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The letter-writer, with great ease, desires the public not to go to my benefit, notwithstanding I had taken infinite pains to endeavour to entertain them the whole season through; his reason for that extraordinary request is, that I was to have a French farce, .wro:e by a poor wretched author, translated into English, and called The Island of Slaves :—and then, with great art and malice, he jumbles together some popular words, as, French Farce, English Liberty, Island of Slaves!
"What can Englishmen have to do in the * Island of Slaves?* Poor wretched insinuation! Is it possible for any body to suppose, if there had been one syllable in the piece that had the least tendency to sneer at, or affront the liberties of this country, that the managers would have suffered it to have been acted; or that the Lord Chamberlain would have given his sanction; or that I pould have been such a fool as to dare to affront the public with such a performance on my own benefit night? I hope I may be indulged (though a woman) to say I have always despised the French politics, but I never yet heard that we were at war with their wit.
"It is imputed to me, by the author of the letter, as a crime, that I should have a piece taken from the French for my benefit j when, at the same time, I believe one part in three of the comedies and little pieces, that are now acting at both the theatres, are acknowledged to be taken from the F/enchj besides those that both ancient and modern authors have sneaked into the theatres without confessing from whence they came. I shall take the liberty to mention two that are known translations; the Confederacy, by Sir John Vanbrugh, one of our best comedies, revived about two years ago, and acted to crowded houses with great applause: The Guardian, another French piece, broughton about the same time, and received with the highest approbation j both these performances acted at a time when we were at war with France, as we are now. Ay, but says the good. ■atured letter.writer, the Island of Slaves (tremendous title !) I think I have made his malice appear pretty plain. I shan't have the least difficulty in making his ignorance full as conspicuous. It does not seem, by the style of his letter, that he is very intimately acquainted with his own language, but it is evident he knows nothing of the French ; for if he had been capable of reading Mons. Marivaux's Isle des .Exclaves t he could not have been quite so clumsy a critic, as to say he is a poor paltry author, when he is acknowledged, by all people of taste and judgment, to be one of the very best writers the French have,
**Then, as to his malicious insinuation, th* Inland of Slaves ii 10 very far from being a satire upon English liberty, that there is the highest compliment paid to it. The people of that island having quitted their native country, (Athens) because they would not be Slaves, and established themselves in an Island, where, when their passions have subsided, and they begin to forget the injuries they received in their own country, they make the most noble, humane, sensible laws. I can't pretend to give an account of the whole piece in this letter, but I may with great truth say, there was not any thing in it that was exceptionable '3 great spirit and humour in two of the characters, and fine sentiments throughout the whole; some parts, perhaps, too grave for what is generally ex* ppcted in pieces after a play. I shall beg leave to insert a few lines (not a translation) which concluded the piece. After Philo (one of the islanders) haa coa
3 6 2 '* "'
vinced the Athenians, who are then in his power, of their follies, fie promises to provide them ships to send them into their own country. Cleanthe, one of the characters, says:
** * We are all equally obliged to you, most amiable Philo, for your goodness to us; and if we should be so fortunate to arrive safe at Athens, I hope we shall have influence enough to prevail with them, when we recount our adventures, to imitate the incomparable laws of this ever happy islaud.'
u I have done with your correspondent: now, Mr. Gazetteer, I must say two or three words to you. I desire you would let me know who was the author of that letter, or it is possible I may convmce you I am so truly an English woman, and so little inclined to be a slave, as not to suffer any on* to do meaa injury with impunity.
"I am mformed you have more than once drawn yourself into scrapes, by the delicacy of your paper. If you comply with this request, in giving up your author, I shall think you intend to reform your manners; and in that case yoa will stand a chance of being read by your humble servant,
"Henrietta-Street, Covent-Garden, ** C. Clive.
** P. S. If I can have leave from the person who did me the honour to translate the Island of Slaves for me, I shall print it, when every one that pleases may see how extremely ill I have been treated."
