The Lying Valet: A Peep behind the Curtain; Or, the New Rehearsal. Bon Ton; Or, High Life above Stairs

The Lying Valet: A Peep behind the Curtain; Or, the New Rehearsal. Bon Ton; Or, High Life above Stairs

The Lying Valet: A Peep behind the Curtain; Or, the New Rehearsal. Bon Ton; Or, High Life above Stairs

The Lying Valet: A Peep behind the Curtain; Or, the New Rehearsal. Bon Ton; Or, High Life above Stairs

Excerpt

David Garrick, born in 1717, came up to London from Lichfield with Samuel Johnson in the year 1737. Four years later he broke away from the trade of wine merchant, in which he had engaged with his brother Peter, and, on October 19, 1741, startled the spectators in the theater in Goodman's Fields with his acting of Richard III. Not only were the natives of Lichfield, then resident in London, loyal in their support and enthusiastic in their praise of this fellowtownsman, but the èlite of Grosvenor-Square hurried their footmen four miles to reserve places for them at the obscure theater in Goodman's Fields, in order to see the young Roscius of the age. Since the theater in Goodman's Fields was not regularly licensed, the playbills, to evade the law, announced the performance of Richard III as a part of a "Concert of Vocal and Instrumental Music" to be given "At the late Theatre in Goodman's Fields. . . . Tickets at three, two and one shilling." For the same reason, The Lying Valet, the next month, was announced as performed "gratis." Such crowds flocked to Goodman's Fields that the managers of the two regularly patented theaters effected the closing of that house, but so great had been the triumphs of Garrick that he was engaged for the season of 1742- 1743 at Drury-Lane at a salary of six hundred guineas, the largest yet paid to an actor. His successes at Drury- Lane, his assumption of the duties of manager there in 1747, his subsequent retirement in 1776 before his . . .

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