Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/107

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49
THE DISASTER AT NEW ORLEANS.

command. On the 27th, the enemy's picquets were driven in within six miles of the town, where their main body was found most strongly posted, and supported by a ship of war moored in such a position as to enfilade the assailants. The result was that the assault of the British was delivered under so withering a fire from every part of the enemy's line., that General Pakenham was killed, Generals Keane and Gibbs wounded, while over 2,000 men and officers were killed, wounded, or made prisoners. Colonel Thornton, indeed, had crossed the river during the previous night and captured a flanking battery of the Americans on the other side; but the report made by him to General Lambert was of so discouraging a character that he decided not to persevere with the attempt, and in the end the whole army re-embarked, leaving a few of the most dangerously wounded behind them, but carrying off all their artillery, ammunition, and stores. The concluding operation of the war was the capture of Fort Mobile, which surrendered to the British on the nth of February.

1815.
Romeo Coates.
A remarkable figure puts in an appearance in the caricatures of the early part of the century. This was the renowned "Romeo" Coates, a vain, weak-minded gentleman, who had an absolute passion for figuring on the boards as Romeo, Lothario, Belcour, and other romantic characters, for which his personal appearance and lack of brains altogether unfitted him. His "readings," like himself, being of the most original character, his vagaries afforded endless amusement to the coarse public of his day. The gods befooled him "to the top of his bent;" his overweening vanity failing to show the poor creature that he was exciting ridicule instead of applause. The fun (?) culminated in the tragic scene, Romeo, to their delight, responding to the encores of his audience, by repeating the dying scene so long as it suited the managers to prolong the sorry exhibition. Macready, whose dramatic genius and refined sensibilities revolted at a spectacle so degrading, describes him as he appeared at Bath, in 1815: "I was at the theatre," says the tragedian, "on the morning of his rehearsal, and introduced to him. At night the. house was too crowded to afford me a place in front, and seeing me