Page images

mean time, it had so happened that Mr. Gerard had been arrested for his share in a conspiracy to assassinate Oliver Cromwell and to seize on the Tower of London. He, too, was tried and found guilty; and by a singular coincidence (or, as Lord Clarendon styles it," a very exemplary piece of justice"), Gerard and Pantaleon suffered on the same scaffold. Gerard set his antagonist an example of intrepidity which the other was slow in following. "Don Pantaleon," says Clarendon, "was brought to the scaffold on Tower Hill as soon as Mr. Gerard was executed, where he lost his head with less grace than his antagonist had done."

A strange and romantic story, in connexion with the New Exchange, is related both by Pennant and Walpole. "Above stairs," says the former, “sat, in the character of a milliner, the reduced Duchess of Tyrconnel, wife to Richard Talbot, Lord Deputy of Ireland, under James the Second. A female, suspected to have been his duchess, after his death supported herself for a few days (till she was known and otherwise provided for), by the little trade of this place, and had delicacy enough to wish not to be detected: she sat in a white mask, and a white dress, and was known by the name of the White Milliner." This was the beautiful coquette, Frances Jennings, whose frolics and whose charms are painted in such lively colours in the pages of De Grammont, and to whom both Charles the Second and his brother, the Duke of York, made dishonourable

love. That the story of her being reduced to seek a precarious subsistence as a milliner, in the New Exchange, is not only apocryphal but untrue, we firmly believe. We have evidence that after the death of the Duke her husband, she retired to, and resided on, the Continent. It is known, too, that she enjoyed a small pension from the French court, as well as a jointure on some Irish property; and, though we learn from the letters of her brother-inlaw, the great Duke of Marlborough, that the latter was very irregularly paid, yet, under all the circumstances, and also with the claims which she had on the generosity of the exiled monarch, it is scarcely possible to believe that one of such high connexions was ever reduced to absolute want. Moreover, the Duke of Marlborough, notwithstanding his notorious penuriousness, would scarcely have allowed his sister-in-law to descend to so degraded a position. It has been said, indeed, that she lived upon bad terms with her sister, the haughty Duchess; but the recent publication of some of the Duke of Marlborough's private letters, go far to disprove the fact. At the latter part of the reign of Queen Anne, the New Exchange had ceased to be the resort of the fashionable world; and in 1737 it was razed to the ground.

Opposite to Durham Yard, adjoining No. 418, in the Strand, may be seen a small passage, which still bears the name of New Exchange Court. It leads into an obscure area, in which is a public house of venerable appearance, bearing the name of the "Old

Thatched House." An inscription informs us that this was once the dairy of Nell Gwynn.

In Durham Yard resided Mother Beaulie, a notorious procuress in the days of Charles the Second. Her house is said to have been frequented by Maurice Tellier, Archbishop of Rheims, when he came to England with Crequi, in 1677, to treat concerning the marriage of the Dauphin of France, with the Princess Mary, eldest daughter of the Duke of York.*

Dr. Johnson, in a letter dated 31st March 1741, incidentally mentions that he had recently “removed to the "Black Boy," in the Strand, over against Durham Yard."

A great portion of the site of old Durham Palace, is now occupied by the range of buildings known as the Adelphi. They were erected by two brothers (from whence the word Adelphi, or AAEAPOI), of the names of Robert and John Adam; from whom Robert Street, John Street and Adam Street, derive their names. In the centre house of the Adelphi Terrace, overlooking the Thames (No. 5), lived and died David Garrick, whose death, in the words of Dr. Johnson," eclipsed the gaiety of nations." One of the most interesting of Hannah More's letters, is that in which she describes her visit to her friend Mrs. Garrick, immediately after the death of the great actor. She had been summoned to London at the express desire of the disconsolate widow, in hopes of being able to administer comfort to her in her

*See "Lives of Leland, Hearne, and Wood," vol. ii. 266.

great affliction.

"She was prepared for meeting me:" writes Hannah More; "she ran into my arms, and we both remained silent for some minutes; at last she whispered, I have this moment embraced his coffin, and you come next.' She soon recovered herself, and said with great composure, ‘The goodness of God to me is inexpressible; I desired to die, but it is His will that I should live, and He has convinced me He will not let my life be quite miserable, for He gives astonishing strength to my body and grace to my heart!-neither do I deserve; but I am thankful for both.' She thanked me a thousand times for such a real act of friendship, and bade me be comforted, for it was God's will. She told me they had just returned from Althorpe, Lord Spencer's, where he had been reluctantly dragged, for he had felt unwell for some time; but during his visit he was often in such fine spirits that they could not believe he was ill. On his return home he appointed Cadogan to meet him, who ordered him an emetic, the warm bath, and the usual remedies, but with very little effect. On the Sunday he was in good spirits and free from pain; but as the suppression still continued, Dr. Cadogan became extremely alarmed, and sent for Pott, Heberden, and Schomberg, who gave him up the moment they saw him. Poor Garrick stared to see his room full of doctors, not being conscious of his real state. No change happened till the Tuesday evening, when the surgeon, who was sent for to blister and bleed him, made light of his illness, assuring Mrs. Garrick that


[ocr errors]

he would be well in a day or two, and insisted on her going to lie down. Towards morning she desired to be called if there was the least change. Every time that she administered the draughts to him in the night, he always squeezed her hand in a particular manner, and spoke to her with the greatest tenderness and affection. Immediately after he had taken his last medicine, he softly said, 'Oh! dear,' and yielded up his spirit without a groan, and in his perfect senses. I paid a melancholy visit to the coffin yesterday," adds Hannah More, "where I found food for meditation, till the mind bursts with thinking. His new house is not so pleasant as Hampton, nor so splendid as the Adelphi; but it is commodious enough for all the wants of its inhabitant; and besides, it is so quiet that he will never be disturbed till the eternal morning, and never till then will a sweeter voice than his own be heard. May he then find mercy! They are preparing to hang the house with black, for he is to lie in state till Monday." During the time that preparations were making for the funeral, Mrs. Garrick remained at the house of a friend, but, immediately after the ceremony she returned to the Adelphi. "On Wednesday night," says Hannah More, "we came to the Adelphi,-to this house! She bore it with great tranquillity; but what was my surprise to see her go alone into the chamber and bed in which he had died that day fortnight! She had a delight in it beyond expression. I asked her, the next day, how she went through it? she told me Very well; that

« PreviousContinue »