The Great Riots of New York

Amusements and Sports,
page 4 of 12

behavior, and where their departure had given much joy to a disgusted Quaker community. It was called Murray and Kean’s company, and sprung up in Philadelphia like a toadstool in a night, from whence or how no one knows. The comedians announced their “sitting down” in New York for the season. They opened with King Richard III., “written by Shakespeare and improved by Colley Cibber.” They also played “The Beau in the Sudds,” “The Spanish Fryer,” “The Orphan,” “The Beau’s Stratagem,” “The Constant Couple,” “The Lying Valet,” “The Twin Rivals,” “Colin and Phoebe,” “Love for Love,” “The Stagecoach,” “The Recruiting Officer,” “Cato,” “Amphitryon,” “Sir Harry Wildair,” “George Barnwell,” “Bold Stroke for a Wife,” “Beggar’s Opera,” “The Mock Doctor,” “The Devil to Pay,” “The Fair Penitent,” “The Virgin Unmasked,” “Miss in her Teens,” and a variety of pantomimes and farces. This was really a very good series of bills, but the actors were a sorry lot. One was a redemptioner, Mrs. Davis, and she had a benefit to help to buy her freedom; another desired a benefit, as he was “just out of prison.” They were in town ten months, and seem to have been on very friendly terms with the public, borrowing single copies of plays to study from, having constant benefits, ending with one for Mr. Kean, in which one Mrs. Taylor was “out so much in her part” that she had to be apologized for afterwards in the newspapers. She had a benefit shortly after, at which, naturally and properly, there “was n’t much company.” Miss George at her benefit had bad weather and other disappointments, and tried it over again. At last Mr. Kean, “by the advice of several Gentlemen having resolv’d to quit the stage and folow his Emploment of writing and hopes for Encouragement,” sold his half of “his cloaths” and the stage effects for a benefit, at which if the house had been full to overflowing the whole receipts would not have been more than two hundred and fifty dollars. John Tremain also “declined the stage” and went to cabinet-making, — “plain and scallopt tea-tables, etc.,”— which was very sensible, since tea was more desired than the drama. A new company sprung up, but “mett with small encouragement,” though the company “assured the Publick they are


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