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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

David Garrick by Thomas Gainsborough.

David Garrick (born 19 February 1717 in Hereford – 20 January 1779) was an English actor, playwright, theatre manager and producer who influenced nearly all aspects of theatrical practice throughout the 18th century and was a pupil and friend of Dr Samuel Johnson. He appeared in a number of amateur theatricals, and with his appearance in the title role of Shakespeare's Richard III audiences and managers began to take notice. Impressed by his portrayals of Richard III and a number of other roles, Charles Fleetwood engaged Garrick for a season at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. He remained with the Drury Lane company for the next five years and purchased a share of the theatre with James Lacy. This purchase inaugurated twenty-nine years of Garrick's management of the Drury Lane, during which time, it rose to prominence as one of the leading theatres in Europe. At his death, three years after his retirement from Drury Lane and the stage, he was given a lavish public funeral at Westminster Abbey where he was laid in Poets' Corner.

As an actor, Garrick promoted realistic acting that departed from the bombastic style that was entrenched when Garrick first came to prominence. His acting delighted many audiences and his direction of many of the top actors of the English stage influenced their styles as well. Furthermore, during his tenure as manager of Drury Lane, Garrick sought to reform audience behaviour. While this led to some discontent among the theatre-going public, many of his reforms eventually did take hold. In addition to audiences, Garrick sought reform in production matters, bringing an over-arching consistency to productions that included scenery, costumes and even special effects.

Garrick's influence extended into the literary side of theatre as well. Critics are almost unanimous in saying he was not a good playwright, but his work in bringing Shakespeare to contemporary audiences is notable. In addition, he adapted many older plays in the repertoire that might have been forgotten. These included many plays of the Restoration era. Indeed, while influencing the theatre towards a better standard he also gained a better reputation for theatre folk. This accomplishment led Samuel Johnson to remark that "his profession made him rich and he made his profession respectable."




Early life

Garrick was born into a family with French Huguenot roots that could be traced to the Languedoc region of southern France. Garrick's great-grandfather, David Garric, was in Bordeaux in 1685 when the Edict of Nantes was abolished, revoking the rights of Protestants in France. David Garrick fled to London and his son, Peter who was an infant at the time, was later smuggled out by a nurse when he was deemed old enough to make the journey. David Garrick became a British subject upon his arrival in Britain and anglicized the name to Garrick.[1] At the time of David Garrick's birth in 1717, the family was living in the city of Hereford moving to Lichfield, home to Garrick's mother, shortly after his birth. His father, Captain Peter Garrick, was an army recruiting officer stationed, through most of young Garrick's childhood, in Gibraltar.[2] Garrick was the third of five children and his younger brother, George (1723-1779), would be an aide to David for the remainder of his life. Playwright and actor, Charles Dibdin, recorded that George, discovering his brother's absence would often inquire "Did David want me?" Upon Garrick's death in 1779, it was noted that George died forty-eight hours later, leading some to speculate that "David wanted him."[3] His nephew, Nathan Garrick, married Martha Leigh, daughter of Sir Egerton Leigh, Bart and sister of Sir Samuel Egerton Leigh, author of Munster Abbey; a Romance: Interspersed with Reflections on Virtue and Morality (Edinburgh 1797).

Playbill from Garrick's debut as Richard III.

At the age of nineteen, Garrick, who had been educated at Lichfield Grammar School, enrolled in Samuel Johnson's Edial Hall School. Garrick showed an enthusiasm for the theatre very early on and he appeared in a school production around this time in the role of Sergeant Kite in George Farquhar's The Recruiting Officer. After Johnson's school was closed, he and Garrick, now friends, travelled to London together in order to seek their fortunes. Upon his arrival in 1737, Garrick and his brother became partners in a wine business with operations in both London and Lichfield with David taking the London operation.[4] The business did not flourish, possibly due to Garrick's distraction by amateur theatricals. Playwright Samuel Foote remarked that he had known Garrick to have only three quarts of vinegar in his cellar and still calling himself a wine merchant.[2]

Have mercy, Jesu! Soft! I did but dream. O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me! -- Shakespeare's Richard III Act V, Sc. 3. David Garrick in 1745 as Richard III just before the battle of Bosworth Field, his sleep having been haunted by the ghosts of those he has murdered, wakes to the realization that he is alone in the world and death is imminent. Painting by English painter, William Hogarth.

