Charles Macklin: An Actor's Life

By William W. Appleton | Go to book overview

X
RIOT AND CONSPIRACY

On December 22, 1772, Macklin wrote to Colman informing him that he would shortly be in London to play at Maria's benefit. Could Covent Garden make further use of him? Colman's reply was courteous but evasive, and during the next two months they exchanged letters worthy of two diplomats engaged in negotiating a delicate treaty.1 Macklin hesitated to antagonize him, but clearly he was nettled by Colman's refusal to deal with him as he would with other actors. With as much tact as he possessed, he urged his reengagement at a regular weekly salary, promised to play any parts assigned to him, and pleaded with Colman to make plain the reasons for his reluctance. Far too adroit to allude either to the actor's age or temperament, Colman suggested instead that he draw up his own proposals for consideration.

In a letter of unconscionable length, dated Dublin, February 17, 1773, Macklin did so. He began by pointing out that many of the comic parts which he had formerly played at Covent Garden had become the property of other actors, leaving him with a greatly diminished repertory. He felt strongly that he could not limit himself to three or four plays and Love à la Mode. He proposed, therefore, as he had proposed some years earlier to Barry, that Richard III, Macbeth, and possibly Lear, might make suitable and novel

-168-

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Charles Macklin: An Actor's Life
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • I- Early Years 1
  • II- Dissension at Drury Lane 20
  • IV- The Quarrel with Garrick 56
  • V- Actor-Playwright 66
  • VI- Macklin, Orator 98
  • VII- On Stage Again 109
  • VIII- The Wars of the Theatres 127
  • IX- The Science of Acting 151
  • X- Riot and Conspiracy 168
  • XI- The Man of the World 195
  • XII- Last Years 217
  • Appendix 235
  • Notes 245
  • Index 271
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