to which my father was in all cases particularly averse, than any good it could possibly produce. Perhaps his sincere wishes for the real honor of Mr. Sheridan, coinciding with a disposition naturally zealous, made him over earnest in his remonstrances; some friends present not seeing, or, in compliment to Mr. Sheridan, not choosing to see the affair in the light my father took it, over-ruled the arguments he offered, and confirmed Mr. Sheridan in his purpose; however he acknowledged the propriety of being guarded; and on Tuesday, March the 24th, 1767, the following advertisement appeared in Faulkner's Journal: Mr. Sheridan desires to meet his creditors at the Music-hall, in Fishamble-street, on Thursday the 2nd of April, at one o'clock, in order to concert with them the most speedy and effectual method for disposing of his effects and making a dividend.'

My father attended, as Mr. Sheridan made it a point; but purposely delayed till the business of the congress was nearly settled, that he might not be called on for his opinion. Soon after his entrance, Mr. Sheridan, who was on the look out, accosted him, Sam! I am glad to see you are come'-my father bowed' I perceive you are not satisfied with the measure.' Indeed, sir, I am not.' Mr. Sheridan paused, and perhaps on reflection, when too late, was convinced he had taken a precipitate step. A coolness succeeded between the two friends; this was fomented by the officiousness of others, which occasioned a disunion of some continuance; but not the smallest appearance of animosity or recrimination occurred on either side; their spirit was above it; on the contrary, many acts of kindness and mutual good offices took place in the interval, which showed a wish for the restoration of amity on both sides, if any one about them had been honest enough to promote it. My father, still bearing in mind the obliga tion he owed to Mrs. Sheridan, who was the friend and parent of his youth, continued, without abatement, his attachment to her children; they, on a proper occasion, interposed; the parties were brought together, and their difference no more was remembered. It is to this difference between Mr. Sheridan and him, my father alludes in his elegy on the instability of affection, which stands the third in order in the new edition of his poems :

One friend, one chosen friend, I once possess d,

And did I in the hour of trial fail?

Still be his virtues, his deserts confessed;

But o'er his lapses, Memory, drop the veil.'

The last office of kindness he had it in his power to render him, was at his lodgings in Frith-street, Soho. He supported him from his apartment down stairs, and helped him into the carriage that took him to Margate, where, the ninth day after, death obliterated every thing-but his virtues."

His illustrious pupil, Moore, has left the following notices of Whyte, whom he addressed in one of his earliest poetical attempts as the "heaven-born votary of the laurel'd Nine :"

"As soon as I was old enough to encounter the crowd of a large school, it was determined that I should go to the best then in Dublin, the grammar school of the well known Samuel Whyte, whom a reputation of more than thirty years' standing had placed, at that time, at the head of his profession. So early as the year 1758, a boy had been entrusted to this gentleman's care, whom, after a few years' trial of his powers, he pronounced to be a most incorrigible dunce.' This boy was no other than the afterwards celebrated Richard Brinsley Sheridan; and so far from being ashamed of his mistake, my worthy schoolmaster had the good sense often to mention the circumstance, as an instance of the difficulty and rashness of forming any judgment of the future capacity of children. The circum

