CHAPTER IX
THE NEW REIGN 1760-1763

1

GREAT expectations were formed of the new king. He was twenty- two, a bachelor, fair and rosy, blue-eyed, a good height, and not much known. He had been kept in perfect seclusion by his widowed mother and Lord Bute. When his speech for the opening of Parliament was sent to him, he returned it, having added, " Born and educated in this country, I glory in the name of Britain." His delivery of it was good. Old Quin, who had instructed the royal grandchildren for their private theatricals, commented from his retirement, "I knew the boy would do it well, for I taught him." A Coronation, a Royal Wedding and Peace all seemed likely to render next year happy and glorious. Garrick, now that he had Sheridan to fill his house for him, exerted himself in only two new parts this season. He appeared as Mercutio, and convinced his audience that he could do without Woodward. As Oakley, seated with Mrs Oakley (Mrs Pritchard) on a sofa, each partner trying to find out what amours the other intended, he was unforgettable. He had not yet drawn the line at receiving visitors in his dressing-room. As one young aspirant departed from his life, another stole in. Joseph Cradock, who was to rival Tate Wilkinson in Garrick anecdotes, remembered that the first time he ever had the pleasure of being introduced into the presence was in Coronation year, and that Mr 1 Garrick was dressed for the character of Oakley. The Jealous Wife met with greater applause than anything since The Suspicious Husband. A farce called Polly Honeycomb, also by Mr Colman, had been produced two months earlier, and after a bad start had made an excellent recovery. The author had preferred to remain anonymous, and a good many people believed that Garrick had written the play in which he had so congenial a part as Oakley. After the success of his second comedy, Mr George Colman allowed his name to appear. He was continually in and out of Southampton Street, and collaborated with Garrick and others in a publication called The St James's Chronicle, issued three times a week, in which they had a controlling interest. He was eight and twenty, and had valuable connections. His father had been Envoy to Tuscany, and George had received his christian name as a god-son of his late Majesty. His uncle, Lord

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David Garrick
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Garrick Pedigree vii
  • Illustrations xi
  • Prologue xv
  • Chapter 1 - "First, the Infant" 1717-1737 1
  • Chapter II - Salad Days 1737-1742 19
  • Chapter III - Woffington 1742-1745 50
  • Chapter IV - 1745-1749 84
  • Chapter V - 27, Southampton Street 1749-1751 116
  • Chapter VI - Happy Days 1751-1755 142
  • Chapter VII - Danger 1755-1756 169
  • Chapter VIII - 1757-1760 184
  • Chapter IX - The New Reign 1760-1763 211
  • Chapter X - 1763-1765 227
  • Chapter XI - "Tied to the Stake" 1765-1769 258
  • Chapter XII - Stratford-Upon-Avon Jubilee 1769 285
  • Chapter XIII - Adelphi 1770-1776 307
  • Chapter XIV - "Farewell! Remember Me!" 1776-1779 335
  • Epilogue 374
  • Notes 384
  • Index 407
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