Alexander von Humboldt.

The life of Miss Anne Catley, celebrated singing performer of the last century; including an account of her introduction to public life, her professional engagements in London and Dublin, and her various adventures and intrigues... Carefully comp. and ed. from the best and most authentic records ext online

. (page 6 of 6)
Online LibraryAlexander von HumboldtThe life of Miss Anne Catley, celebrated singing performer of the last century; including an account of her introduction to public life, her professional engagements in London and Dublin, and her various adventures and intrigues... Carefully comp. and ed. from the best and most authentic records ext → online text (page 6 of 6)
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dialogue, afforded her a greater opportunity of displaying
that peculiar vivacity which scorned all bounds, except
those of decorum.

In 1770 she appeared again at Covent Garden, and
continued to perform a stated number of nights for many
succeeding years, much to her own and the manager's
advantage. In 1773, she sung at the oratorios at Covent
Garden, by which she added to her fortune more than her
fame, for her natural vivacity was not well suited to the
solemnity of such performances, and had to contend with



72 Life op Miss Anne Catley.

the more chastised deportment of Mr. Sheridan at the rival
theatre. Being always attentive to economy, in a course of
years she had amassed a considerable fortune, and when
her attractions failed, she was enabled to retire to indepen-
dence. Her last performance was in 1784.

Her goodness of heart and benignity of disposition
appear in many charitable works, which would have done
honour to more high-born dames ; her wanderings cannot
be called errors, but misfortunes, the common result of a
bad education. Though she came into the world without
reputation, she left it with a good character, a sufficient
proof that all her levities proceeded from inexperience, and
not from natural depravity.

Though she was no wit, she possessed a considerable
share of humour, several bon mots, however, have been made
for her, such as she would be ashamed to utter, for good
nature and decency were inseparable companions of her
mirth. To the man of her choice she was faithful, loving,
and submissive, though on the stage the best Juno that
ever boxed a Jupiter.




Life of Miss Anne Catlet. 73

Cbaractets performed bs fllMss Catlep.



1763. Covent Garden.
April 26th " Sally," in Love makes a Man.

1763. Dublin.

Mossop invited her to Dublin ; she arrived in December,

and made her first appearance as " Polly Peachum."

1764. Smock Alley, Dublin.
October 15th " Polly " and " Macheath."

"Patty," in the Maid of the Mill.

1765. Smock Alley, Dublin.
As " Polly " and " Lucy."

1769. Smock Alley, Dublin.
March As " Euphrosyne," in Comus.
Oct. 11th As "Polly," also "Euphrosyne."

1770. Covent Garden.
October 2nd As " Rosetta," in Love in a Village.
23rd As " Leonora," in Venice Preserved.
Novem. 8th As " Jenny," in Lionel and Clarissa.
22nd As " Isabella," in The Portrait.
(Never before acted.)
Decern. 13th As "Rachel," in the Jovial Crew.

1772. Smock Alley, Dublin.
As " Rosetta," several times. As " Polly " once.
As " Euphrosyne " once, when she took a benefit.

1772. Covent Garden.
Sept. 30th First appearance for two years in " Rosetta."
Oct. 13th As "Polly," in the Beggars' Opera.
17th In Chorus of British Virgins, in Elfrida.
(Never before acted.)

k



74



Life op Miss Anne Catley.



1773. Covent Garden.
February 6th As " Juno," in the Golden Pippin.
Septem. 16th As " Euphrosyne," in Comus ; also in the

West Indian.
Decern. 16th As "Theaspe," in Achilles in Petticoats;
also as " Earl of Essex."

1774. Covent Garden.
Septem. 5th As "Lucy" (1st time), in Beggars 1 Opera.
Novem. 1st As " Rachel," in the Jovial Crew.

1775. Covent Garden.
January 21st As "Harriet," in the Two Misers ; also in
Henry II.

1776. Covent Garden.
Septem. 27th As " Polly," in the Beggars 1 Opera.

30th As " Lucy," do.

October 25th As " Rachel," in the Jovial Crew.

1780. Covent Garden.
Feby. 17th As " Euphrosyne," in Comus.
Septem. 20th As " Clara" (1st time), in The Duenna.

21st As "Lucy," in the Beggars 1 Opera.
Novem. 15th As "Aunt Deborah " (by desire, and with a

Song in character).
Decern. 12th As "Dorcas," in the Spanish Friar.

(By desire.)

1781. Covent Garden.
January 13th As "Fanny," in the Maid of the Mill.
October 17th As " Macheath," in the Beggars 1 Opera.

1782. Covent Garden.
March 18th As "Margery," in the Mourning Bride
(for Miss Younge's benefit.)



Life op Miss Anne Catley. 75

fl&iss Catley as /Hbacbeatb.