In 1740, four years after Garrick's arrival in London and with his wine business failing, he saw his first play, a satire, Lethe: or Aesop in the Shade, produced at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.[5] Within a year he was appearing professionally playing small parts at the Goodman's Fields Theatre under the management of Henry Giffard. The Goodman's Fields Theatre had been shuttered by the Licensing Act of 1737 which closed all theatres that did not hold the letters patent and required all plays to be approved by the Lord Chamberlain before performance. Garrick's performances at the theatre was a result of Giffard's help with Garrick's wine business. Giffard had helped Garrick win the business of the Bedford Coffee-house, an establishment patronized by many theatrical and literary people and a location Garrick frequented.[6]

Professional actor

He made his debut as a professional actor at Ipswich in 1741 in Oroonoko, or the Royal Slave, a play by the British dramatist Thomas Southerne. He also joined a summer tour to Ipswich with Giffard's troupe, where he played Aboan in Southerne's Oroonoko, appearing under the stage name Lyddal to avoid the consternation of his family.[7] But, while he was successful under Giffard, the managers of Drury Lane and Covent Garden rejected him.[4] On 19 October 1741, Garrick appeared in the title role of Richard III. He had been coached in the role by actor and playwright Charles Macklin and his natural performance, which rejected the declamatory acting style so prevalent in the period, soon was the talk of London. Of his performance at Goodman's Fields, Horace Walpole remarked, "there was a dozen dukes a night at Goodman's Fields."[8] Following his rousing performance, Garrick wrote to his brother requesting withdrawal from the partnership in order to devote his time completely to the stage. Having found success with Richard III, Garrick moved onto a number of other roles including Tate's adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear and Pierre in Otway's Venice Preserv'd as well as comic roles such as Bayes in Buckingham's The Rehearsal; a total of 18 roles in all in just the first six months of his acting career. His success led Alexander Pope, who saw him perform three times during this period, to surmise, "that young man never had his equal as an actor, and he will never have a rival."[9]

With his success at Goodman's Fields, Charles Fleetwood, manager of Drury Lane, engaged Garrick to play Chaumont on Otway's The Orphan (a role he first played in Ipswich[10]) on 11 May 1742 while he used his letters patent to close down Giffard's theatre.[11] That same month, Garrick played King Lear opposite Margaret "Peg" Woffington as Cordelia and his popular Richard III.[12] With these successes, Fleetwood engaged Garrick for the full 1742-43 season.[4]

At Drury Lane

Garrick (right) as Abel Drugger in Jonson's The Alchemist painted by Johann Zoffany.

At the end of the London season, Garrick, along with Peg Woffington, traveled to Dublin for the summer season at the Theatre Royal, Smock Lane. While in Dublin, Garrick added two new roles to his repertoire: Shakespeare's Hamlet, Abel Drugger in Ben Jonson's The Alchemist (a role that garnered him much acclaim[4]) and Captain Plume in Farquhar's The Recruiting Officer.[10] Some of his success could be attributed to one of his earliest fans, John Boyle, 5th Earl of Cork, who wrote letters to many noblemen and gentlemen recommending Garrick's acting. His writings led Garrick to exclaim that it must have been the reason he was "more caressed" in Dublin.[13]

Five years after joining the acting company at Drury Lane, Garrick again travelled to Dublin for a season where he managed and directed at the Smock Alley Theatre in conjunction with Thomas Sheridan, the father of Richard Brinsley Sheridan. After his return to London, he spent some time acting at Covent Garden under John Rich while a farce of his, Miss in Her Teens, was also produced there.

David Garrick and his wife, Eva Marie Veigel, painted by William Hogarth. This painting is in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle.

With the end of the 1746-1747 season, Fleetwoods' patent on Drury Lane expired in partnership with James Lacy, Garrick took over the theatre in April of 1747. The theatre had been in a decline for some years, but the partnership of Garrick and Lacy led to success and accolades. The first performance under Garrick and Lacy's management opened with an Ode to Drury Lane Theatre, on dedicating a Building and erecting a Statue, to Shakespeare read by Garrick and written by his friend, Dr. Johnson. The ode promised the patrons that "The drama's law the drama's patrons give,/For we that live to please must please to live." Certainly this statement could be regarded as succinctly summing up Garrick's management at Drury Lane where he was able to balance both artistic integrity and the fickle tastes of the public.

