friend : " His death eclipsed the gaiety of nations, and impoverished the public stock of harmless pleasure."
There is an air of bathos in this remark, which gives it rather a ridiculous effect, but it certainly has truth for its foundation; for since the death of the inimitable histrionical powers of Garrick, the stage has alike lost its force to charm, and its influence to improve. The compliment, also, only extends to a single feature in the character of Garrick; if you wish to have the whole form complete, I must recommend you to that admirable painter of the human mind, Goldsmith, who has analyzed that of his dramatic friend with all the power of a master:
"Here lies David Garrick, describe me who can,
An abridgment of all that was pleasant in man;
As an aftor, confest without rival to shine; As a wit, if not first, in the very first line:
Yet, with talents like these, and an excellent heart,
The man had his failings—a dupe to his art.
Like an ill-judging beauty, his colours he spread,
And beplaster'd with rouge his own natural red.
On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting;
'Twas only that when he was off, he was acting.
With no reason on earth to go out of his way,
He turn'd and he vary'd full ten times a day;
Tho' secure of our hearts, yet confoundedly sick,
If they were not his own by finessing and trick:
He cast off his friends, as a huntsman his pack,