"TIED TO THE STAKE" 1765-1769
WHILE all the bells of Paris rang for Easter Sunday morning, David had written to ask Colman to tell George to engage two maids--a good cook, and a housemaid. He had asked pathetically that they might have "some character fixed to their tail". He hated continual domestic changes, and knew from experience that he had put up, before, for the sake of a clean house and a good table, with most undesirable characters. The gardener at Hampton, who had been a good one, had left while they were abroad. It seemed odd that he had not waited to state his grievance. It could only be supposed that he had quarrelled with Charles, major domo at the villa.
One of the first calls he paid on arriving at Southampton Street was to the Burneys, "to see, caress and reclaim" Phill. He found himself taking part in the most unsuccessful recognition scene of his career. The little Burneys were well-mannered children. They said farewell to their darling, without shedding a single tear. His master had been away two years. Phill showed the most dismal reluctance to follow him. A few days later there was rejoicing in Poland Street. Phill was back, in the highest spirits. A polite message said that "the little animal had seemed so moping, so unsettled, and so forlorn, that Mr and Mrs Garrick had not the heart to break his new engagements, and requested his entire acceptance and adoption ". Later, when Phill died, full of years, and was replaced by a greyhound, Mr Garrick still remembered his faithless favourite. "You will never take his place, Slabber-chops!" He looked at the fawning newcomer, with immense melancholy. Soft enough, poor whelp! Like all your race--tenderness without ideas." Frances, "Fanny" Burney, never forgot.1
He did not get another spaniel. He got a huge dog, Dragon, an English mastiff. They had been fashionable in the great houses of England since Van Dyck had painted the children of Charles I. Lord Pembroke had one, and Reynolds had painted him with it, and his son and heir. Dragon dwelt at Hampton, but once came up to London to appear upon the stage at Drury Lane.
The manager's return from the Continent had come just at the right time for him to see everyone before the season closed. Rising
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Publication information: Book title: David Garrick. Contributors: Carola Oman - Author. Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1958. Page number: 258.
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