After the Woffington affair and a number of other botched love affairs, Garrick met Eva Marie Veigel (1724-1822), a German dancer in opera choruses who emigrated to London in 1746. The pair wed on June 22, 1749 and were preserved together in several portraits, including one by William Hogarth. Hogarth also made several drawings and paintings of them separately. The union was childless but happy, Garrick calling her "the best of women and wives", and they were famously inseparable throughout their nearly 30 years of marriage.

Garrick would manage the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane until his retirement from management in 1776. In his last years he continued to add roles to his repertoire; Posthumus in Cymbeline was among his last famous roles. He died less than three years later, at his house in Adelphi Buildings, London[14] and was interred in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey. Mrs. Garrick survived her husband by 43 years.

An easy, natural manner

Perhaps it was Garrick's acting, the most showy of his careers, that brought him the most adulation. Garrick was not a large man, only standing 5'4" and his voice is not described as particularly loud. From his first performance, Garrick departed from the bombastic style that had been popular, choosing instead a more relaxed, naturalistic style that biographer Alan Kendall states "would probably seem quite normal to us today, but it was new and strange for his day." Certainly this new style brought acclamation: Alexander Pope stated, "he was afraid the young man would be spoiled, for he would have no competitor." and Garrick quotes George Lyttelton as complimenting him by saying, "He told me he never knew what acting was till I appeared." Even James Quin, an actor in the old style remarked, "If this young fellow be right, then we have been all wrong."

While Garrick's praises were being sung by many, there were some detractors. Theophilus Cibber in his Two Dissertations on the Theatres of 1756 believed that Garrick's realistic style went too far:

His over-fondness for extravagant attitudes, frequently affected starts, convulsive twitchings, jerkings of the body, sprawling of the fingers, flapping the breast and pockets; a set of mechanical motions in constant use; the caricatures of gesture, suggested by pert vivacity; his pantomimical manner of acting, every word in a sentence, his unnatural pauses in the middle of a sentence; his forced conceits; his wilful neglect of harmony, even where the round period of a well-expressed noble sentiment demands a graceful cadence in the delivery.

But Garrick's legacy was perhaps best surmised by Rev Nicolas Tindal, the historian, when he said that:

The 'deaf' hear him in his 'action, and the 'blind' see him in his 'voice'.[15]


"I am disappointed by that stroke of death that has eclipsed the gaiety of nations, and impoverished the public stock of harmless pleasure."

  • A carved stone medallion, a metre or more in diameter, showing Garrick is on display at Birmingham Central Library.
  • Garrick was the first actor to be granted the honour of being buried in Westminster Abbey, the second being Lord Olivier in 1989.
  • A film made in 1937, a comedy called The Great Garrick directed by James Whale is a fictional story revolving around Garrick's acting skills and his ego which inspires the Academie Francaise to teach him a lesson. The film stars Brian Aherne as Garrick.
  • A School House at King Edward VI School, Lichfield is named after him.
  • The lyrics he penned for Heart of Oak remain, with William Boyce's music, the official March Of the Royal Navy.
  • Juan de Dios Peza wrote a poem about Garrick, portraying him as a suicidal comedian, Reir Llorando.
  • In May 2007, the Spanish comedy troupe Tricicle opened a production of comedic sketches entitled "Garrick" in tribute to the actor.
  • Legend has it that he was so engrossed in a performance of Richard III that he was oblivious to a bone fracture, inspiring the theatrical felicitation "Break a leg!"[16]

Theatre names

Several theatres have been named after Garrick:

  • Two theatres, in London, have been named for him. The first, Garrick Theatre (Leman St) in Whitechapel opened in 1831, and closed in 1881. The second, opened in 1889 as the Garrick Theatre, still survives.
  • The Lichfield Garrick Theatre takes its name from David Garrick, as does the Garrick Room, the main function suite in Lichfield's George Hotel.
  • An amateur dramatic theatre in Altrincham, "The Altrincham Garrick Theatre", also takes his name.
  • The arts and theatre building at Hampton School is named after him.
  • A Community Theatre located north of Perth, Western Australia is named after Garrick.

