excerpt from 'Reminiscences of Michael Kelly' pp. 311-313 (389 words)

excerpt from 'Reminiscences of Michael Kelly' pp. 311-313 (389 words)

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Reminiscences of Michael Kelly

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Parsons, when on the stage with John Palmer and James Aickin, used to make it a point to set them off laughing, and scarcely ever failed in his object. One evening, over our fried tripe, I was condemning them for indulging their laughing propensities on the stage, and said I thought it was positively disrespectful to the audience. " For my own part," said I, "I enjoy your comicalities and humour as much as any one, when in the front of the house ; but were I on the stage with you, nothing that you could do, would make me so far forget the character I was acting, as to indulge in misplaced mirth." " Do you think so ?" said he ; " well, perhaps you are right." Five or six nights after this conversation, we were acting in " The Doctor and Apothecary." I was to sing a song to him, beginning, " This marriage article, in every particle, is free from flaw, Sir." A full chord was given from the orchestra to pitch the key ; just as it was given, and I was going to begin the song, he called out to Shaw, the leader, " Stop, stop ;" and putting his head into my face, and kicking up his heels (a favourite action of his) he drove me from one end of the stage to the other, crying out all the time, " I'll be hanged if you shall ever have any more fried tripe, no more fried tripe, no more fried tripe," and completely pushed me off the stage. I could not resist this unexpected attack, and naturally burst out laughing. The audience were in a roar of laughter too, for it was enough that he held up his finger or his heel to make them laugh. When we got off, he said, " I think you must own, my serious lad, that I have conquered ; "then taking me by the hand, he dragged me upon the stage to the spot whence he had before driven me, and looking down into the orchestra, said, " Now, Sirs, begin," which they did, and I sang my song, which was much applauded ; but the audience were, of course, ignorant of the joke of the fried tripe, or what he meant by it : however, he is gone, poor fellow, and many a pleasant hour have I enjoyed in his society.

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excerpt from 'Reminiscences of Michael Kelly' pp. 311-313 (389 words)


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