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HIS OWN LIFE,
PATENTEE OF THE THEATRES-ROYAL, YORK & HULL.
IN FOUR VOLUMES.
IF I HAD HELD MY PEN BUT HALF AS WELL AS
By Wilson, Spence, and MAWMAN ;
M E M O IR S
HE winter of the year 1958, was pro
ductive of many material theatrical revolutions. A sudden and unforeseen stroke happened at Drury-Lane, by the unexpected loss Mr. Woodward, the entire support of all the comedies where Mr. Garrick was cerned, as his Marplot, Foppington, Sir Fop. ling Flutter, Duretete, bore testimony; and he was of great importance in many where Mr. Garrick was principal; such as his never equalled Bobadil and Mercutio, Mr. Garrick being Kitely and Romeo; all the pantomime depart. ment rested entirely on the thoulders of Woodward. In short, the loss of that gentleman was fuch, as put fo dangerous a hatchet to the tree as made the old bark to tremble, not only for its Vol. II.
branches; but an alarm even of the cutting-up the root of the venerable oak, that had. flourished on that sacred spot, and which had been dedicated to the Muses for ages, and stood many a threatening blast and tempest. Had they not at that juncture been remarkably feeble at Covent-Garden, by the loss of Barry and others, the tears of Old Madam Drury would have had additional cause to flow. Woodward, not to his praise or wisdom be it recorded, left his enviable situation, being in poffeffion of every comfort and affluence, and secure of the hearts and smiles of the public, and on terms of amity with Mr. Garrick; yet with all these advantages he fled, which he never repented but once, and that for altogether. Woodward and Barry seduced from both the theatres, Mr. and Mrs. Walker, formerly Miss Minors, (both living now I believe) Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Vernon, and also several useful performers, a fevere cut in a regular catalogue of stock-acting plays.
That the loss of so many performers, with Woodward at the head of such a desertion from the royal standard, was considerably felt is certain; but Garrick's name was a tower of strength : He therefore in a great degree stopped the breach by his own force, presenting himself early after this revolt, not only in his characters of never failing