Major works

A scene from Garrick's "The Farmer's Return" painted by Johann Zoffany. David Garrick as the Farmer and Mrs. Bradshaw as the Farmer's Wife
  • Lethe: or, Aesop in the Shades (1740)
  • The Lying Valet (1741)
  • Miss in Her Teens; or, The Medley of Lovers (1747)
  • Lilliput (1756)
  • The Male Coquette; or, Seventeen Fifty Seven (1757)
  • The Guardian (1759)
  • Harlequin's Invasion (1759)
  • The Enchanter; or, Love and Magic (1760)
  • The Farmer's Return from London (1762)
  • The Clandestine Marriage (1766)
  • Neck or Nothing (1766)
  • Cymon (1767)
  • Linco's Travels (1767)
  • A Peep Behind the Curtain, or The New Rehearsal (1767)
  • The Jubilee (1769)
  • The Irish Widow (1772)
  • A Christmas Tale (1773)
  • The Meeting of the Company; or, Bayes's Art of Acting (1774)
  • Bon Ton; or, High Life Above Stairs (1775)
  • The Theatrical Candidates (1775)
  • May-Day; or, The Little Gypsy (1775)


  • "David Garrick". Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition.
  • Freedley, George and John A. Reeves. A History of the Theatre. New York, Crown. 1968.
  • Kendall, Alan. David Garrick: A Biography. New York, St. Martin's Press. 1985.
  • Hartnoll, Phyllis. The Oxford Companion to the Theatre. Oxford, Oxford University Press. 1983.
  • Holland, Peter. "David Garrick". in Banham, Martin, ed. The Cambridge Guide to Theatre. London, Cambridge University Press. 1995. pp. 411-412.
  • Seewald, Jan. Theatrical Sculpture. Skulptierte Bildnisse berühmter englischer Schauspieler (1750–1850), insbesondere David Garrick und Sarah Siddons. Herbert Utz Verlag, München 2007, ISBN 978-3-8316-0671-9
  • Woods, Leigh. David Garrick. in Pickering, David, ed. International Dictionary of Theatre. Vol. 3. New York, St. James Press. 1996.


  1. ^ Kendall, p. 12.
  2. ^ a b Britannica.
  3. ^ Kendall, p. 13.
  4. ^ a b c d Hartnoll, p. 315.
  5. ^ Kendall, p.17.
  6. ^ Kendall, p. 19.
  7. ^ Holland, p. 411.
  8. ^ Freedley, p. 290.
  9. ^ Britannica
  10. ^ a b Woods, p. 291.
  11. ^ Hartnoll, p. 231.
  12. ^ Kendall, p. 27
  13. ^ Kendall, p. 26.
  14. ^ The Strand, southern tributaries - continued, Old and New London: Volume 3 (1878), pp. 100-110 accessed: 30 May 2008
  15. ^ Nichols, John (1812) 'Literary Anecdotes' Article on Nicolas Tindal
  16. ^ Tom Dale Keever (1995-12-18). "Richard III as rewritten by Colley Cibber". Primary Texts and Secondary Sources On-line. Richard III Society — American Branch. http://www.r3.org/bookcase/cibber.html. Retrieved 2008-04-11.  

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

David Garrick by Thomas Gainsborough.

David Garrick (19 February 1717, in Hereford20 January 1779) was an English actor, playwright, theatre manager and producer who influenced nearly all aspects of theatrical practice throughout the 18th century and was a pupil and friend of Samuel Johnson.