stance of my having happened to be under the same schoolmaster with Sheridan, though at so distant an interval, has led the writer of a professed memoir of my life, prefixed to the Zwickau edition of my works, into rather an amusing mistake:- His talents,' he is pleased to say of me, dawned so early, and so great attention was paid to his education by his tutor, Sheridan, that,' &c. &c. The talent for recitation and acting which I had so very early manifested, was the talent, of all others, which my new schoolmaster was most inclined to encourage; and it was not long before I attained the honor of being singled out by him on days of public examination, as one of his most successful and popular exhibitors,-to the no small jealousy, as may be supposed, of all other mammas, and the great glory of my own. As I looked particularly infantine for my age, the wonder was, of course, still more wonderful. Oh, he is an old little crab,' said one of the rival Cornelias, on one occasion of this kind, he can't be less than eleven or twelve years of age.' 'Then, madam,' said a gentleman sitting next her, who was slightly acquainted with our family, if that is the case, he must have been four years old before he was born.' This answer, which was reported to my mother, won her warm heart towards that gentleman for ever after. To the drama and all connected with it, Mr. Whyte had been through his whole life warmly devoted, having lived in habits of intimacy with the family of Brinsley Sheridan, as well as with most of the other ornaments of the Irish stage in the middle of the last century. Among his private pupils, too, he had to number some of the most distinguished of our people of fashion, both male and female; and of one of the three beautiful misses Montgomery* who had been under his tuition, a portrait hung in his drawing-room. In the direction of those private theatricals which were at that time so fashionable among the higher circles in Ireland, he had always a leading share. Besides teaching and training the young actors, he took frequently a part in the dramatis personæ himself; and either the prologue or epilogue was generally furnished by his pen. Among the most memorable of the theatricals which he assisted in, may be mentioned the performance of the Beggar's Opera,' at Carton, the seat of the duke of Leinster, on which occasion the rev. dean Marley, who was afterwards bishop of Waterford, besides performing the part of Lockit in the opera, recited a prologue of which he was himself the author. The Peachum of the night was lord Charlemont; the Lucy, lady Louisa Conolly; and Captain Morris (I know not whether the admirable song writer) was the Macheath. At the representation of Henry the Fourth,' by most of the same party, at Castletown, a prologue written by my schoolmaster had the high honor of being delivered by that distinguished Irishman, Hussey Burgh; and on

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Daughters of sir William Montgomery, bart. Eliza, the eldest, married lord Mountjoy; Barbara, the second, became the hon. Mrs. Beresford; and Anne, the youngest, was subsequently marchioness of Townshend. Moore's above remarks, relative to himself, are confirmed by the reference to his acting in the verses quoted at p. 32.

another occasion, when the masque of Comus was played at Carton,* his muse was associated with one glorious in other walks than those of rhyme-the prologue of the piece being announced as written by Mr. Whyte, and the epilogue by the rt. hon. Henry Grattan.' It has been remarked, and I think truly, that it would be difficult to name any eminent public man, who had not, at some time or other, tried his hand at verse; and the only signal exception to this remark is said to have been Mr. Pitt. In addition to his private pupils in the dilettante line of theatricals, Mr. Whyte was occasionally employed in giving lessons on elocution to persons who meant to make the stage their profession. One of these, a very pretty and interesting girl, Miss Campion, became afterwards a popular actress both in Dublin and London. She continued, I think, to take instructions of him in reading even after she had made her appearance on the stage; and one day, while she was with him, a messenger came into the school to say that Mr. Whyte wanted Tommy Moore in the drawing-room.' A summons to the master's house (which stood detached away from the school on the other side of a yard) was at all times an event; but how great was my pride, delight, and awe,-for I looked upon actors then as a race of superior beings,-when I found I had been summoned for no less a purpose than to be introduced to Miss Campion, and to have the high honour of reciting to her Alexander's Feast.' The pride of being thought worthy of appearing before so celebrated a person took possession of all my thoughts. I felt my heart beat as I walked through the streets, not only with the expectation of meeting her, but with anxious doubts whether, if I did happen to meet her, she would condescend to recognise me; and when at last the happy moment did arrive, and she made me a gracious bow in passing, I question if a salute from Corinne, when on her way to be crowned in the Capitol, would in after days have affected me half so much. Whyte's connection, indeed, with theatrical people was rather against his success in the way of his profession; as many parents were apprehensive, lest, being so fond of the drama himself, he might inspire too much the same taste in his pupils. As for me, it was thought hardly possible that I could escape being made an actor; and my poor mother, who, sanguinely speculating on the speedy removal of the Catholic disabilities, had destined me to the bar, was frequently doomed to hear prognostics of my devotion of myself to the profession of the stage.'

*

"On our days of public examination which were, if I recollect, twice a year, there was generally a large attendance of the parents and friends of the boys; and on the particular day I allude to, all the seats in the area of the room being occupied, my mother and a few other ladies were obliged to go up into one of the galleries that surrounded the school, and there sit or stand as they could. When

Moore is here mistaken: of the performance above alluded to, which took place at Marlay, the particulars will be found in the IRISH QUAR. TERLY REVIEW, Vol. I., 312.

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