Mr. Shuter's Letter.—" To the Author of the London Chronicle. "Sir, u I was much surprised when I read that Mrs. Clive had inserted a letter hi your paper of Saturday last, wherein she took great liberty with my name : but my surprise was greatly increased, when I read that letter; for it seems a virulent charge against me, by way of appeal to the public, which Mrs. Clive ought by . no means to have done, as I had exculpated myself to her from that charge, in a more decent manner than she had reason to expect from me. However, as that lady has thought proper to appeal to the public, after the declaration I had made to her, which I thought would have been quite satisfactory to any candid and well-meaning person, I conceive it a duty incumbent on me, as equally interested in the public favour, to vindicate myself from the aspersions unjustly thrown oa my character, and to put an end to all controversy relating to this affair. * "Mrs. Clive's benefit happened on the same night with mine, and a Tetter relating to both was inserted in the Gazetteer, which has given that gentlewoman prodigious offence ; and she has levelled the bolt of all her fury against me, who was an entire stranger to the whole matter. My benefit, thanks to the indulgence of the public, was, as usual, a very great one : and Mrs. Clive's, I suppose, short of her expectation; therefore, as the French author of her farce was censured in the letter in the Gazetteer, she hastily and inconsiderately imputed it to me, or to some friend of mine who had wrote it at my desire, and published it with my privity : in all which she will appear to be mistaken, to have been too passionately censorious, and too deliberately unjust.
"I am too much obliged to the public, ever to think of troubling them with any of my private transactions; and I would cautiously avoid recriminations of any kind: but as Mrs. Clive will not be content with my private declaration, sl:t
constrains me to the necessity of obliging her with a public one; and I submit the whole to the decision of all persons of honour, and lovers of impartiality.
"The day after our benefits, I was honoured with the following letter from Mrs. Clive. "sir,
"I Must Desire you woud Do Me the favour to let Me know if you was auther of a letter in the Dayle Gezetteer—relating to the New peice I had for my benefet; as it was intended to hurt my benefit and Serve yours every body will Naturely Conclude you was the auther; if you are not assham'd of being so I Suppose you will own it; if you really was not Concernd in wrighting it I shall be very glad; for I should be extreamly shock'd that an acttor shoud be guilty of so base an action; I don't often take the liberty of wrighting to the publick, I am Now under a Nessesitty of Doing it—therefore Desier your answer.
"I am, Sir,
"Your bumble Servant,' - •..ft Henrietta-Street, March 27, 1761. «' C. Clive."
«* To Mr. Shuter.
V . r .
"I was astonished at the receipt of such a letter, and wrote her the following answer:
"Hue favour you desire of me is readily granted. I was not author of the letter you mention in the Gazetteer, relating to the New Piece you had for your benefit; nor have I any further knowledge of it than yourself. It could be of little service to my benefit, and I should be sorry to think it was the least detrimental to yours. I am therefore under the necessity, Madam, of telling you, that I have no occasion for recourse to any subterfuge to support my interest, h» prejudice of another person, and especially a lady, *uch as yourself, so well entitled to the public favour. Small, Madam, as my pretensions are to that favour, I have the happiness to obtain it, almost without solicitation ; and, as I really teas not concerned in writing that letter, I hope you will be very glad. As a man, I have never been guilty of a base action; and, as an actor, I appeal to all of our profession, how far your natural conclusions are applicable to me? You will pardon me, if I say they are too precipitate, and entirely inconclusive. I hope any address of yours to the public will have a different complexion j and, wjlh a just concern for your present perturbation of spirits, I am, Madam, "Your real well-wisher and admirer,
"March 29, 1761, "E. Shuts*."
* To Mrs. Clive, in Henrietta-street.
"I thought this would have been a satisfactory answer: but Mrs. Clive is still dissatisfied; and in her letter in the Chronicle of Saturday, April 4, calls the letter in the Gazetteer, a malicious one, published against her benefit, and that it was artfully put in the paper to do her mischief. Indeed she very modestly acknowledges, she could not possibly suppose Mr. Shuter was capable of asking any body to write such a letter for him, as she never did him, or any performer the least injury. Yet in the same breath she exclaims, " but though he was not concerned in the writing of it (as he has declared he was not) it is te» palpable to
admit of the least doubt, that it mint be wrote by some of iiis acquaintance, in tirder to serve his benefit by destroying mine." What she says of the letter. writer ought to be answered by himself, whoever he is. As for myself, it appear!, that Mrs. Clive, in her letter, asked me if I was author of the letter in ihe Gazetteer? I answered her as negatively as I could, and that I had no further knowledge of it tlvan liersclf. I am very sorry Mrs. Clive should sustain any lots on that account, especially as she had the honour to have a most noble and splendid appearance of persons of the first distinction that night at her play, vfao Iwe been constant in their goodness and favour to her, and who were not to beisiuenccd by a wretched, letter-writer.
"It is not for me to take notice of the inconsistencies in a lady's letter, wtote with rage, resentment, and spleen: but as an honest man, falsely accused,itii "accessary for me, in such a caw, to justify myself to the world i and it is witn tiift Tiew only, that I make the following solemn declaration.