  • Corrupted freemen are the worst of slaves.
    • Prologue to the Gamesters.
  • Their cause I plead,—plead it in heart and mind;
    A fellow-feeling makes one wondrous kind.
    • Prologue on Quitting the Stage in 1776. Compare: "I would help others, out of a fellow-feeling", Robert Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy. Democritus to the Reader.
  • Prologues like compliments are loss of time;
    ’T is penning bows and making legs in rhyme.
    • Prologue to Crisp’s Tragedy of Virginia.
  • Let others hail the rising sun:
    I bow to that whose course is run.
    • On the Death of Mr. Pelham. Compare: "Pompey bade Sylla recollect that more worshipped the rising than the setting sun", Plutarch, Life of Pompey.
  • This scholar, rake, Christian, dupe, gamester, and poet.
    • Jupiter and Mercury.
  • Heart of oak are our ships,
    Heart of oak are our men;
    We always are ready.
    • Hearts of Oak. Compare: "Our ships were British oak, And hearts of oak our men", S. J. Arnold, Death of Nelson.
  • Here lies James Quinn. Deign, reader, to be taught,
    Whate’er thy strength of body, force of thought,
    In Nature’s happiest mould however cast,
    To this complexion thou must come at last.
    • Epitaph on Quinn. Murphy’s Life of Garrick. Vol. ii. p. 38.
  • Are these the choice dishes the Doctor has sent us?
    Is this the great poet whose works so content us?
    This Goldsmith’s fine feast, who has written fine books?
    Heaven sends us good meat, but the Devil sends cooks?
    • Epigram on Goldsmith’s Retaliation. Vol. ii. p. 157. Compare: "God sendeth and giveth both mouth and the meat", Thomas Tusser, A Hundred Points of Good Husbandry (1557); "God sends meat, and the Devil sends cooks", John Taylor, Works, vol. ii. p. 85 (1630).
  • Here lies Nolly Goldsmith, for shortness called Noll,
    Who wrote like an angel, and talk’d like poor Poll.
    • Impromptu Epitaph on Goldsmith.


  • His profession made him rich and he made his profession respectable.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

DAVID GARRICK (1717-1779), English actor and theatrical manager, was descended from a good French Protestant family named Garric or Garrique of Bordeaux, which had settled in England on the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. His father, Captain Peter Garrick, who had married Arabella Clough, the daughter of a vicar choral of Lichfield cathedral, was on a recruiting expedition when his famous third son was born at Hereford on the 19th of February 1717. Captain Garrick, who had made his home at Lichfield, where he had a large family, in 1731 rejoined his regiment at Gibraltar. This kept him absent from home for many years, during which letters were written to him by " little Davy," acquainting him with the doings at Lichfield. When the boy was about eleven years old he paid a short visit to Lisbon where his uncle David had settled as a wine merchant. On his father's return from Gibraltar, David, who had previously been educated at the grammar school of Lichfield, was, largely by the advice of Gilbert Walmley, registrar of the ecclesiastical court, sent with his brother George to the " academy " at Edial, just opened in June or July 1736 by Samuel Johnson, the senior by seven years of David, who was then nineteen. This seminary was, however, closed in about six months, and on the 2nd of March 1736/7 both Johnson and Garrick left Lichfield for London - Johnson, as he afterwards said, " with twopence halfpenny in his pocket," and Garrick " with three-halfpence in his." Johnson, whose chief asset was the MS. tragedy of Irene, was at first the host of his former pupil, who, however, before the end of the year took up his residence at Rochester with John Colson (afterwards Lucasian professor at Cambridge). Captain Garrick died about a month after David's arrival in London. Soon afterwards, his uncle, the wine merchant at Lisbon, having left David a sum of £t000, he and his brother entered into partnership as wine merchants in London and Lichfield, David taking up the London business. The concern was not prosperous - though Samuel Foote's assertion that he had known Garrick with three quarts of vinegar in the cellar calling himself a wine merchant need not be taken literally - and before the end of 1741 he had spent nearly half of his capital.

His passion for the stage completely engrossed him; he tried his hand both at dramatic criticism and at dramatic authorship. His first dramatic piece, Lethe, or Aesop in the Shades, which he was thirty-seven years later to read from a splendidly bound transcript to King George III. and Queen Charlotte, was played at Drury Lane on the 15th of April 1740; and he became a wellknown frequenter of theatrical circles. His first appearance on the stage was made in March 1741, incognito, as harlequin at Goodman's Fields, Yates, who was ill, having allowed him to take his place during a few scenes of the pantomime entitled Harlequin Student, or The Fall of Pantomime with the Restoration of the Drama. Garrick subsequently accompanied a party of players from the same theatre to Ipswich, where he played his first part as an actor under the name of Lyddal, in the character of Aboan (in Southerne's Oroonoko). His success in this and other parts determined his future career. On the 19th of October 1741 he made his appearance at Goodman's Fields as Richard III. and gained the most enthusiastic applause. Among the audience was Macklin, whose performance of Shylock, early in the same year, had pointed the way along which Garrick was so rapidly to pass in triumph. On the morrow the latter wrote to his brother at Lichfield, proposing to make arrangements for his withdrawal from the partnership, which, after much distressful complaint on the part of his family, met by him with the utmost consideration, were ultimately carried into effect. Meanwhile, each night had added to his popularity on the stage. The town, as Gray (who, like Horace Walpole, at first held out against the furore) declared, was " horn-mad " about him. Before his Richard had exhausted its original effect, he won new applause as Aboan, and soon afterwards as Lear and as Pierre in Otway's Venice Preserved, as well as in several comic characters (including that of Bayes).