To the Printer of the Town and Country Magazine.
Sir,

The different Metamorphoses which the Beggars* Opera
has lately undergone, clearly prove that burlesque and
ridicule may be carried too far. It is more than probable
that Mr. Colman took his idea of transposing the characters
from males to females, and vice versa, from the success Mrs.
Kennedy had met with in "Macheath;" the thought,
however, appeared novel, and it succeeded beyond his most
sanguine expectations. The managers of Covent Garden
Theatre, unwilling to be outdone in invention, judged,
that in representing all the characters by females they
would improve upon Mr. Column's thought, and Miss
Catley was chosen, at a very extravagant salary, to perform
Macheath; but her greatest admirers must own, that she
neither looked, dressed, or spoke the character, so as to
convey the idea of a bold, enterprising gentleman highway-
man. For what cause is best known to herself, she never
changed her dress, but appeared in boots the whole time,
as if she were just come off the road ; whereas Macheath
always dressed previous to his going to Marybone, as it is
to be supposed he was there to meet some of the politest
company about town, to whom he would take every pre-
caution of not giving the slightest suspicion of his being a
highwayman. The consequence was natural, and, as might
be expected, the town was nauseated with the same un-
natural hodge-podge, though dressed different ways, and
they repaired to another table that was better served.

In a word Miss Catley has been fairly foiled at her own
weapons. She judged that by brazening out the part she



76 Life op Miss Anne Catley.

was sure of success ; whilst Mrs. Cargill, by studying
nature, and pursuing the intention of the poet, not only
succeeded in the same character beyond her friends' most
sanguine expectations, but, it is said, that she looked so
much " the youth in a cart who has the air of a lord," that
she made some conquests amongst her own sex, who were
unapprized of the deception. Theatkicus.



'Ikeeffe ant> /IDiss Catley

O'Keeffe says " The first time of my venturing into a
theatre after the ill success of my ' Banditti,' Miss Catley
accosted me from a front now of the lower boxes, loud
enough, as I was many rows back, to be heard by all and
everybody, ' So, O'Keeffe you had a piece damned the other
night I'm glad of it the devil mend you for writing an
Opera without bringing me into it. '

A few minutes after she had thus accosted me, Leoni
entered the box, with a lady leaning on his arm Miss
Catley catching his eye, called out, 'How do you do Leoni ?
I hear you're married is that your wife ! bid her stand
up till I see her.' Leoni, abashed, whispered the lady, who,
with good humoured compliance stood up Catley after
surveying her a little, said, ' Ha ! very well indeed I like
your choice.' The audience around seemed more diverted
with this scene in the boxes than that on the stage, as
Miss Catley and her oddities were well known to all."



Life op Miss Anne Catley. 77

H)eatb of flDiss Gatles.



The family of Catley coming from Yorkshire, I am
reminded of the decease of a favourite of that name, the
celebrated Anne Catley, whom I could only know, when
a visible decline was sapping the vital power that bore
her once triumphantly above all humorous singers.

Miss Catley, was, I think, married to General Lascelles,
and left a large family by him, four sons and four
daughters however her will was signed Anne Catley, and
was written entirely in her own hand. The good sense
that she unquestionably possessed, appears eminently in
the final settlement of her property. She makes General
Francis Lascelles sole executor, and bequeaths him ten
pounds for a mourning ring. The eldest of her four
daughters at the time of her decease, was to have her
wearing apparel, watch, trinkets, <fec, as a distinction
in all other respects, the four sons and four daughters
were to have equal shares at the age of twenty-one years ;
and, until then, their shares were to be invested in the
funds, and considered, as to the interest, applicable to
their education. She had bought the house in which she
died, at Ealing for the daughters, and, as far as a provident
parent could do, established them respectably. The
probate called her property 5000, but this was far from
being the whole of it.

There was in her personal character a good deal of the
careless boldness of Woffington ; like her too she was
extremely handsome, and her eye and mouth had a peculiar
expression of archness. She aimed at an almost manly
frankness of speech, and acted as one superior to censure,



78 Life op Miss Anne Catlet.

when she raised the wonder of prudery. Catley had an
understanding too sound to indicate the indiscretions of
her youth ; but her follies did not long survive that period,
and she amply atoned in her maturity for the scandal she
had excited formerly in society. There was a graceful
propriety in her domestic concerns. She was never profuse,
and could therefore be liberal in all her arrangements. In
her youth she had been acquainted with difficulties, and
the lesson was ever present to her mind. Her ear was
always open to the unhappy, and her hand was enabled,
by economy, to spare no scanty relief to strangers, without
invading the provision she had destined for her family.
In the great relations of life as a daughter, wife, mother,
and friend, she was, in principle, steady and exemplary.

Her complaint, a pulmonary consumption, had wasted
her to a shade, and it had lingered beyond the usual term
of that baneful, yet nattering pest. She was but forty
four at the time of her decease. There were many points
of similarity between Mrs. Jordan and Miss Catley ; not
that the former ever possessed the nerve or the prudence
of the latter. Life of Mrs. Jordan, Boaden.



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Online LibraryAlexander von HumboldtThe life of Miss Anne Catley, celebrated singing performer of the last century; including an account of her introduction to public life, her professional engagements in London and Dublin, and her various adventures and intrigues... Carefully comp. and ed. from the best and most authentic records ext → online text (page 6 of 6)