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out upon him, and he could not resist the impulse. A timely excuse once or twice served his purpose ; but no audiences could be expected to bear repeatedly this violation of the continuity of feeling. He describes them (the illusions) as so many demons haunting him, and paralyzing every effect. Even now, I am told, he cannot recite the famous soliloquy in “Hamlet,” even in private, without immoderate bursts of laughter. However, what he had not force of reason sufficient to overcome, he had good sense enough to turn into emolument, and determined to make a commodity of his distemper. He prudently exchanged the buskin for the sock, and the illusions instantly ceased ; or, if they occurred for a short season, by their very co-operation added a zest to his comic vein,--some of his most catching faces being (as he expresses it) little more than transcripts and copies of those extraordinary phantasmata.
We have now drawn out our hero's existence to the period when he was about to meet, for the first time, the sympathies of a London audience. The particulars of his success since have been too much before our eyes to render a circumstantial detail of them expedient. I shall only mention, that Mr. Willoughby, his resentments having had time to subside, is at present one of the fastest friends of his old renegado factor; and that Mr. Liston's hopes of Miss Parker vanishing along with his unsuccessful suit to Melpomene, in the autumn of 1811 he married his present lady, by whom he has been blessed with one son, Philip, and two daughters, Ann and Angustina.
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MR.
MUNDEN. IN A LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE “ LONDON
AWARK’EE, Mr. Editor. A word in your
ear. They tell me you are going to put a 12 me in print, -in print, sir; to publish my 123D life. What is my life to you, sir? What is it to you whether I ever lived at all? My life is a very good life, sir. I am insured at the Pelican, sir. I am threescore years and six,—six; mark me, sir; but I can play Polonius, which, I believe, few of your corre-correspondents can do, sir. I suspect tricks, sir: I smell a rat; I do, I do. You would cog the die upon us; you would, you would, sir. But I will forestall you, sir. You would be deriving me from William the Conqueror, with a murrain to you. It is no such thing, sir. The town shall know better, sir. They begin to smoke your flams, sir. Mr. Liston may be born where he pleases, sir; but I will not be born at LupLupton Magna for anybody's pleasure, sir. My son and I have looked over the great map of Kent together, and we can find no such place as you would palm upon us, sir ; palm upon us, I say. Neither Magna nor Parva, as my son says, and he knows Latin, sir; Latin. If you write my life true, sir, you must set down that I, Joseph Munden, comedian, came into the world upon Allhallows Day, Anno Domini, 1759–1759; no sooner nor later, sir ; and I saw the first lightthe first light, remember, sir, at Stoke PogisStoke Pogis, comitatu Bucks, and not at LupLup Magna, which I believe to be no better than moonshine- moonshine; do you mark me, sir? I wonder you can put such fim-flams upon us, sir ; I do, I do. It does not become you, sir; I say it,- I say it. And my father was an honest tradesman, sir: he dealt in malt and hops, sir; and was a corporation-man, sir; and of the Church of England, sir, and no Presbyterian; nor Ana—Anabaptist, sir; however you may be disposed to make honest people believe to the conirary, sir. Your bams are found out, sir. The town will be your stale-puts no longer, sir; and you must not send us jolly fellows, sir, -we that are comedians, sir,--you must not send us into groves and char-charnwoods a moping, sir. Neither charns, nor charnel-houses, sir. It is not our constitution, sir: I tell it you I tell it you. I was a droll dog from my cradle. I came into the world tittering, and the midwife tittered, and the gossips spilt their caudle with tittering; and, when I was brought to the font, the parson could not christen me for tittering. So I was never more than half baptized. And, when I was little Joey, I made 'em all titter; there was not a melancholy face to be seen in Pogis. Pure nature, sir. I was born a comedian. Old Screwup, the undertaker, could tell you, sir, if he were living. Why, I was obliged to be locked up every time there was to be a su
neral at Pogis. I was—I was, sir. I used to grimace at the mutes, as he called it, and put 'em out with my mops and my mows, till they couldn't stand at a door for me. And when I was locked up, with nothing but a cat in my company, I followed my bent with trying to make her laugh; and sometimes she would, and sometimes she would not. And my schoolmaster could make nothing of me: I had only to thrust my tongue in my cheek-in my cheek, sir, and the rod dropped from his fingers; and so my education was limited, sir. And I grew up a young fellow, and it was thought convenient to enter me upon some course of life that should make me serious; but it wouldn't do, sir. And I was articled to a dry-salter. My father gave forty pounds premium with me. sir. I can show the indent-dentdentures, sir. But I was born to be a comedian, sir: so I ran away, and listed with the players, sir : and I topt my parts at Amersham and Gerrard's Cross, and played my own father to his face, in his own town of Pogis, in the part of Gripe, when I was not full seventeen years of age; and he did not know me again, but he knew me afterwards ; and then he laughed, and I laughed, and, what is better, the dry-salter laughed, and gave me up my articles for the joke's sake: so that I came into court afterwards with clean hands-with clean hands -do you see, sir ?
[Here the manuscript becomes illegible for two or three sheets onwards, which we presume to be occasioned by the absence of Mr. Munden, jun., who clearly transcribed it for the press thus far. The rest (with the exception of the concluding paragraph, which is seemingly resumed in the first handwriting) appears to contain a confused account of some lawsuit, in which the elder Munden was engaged; with a circumstantial history of the proceedings of a case of breach of promise of marriage, made to or by (we cannot pick out which) Jemima Munden, spinster ; probably the comedian's cousin, for it does not appear he had any sister; with a few dates, rather better preserved, of this great actor's engagements, -as “Cheltenham (spelt Cheltnam), 1776;" “Bath, 1779;” “London, 1789;" together with stage anecdotes of Messrs. Edwin, Wilson, Lee, Lewis, &c.; over which we have strained our eyes to no purpose, in the hope of presenting something amusing to the public. Towards the end, the manuscript brightens up a little, as we said, and concludes in the following manner :]
- stood before them for six and thirty years [we suspect that Mr. Munden is here speaking of his final leave-taking of the stage), and to be dismissed at last. But I was heart-whole to the last, sir. What though a few drops did course themselves down the old veteran's cheeks : who could help it, sir? I was a giant that night, sir; and could have played fifty parts, each as arduous as Dozy. My faculties were never better, sir. But I was to be laid upon the shelf. It did not suit the public to laugh with their old servant any longer, sir. (Here some moisture has blotted a sentence or two.] But I can play Polonius still, sir ; I can, I can.
Your servant, sir,