Glover (" Leonidas ") attended every performance; the duke of Argyll, Lords Cobham and Lyttelton, Pitt, and several other members of parliament testified their admiration. Within the first six months of his theatrical career he acted in eighteen characters of all kinds, and from the 2nd of December he appeared in his own name. Pope went to see him three times during his first performances, and pronounced that " that young man never had his equal as an actor, and he will never have a rival." Before next spring he had supped with " the great Mr Murray, counsellor," and was engaged to do so with Mr Pope through Murray's introduction, while he was dining with Halifax, Sandwich and Chesterfield. " There was a dozen dukes of a night at Goodman's Fields," writes Horace Walpole. Garrick's farce of The Lying Valet, in which he performed the part of Sharp, was at this time brought out with so much success that he ventured to send a copy to his brother.

His fortune was now made, and while the managers of Covent Garden and Drury Lane resorted to the law to make Giffard, the manager of Goodman's Fields, close his little theatre, Garrick was engaged by Fleetwood for Drury Lane for the season of 1742. In June of that year he went over to Dublin, where he found the same homage paid to his talents as he had received from his own countrymen. He was accompanied by Margaret (Peg) Woffington, of whom he had been for some time a fervent admirer. (His claim to the authorship of the song to Lovely Peggy is still sub judice. There remains some obscurity as to the end of their liaison.) From September 1742 to April 1745 he played at Drury Lane, after which he again went over to Dublin. Here he remained during the whole season, as joint-manager with Sheridan, in the direction and profits of the Theatre Royal in Smock Alley. In 1746-1747 he fulfilled a short engagement with Rich at Covent Garden, his last series of performances under a management not his own. With the close of that season Fleetwood's patent for the management of Drury Lane expired, and Garrick, in conjunction with Lacy, purchased the property of the theatre, together with the renewal of the patent; contributing 8000 as two-thirds of the purchase-money. In September 1747 it was opened with a strong company of actors, Johnson's prologue being spoken by Garrick, while the epilogue, written by him, was spoken by Mrs Woffington. The negotiations involved Garrick in a bitter quarrel with Macklin, who appears to have had a real grievance in the matter. Garrick took no part himself till his performance of Archer in the Beaux' Stratagem, a month after the opening. For a time at least " the drama's patrons " were content with the higher entertainment furnished them; in the end Garrick had to " please " them, like most other managers, by gratifying their love of show. Garrick was surrounded by many players of eminence, and he had the art, as he was told by Mrs Clive, " of contradicting the proverb that one cannot make bricks without straw, by doing what is infinitely more difficult, making actors and actresses without genius." He had to encounter very serious opposition from the old actors whom he had distanced, and with the younger actors and actresses he was involved in frequent quarrels. But to none of them or their fellows did he, so far as it appears, show that jealousy of real merit from which so many great actors have been unable to remain free. For the present he was able to hold his own against all competition. The naturalness of his acting fascinated those who, like Partridge in Tom Jones, listened to nature's voice, and justified the preference of more conscious critics. To be " pleased with nature " was, as Churchill wrote, in the Rosciad (1761),1 to be pleased with Garrick. For the stately declamation, the sonorous, and beyond a doubt impressive, chant of Quin and his fellows, Garrick substituted rapid changes of passion and humour in both voice and gesture, which held his audiences spellbound. " It seemed," wrote Richard Cumberland, " as if a whole century had been stepped over in the passage of a single scene; old things were done away, and a new order at once brought forward, 1 In the subsequent Apology addressed to the Critical Reviewers, Churchill revenged himself for the slight which he supposed Garrick to have put upon him, by some spiteful lines, which, however, Garrick requited by good-humoured kindness.

