excerpt from 'Reminiscences of Michael Kelly' pp. 307-309 (401 words)

excerpt from 'Reminiscences of Michael Kelly' pp. 307-309 (401 words)

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Reminiscences of Michael Kelly

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One night, during [Selima and Azor's] run, I went to the Italian Opera House ; it was a dreadful stormy night, and rained incessantly. I was lucky enough to get a hackney coach, and while waiting for its drawing up to the door, I heard two very handsome young women lamenting that they could procure no conveyance : after apologising for my presumption, I told them that I had one in waiting, and should be happy to have the pleasure of offering them seats in it, an offer which, with many thanks, they accepted. We got into the coach, and the coachman was directed to drive to John Street, Fitzroy Square ; the ladies, naturally enough, began to speak about the opera and public places ; amongst other things, one of them asked me if I had seen Mr. Kelly, the new singer at Drury Lane : I replied, very often. " My sister and I went to see him the other night," said the young lady, " and we have set him down as one of the most affected, conceited fellows we ever beheld ; he strutted about the stage like a peacock ; and, as to his singing, how an audience could applaud it I cannot imagine. Do you not think him execrable, Sir ?" " Most certainly," said I ; " I have a very mean opinion of him." " And then the puppy," continued my fair friend, " is so ugly, he is a perfect fright. Do you not think so, Sir ?" " Indeed," said I, " I do not think that, for I am rather partial to his personal appearance, and like his countenance as well as I do my own but pray," continued I, " in what character might you have seen this frightful fellow ?" " In Selima and Azor, I think they called it," said her sister ; " but we were so tired and disgusted with it, that we came away at the end of the first act." " Well, ladies," said I, " if you had stopped until the end of the piece, and seen Mr. Kelly with his mask off, you would have seen him assume the appearance of a prince, and perhaps not have thought him so very frightful. " By this time, the coach had reached their door ; and returning many thanks for my civility in seeing them home, they told me they should be very happy, if any morning I would favour them with a call, and asked me for my address.

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excerpt from 'Reminiscences of Michael Kelly' pp. 307-309 (401 words)


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