excerpt from 'Reminiscences of Michael Kelly' pp. 3-6 (391 words)

excerpt from 'Reminiscences of Michael Kelly' pp. 3-6 (391 words)

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Reminiscences of Michael Kelly

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On the 4th of June, the Old Drury Lane closed for ever, with the comedy of "The Country Girl," and "No Song, no Supper". At the end of the play, Palmer came forward, and thus addressed the audience: " Ladies and Gentlemen, on the part of the proprietors, manager, and performers, I have to express their gratitude for the unprecedented support with which you have favoured them during the past season ; when next we have the honour to appear before you on this spot, we trust it , will be in a theatre better calculated for your accommodation, more deserving Royal countenance, and the patronage of this great metropolis."

There seemed to me so much whimsicality in the following newspaper paragraph, which I took a copy of at the time, that I think it will not be unacceptable to my readers : the date is June 6th, 1791 : -

" Died, on Saturday night, of a gradual decay, in the hundred and seventeenth year of her age, old Madame Drury, who lived in six reigns, and saw many generations pass in review before her. She remembered Betterton in age, lived in intimacy with Wilks, Booth, and Gibber, and knew old Macklin when he was a stripling; her hospitality exceeded that of the English character, even in its earliest days of festivity, having almost through the whole of her life entertained from one to two thousand persons of both sexes six nights out of seven in the week ; she was an excellent poetess, could be gay and grave by turns, and yet sometimes catching disorder from intrusive guests, could be dull enough in all conscience ; her memory was excellent, and her singing kept in such a gradual state of improvement, that it was allowed, her voice was better the three or four last years of her life than when she was in her prime. At the latter end of the last century, she had a rout of near two thousand people at her house the very night of her death; and the old lady felt herself in such spirits, that she said she would give them no supper without a song, which being complied with, she fell gently back in her chair, and expired without a groan. Dr. Palmer, one of her family physicians, attended her in her last moments, and announced her dissolution to the company."

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excerpt from 'Reminiscences of Michael Kelly' pp. 3-6 (391 words)


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