bright and luminous, and clearly destined to dispel the barbarisms of a tasteless age, too long superstitiously devoted to the illusions of imposing declamation." Garrick's French descent and his education may have contributed to give him the vivacity and versatility which distinguished him as an actor; and nature had given him an eye, if not a stature, to command, and a mimic power of wonderful variety. The list of his characters in tragedy, comedy and farce is large, and would be extraordinary for a modern actor of high rank; it includes not less than seventeen Shakespearian parts. As a manager, though he committed some grievous blunders, he did good service to the theatre and signally advanced the popularity of Shakespeare's plays, of which not less than twenty-four were produced at Drury Lane under his management. Many of these were not pure Shakespeare; and he is credited with the addition of a dying speech to the text of Macbeth. On the other hand, Tate Wilkinson says that Garrick's production of Hamlet in 1773 was well received at Drury Lane even by the galleries, " though without their favourite acquaintances the gravediggers." Among his published adaptations are an opera, The Fairies (from Midsummer Night's Dream) (1755); an opera The Tempest (1756); Catherine and Petruchio (1758); Florizel and Perdita (1762). But not every generation has the same notions of the way in which Shakespeare is best honoured. Few sins of omission can be charged against Garrick as a manager, but he refused Home's Douglas, and made the wrong choice between False Delicacy and The Good Natur'd Man. For the rest, he purified the stage of much of its grossness, and introduced a relative correctness of costume and decoration unknown before. To the study of English dramatic literature he rendered an important service by bequeathing his then unrivalled collection of plays to the British Museum.

After escaping from the chains of his passion for the beautiful but reckless Mrs Woffington, Garrick had in 1749 married Mademoiselle Violette (Eva Maria Veigel), a German lady who had attracted admiration at Florence or at Vienna as a dancer, and had come to England early in 1746, where her modest grace and the rumours which surrounded her created a furore, and where she found enthusiastic patrons in the earl and countess of Burlington. Garrick, who called her " the best of women and wives," lived most happily with her in his villa at Hampton, acquired by him in 1754, whither he was glad to escape from his house in Southampton Street. To this period belongs Garrick's quarrel with Barry, the only actor who even temporarily rivalled him in the favour of the public. In 1763 Garrick and his wife visited Paris, where they were cordially received and made the acquaintance of Diderot and others at the house of the baron d'Holbach. It was about this time that Grimm extolled Garrick as the first and only actor who came up to the demands of his imagination; and it was in a reply to a pamphlet occasioned by Garrick's visit that Diderot first gave expression to the views expounded in his Paradoxe sur le comedien. After some months spent in Italy, where Garrick fell seriously ill, they returned to Paris in the autumn of 1764 and made more friends, reaching London in April 1765. Their union was childless, and Mrs Garrick survived her husband until 1822. Her portrait by Hogarth is at Windsor Castle.

Garrick practically ceased to act in 1766, but he continued the management of Drury Lane, and in 1769 organized the Shakespeare celebrations at Stratford-on-Avon, an undertaking which ended in dismal failure, though he composed an " Ode upon dedicating a building and erecting a Statue to Shakespeare " on the occasion. (See, inter alia, Garrick's Vagary, or England Run Mad; with particulars of the Stratford Jubilee, 1769.) Of his best supporters on the stage, Mrs Cibber, with whom he had been reconciled, died in 1766, and Mrs (Kitty) Clive retired in 1769; but Garrick contrived to maintain the success of his theatre. He sold his share in the property in 1776 for £35,000, and took leave of the stage by playing a round of his favourite characters - Hamlet, Lear, Richard and Benedick, among Shakespearian parts; Lusignan in Zara, Aaron Hill's adaptation of Voltaire's Zaire; and Kitely in his own adaptation of Ben Jonson's Archer in Farquhar's Beaux' Stratagem; Abel Drugger in Ben Jonson's Alchemist; Sir John Brute in Vanbrugh's Provoked Wife; Leon in Fletcher's Rule a Wife and have a Wife. He ended the series, as Tate Wilkinson says, " in full glory " with " the youthful Don Felix "in Mrs Centlivre's Wonder on the 10th of June 1776. He died in London on the 10th of January 1779. He was buried in Westminster Abbey at the foot of Shakespeare's statue with imposing solemnities. An elegy on his death was published by William Tasker, poet and physiognomist, in the same year.

In person, Garrick was a little below middle height; in his later years he seems to have inclined to stoutness. The extraordinary mobility of his whole person, and his power of as it were transforming himself at will, are attested by many anecdotes and descriptions, but the piercing power of his eye must have been his most irresistible feature.