"Middlesex. Edward Shuter, of Covent-Garden theatre, maketh oath izi saith, that he, this deponent, was no ways advising, consenting, wpnry to a certain letter, published in the Daily Gazetteer, relating to Ha Clive's benefit, and her farce called the * Island of Slaves i' and (Mi*, this deponent, did not know who was the author of it ; nor did be s«iK hear of the same till it was published as aforesaid.
"Sworn at Islington, before me, one of lus majesty's justices of the peace for the said county, this fjth day of April, 1761,
•* 1 hope this will defeat any malicious and xvicked insinuation against me. Mrs. Clive ought to have been satisfied with my former declaration; nor is it cut of any resentment to her, but in justice to myself, and a due regard to tw public, who might otherwise receive such pre-possessions against me, thatlbi* thus set forth the whole affair.
Phenomenon'—a meteor, or fire-ball, as it is commonly termed, *i seen on Sunday night, Nov. 13, from several parts of the metropolis. IUp peared to be at the height of 500 feet, about eighteen inches in diameter, anilting a light blue flame, and with a train of a paler colour, approaching to that*) •liver. It appeared from Piccadilly to describe a parabola, taking a westera direction, and illuminated the whole atmosphere, during the few seconds tni it was visible.
A newspaper has the following marvellous paragraph—" Friday M°TD f hst, a dog was seen running through the streets of Harrow, with three ia sticking to his throat, the dog at the same time howling in dreadful agon). man instantly seized a gun, killed two of the rats, wounded a sheep, killed a' broke four windows^ wounded a cow, and the dog escaped safe with lb***
rat!!" This is evidently a parody on the House that Jack btiUtt ia the style of Baron Munchausen.
The total amount of the prizes captured this war, is estimated at twelve millions. Those carried into Liverpool alone are valued at two millions four hundred thousand pounds.
Naval Anecdote.—Soon after Captain (now Admiral) Cornwallis succeeded to the command of the Canada, on the resignation of Sir George Collier, and was at sea, a mutiny broke out in the ship, on account of some accidental delay in the clerk's paying some of the ship's company; in consequence of which they signed what they termed a Round Robin, wherein they declared, to a man, that they would not light a gun till they were paid Captain Cornwallis, on the receipt of this, had the crew piped upon the deck, and thus laconically harangued them: ** My lads, the money cannot be paid till we return into port; and a* to your not fighting, I'll clap you alongside the first large ship of the enemy I see; when the devil himself can't keep you from it." The Jacks were so tickled with this warlike compliment, that they one and all returned to their duty, better satisfied than if they had been paid the money they demanded ten times over!
Two soldiers of the Parisian guard lately repaired to the Champs Elysees, to fence with sabres. They were naked down to the waist, and every blow, if not parried, might cut the one on whom it fell into two pieces. Who were the spectators? Women of the first fashion and elegance, with robes trimmed with gold and silver—women, who would faint at the sight of a mouse or a piece of cheese. Fortunately for one of the combatants, whose blood began to flow, an officer interfered his authority, and saved his life.
The Pope has granted the French a plenary indulgence for their crimes, for thirty days. The French have indulged themselves in crimes for these fifteen years past without his leave* >
Deluge At Madeira.—A private letter to a respectable house in town communicates some important particulars of the late disaster at Madeira. This letter states, that, on the night of the 9th of Oct. last, a torrent rushed down from the mountains on the town of Funchal, the capital of the island of Madeira, with irresistible violence, bearing every thing before it in its passage to the sea. The bed of the river, not being capable of containing this increase of water, overflowed on each side to a considerable extent, and swept away three of its bridges, and a magnificent church. Mansions, warehouses, inhabitants, cattle, and effects of all sorts, were indiscriminately involved in this resistless element, and hurried to the ocean. The streets of two thirds of the town were completely inundated j in most places the water reached to the first floor. The darkness of the night, the rush and roar of the waters, the cries of the sufferers, the terror of all, formedsudb, a scene as may with difficulty be conceived, but mocks all powers of description. Towards morning, however, the violence of the torrent abated, and, towards the noon of next day, had nearly subsided. Every exertion was now made to ascertain the extent of the mischief, and to relieve the distresses of those to whom relief could be given. But here our information, owing to the Governor, who would not suffer the dispatch of any private letters, ceases to be particular. The friends of Mr. Cock, the Vice-Consul, will rejoice to hear that, although his