Johnson, of whose various and often merely churlish remarks on Garrick and his doings many are scattered through the pages of Boswell, spoke warmly of the elegance and sprightliness of his friend's conversation, as well as of his liberality and kindness of heart; while to the great actor's art he paid the exquisite tribute of describing Garrick's sudden death as having " eclipsed the gaiety of nations, and impoverished the public stock of harmless pleasure." But the most discriminating character of Garrick, slightly tinged with satire, is that drawn by Goldsmith in his poem of Retaliation. Beyond a doubt he was not without a certain moral timidity contrasting strangely with his eager temperament and alertness of intellect; but, though he was not cast in a heroic mould, he must have been one of the most amiable of men. Garrick was often happy in his epigrams and occasional verse, including his numerous prologues and epilogues. He had the good taste to recognize, and the spirit to make public his recognition of, the excellence of Gray's odes at a time when they were either ridiculed or neglected. His dramatic pieces, The Lying Valet, adapted from Motteux's Novelty Lethe (1740), The Guardian, Linco's Travels (1767), Miss in her Teens (1747), Irish Widow, &c., and his alterations and adaptations of old plays, which together fill four volumes, evinced his knowledge of stage effect and his appreciation of lively dialogue and action; but he cannot be said to have added one new or original character to the drama. He was joint author with Colman of The Clandestine Marriage (1766), in which he is said to have written his famous part of Lord Ogleby. The excellent farce, High Life below Stairs, appears to have been wrongly attributed to Garrick, and to be by James Townley. His Dramatic Works (1798) fill three, his Poetic (1735) two volumes.

Garrick's Private Correspondence (published in 1831-1832 with a short memoir by Boaden, in 2 vols. 4to), which includes his extensive Foreign Correspondence with distinguished French men and women, and the notices of him in the memoirs of Cumberland, Hannah More and Madame D'Arblay, and above all in Boswell's Life of Johnson, bear testimony to his many attractive qualities as a companion and to his fidelity as a friend.


A collection of unprinted Garrick letters is in the Forster library at South Kensington. A list of publications of all kinds for and against Garrick will be found in R. Lowe's Bibliographical History of English Theatrical Literature (1887). The earlier biographies of Garrick are by Arthur Murphy (2 vols., 1801) and by the bookseller Tom Davies (2 vols., 4th ed., 1805), the latter a work of some merit, but occasionally inaccurate and confused as to dates; and a searching if not altogether sympathetic survey of his verses is furnished by Joseph Knight's valuable Life (1894). A memoir of Garrick is included in a volume of French Memoirs of Mlle Clairon and others, published by Levain (H. L. Cain) at Paris in 1846; and an Italian Biografia di Davide Garrick was published by C. Blasis at Milan in 1840. Mr Percy Fitzgerald's Life (2 vols., 1868; new edition, 1899) is full and spirited, and has been reprinted, with additions, among Sir Theodore Martin's Monographs (1906). A delightful essay on Garrick appeared in the Quarterly Review (July 1868), directing attention to the admirable criticisms of Garrick's acting in 1775 in the letters of G. C. Lichtenberg (Verm. Schriften, iii., Göttingen, 1801). See also for a very valuable survey of Garrick's labours as an actor, with a bibliography, C. Gaehde, David Garrick als Shakespeare-Darsteller, &c. (Berlin, 1904). Mrs Parsons' Garrick, and his Circle and Some unpublished Correspondence of David Garrick, ed. G. P. Baker (Boston, Mass., 1907), are interesting additions to the literature of the subject. There is also a Life by James Smyth, David Garrick (1887). T. W. Robertson's play David Garrick, first acted by Sothern, and later associated with Sir Charles Wyndham, is of course mere fiction.

As to the portraits of Garrick, see W. T. Lawrence in The Connoisseur (April 1905). That by Gainsborough at Stratford-onAvon was preferred by Mrs Garrick to all others. Several remain from the hand of Hogarth, including the famous picture of Garrick as Richard III. The portraits by Reynolds include the celebrated " Garrick between Tragedy and Comedy." Zoffany's are portraits in character. Roubiliac's statue of Shakespeare, for which Garrick sat, and for which he paid the sculptor three hundred guineas, was originally placed in a small temple at Hampton, and is now in the entrance hall at the British Museum. (R. CA.; A. W. W.)

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