Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/215

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Faucit
Faucit
203

Sir Thomas Clifford. The performance was a success, and a three years' engagement was signed. Her face, figure, and voice were pronounced by the press to be good, though she was rebuked for a tendency to extravagance in action—not an unpromising quality in a novice—and she was credited with the possession in an eminent degree of energy, pathos, and grace. She came at a time fortunate for her reputation. The brilliant but short-lived career of Fanny Kemble was practically over, and there was no actress left, as there has been none since, seriously to challenge her supremacy in the poetical drama. On the 27th she took, with no less conspicuous success, her second part, Belvidera in Otway's ‘Venice Preserved.’ The 8th Feb. saw her as Mrs. Haller in ‘The Stranger,’ and the 25th witnessed her first original part, Margaret in Joanna Baillie's ‘Separation.’ Juliet was not given until 10 March, and on 16 April she was the first Florinda in ‘Don John of Austria,’ a translation from the French of Casimir Delavigne. Mariana in Knowles's ‘Wife’ followed, 26 May, and on 6 June she replaced Miss Ellen Tree as Clemanthe in Talfourd's ‘Ion’ to the Ion of Macready. On 20 June she appeared as Mrs. Beverley in ‘The Gamester;’ on 24 Sept. as Portia, on 1 Oct. as Lady Teazle, on 6 Oct. as Constance in ‘King John,’ on 21 Oct. as Desdemona, and on 23 Dec. as Beatrice. For her benefit she appeared as Mrs. Beverley and Katherine in ‘The Taming of the Shrew.’

After his assault upon Alfred Bunn [q.v.] in April 1836 Macready quitted Drury Lane for Covent Garden, at which house, as La Vallière in ‘The Duchesse de la Vallière’ of Bulwer, Miss Faucit appeared, 4 Jan. 1837, to Macready's Bragelone. Such success as was obtained was hers rather than his. She appeared as Constance in ‘King John,’ Queen Katherine in ‘King Henry VIII,’ was the original Erina in Knowles's ‘Brian Boroihme,’ and 1 May, Lucy Countess of Carlisle in Browning's ‘Strafford.’ Imogen in ‘Cymbeline,’ Hermione in ‘The Winter's Tale,’ and Marion in Knowles's ‘Wrecker's Daughter’ followed. Macready, in the autumn of 1837, undertook the management of Covent Garden, which he opened on 30 Sept. with ‘The Winter's Tale.’ After playing two original parts, Clotilda Lilienstein in ‘The Novice,’ and Jane Carlton in ‘The Parole of Honour,’ and being seen as Jane Shore and Desdemona, and Lady Townley in ‘The Provoked Husband,’ Miss Faucit was Cordelia to Macready's ‘Lear,’ Virginia to his Virginius, and took, 27 Feb. 1838, her famous original part of Pauline Deschappelles in ‘The Lady of Lyons.’ Marina in ‘The Two Foscari,’ Angiolina in ‘Marino Faliero,’ Mrs. Oakley in ‘The Jealous Wife,’ Creusa in Talfourd's ‘Athenian Captive,’ and Hero in Knowles's ‘Woman's Wit’ belong to this time. Of these pieces the last only was a success. The first important production of 1838–9 was ‘The Tempest,’ in which she was an exquisite Miranda. Another of her finest parts in which she was then seen was Rosalind. She was also the heroine of Bulwer's ‘Richelieu,’ 7 March 1839. On 19 August she went with Macready to the Haymarket, opening in Desdemona, which she followed up with Mrs. Haller, Mrs. Oakley, and Portia in ‘The Merchant of Venice.’ On 31 Oct. she was the first Violet in Bulwer's ‘Sea Captain.’ Helen Campbell in Talfourd's ‘Tragedy of Glencoe’ came on 23 May 1840, and Lady Dorothy Cromwell in Serle's ‘Master Clarke,’ 26 Sept. Lady Teazle and Violende in ‘The Wonder’ preceded the production of Bulwer's ‘Money,’ 8 Dec., in which she was the original Clara Douglas. Miss Faucit also played Julia in ‘The Rivals,’ and was, for her benefit on 1 Nov. 1841, the original Nina Sforza in Troughton's play so named. She was also seen as Beatrice in ‘Much Ado.’ She did not rejoin Macready at Drury Lane, whither he had gone in 1841, until 14 Feb. 1842. Sophronia in Gerald Griffin's ‘Gisippus’ was first seen on 23 April, Maddalene in George Darley's ‘Plighted Troth,’ which was a failure, and Angiolina in Byron's ‘Marino Faliero’ were given during the season. She then with Macready visited Dublin and Birmingham. Angelica in ‘Love for Love,’ seen 12 Nov. 1842, was a novel experiment, and on 10 Dec. she was the first Lady Mabel in Westland Marston's ‘Patrician's Daughter.’ This was long remembered and was followed on 11 Feb. 1843 by Mildred Tresham in Browning's ‘Blot in the 'Scutcheon.’ Her Lady in ‘Comus’ was one of her most successful performances. Virginia in ‘Virginius’ and Lady Macbeth followed, and these rôles, with Constance, Lady Laura Gaveston, her original part in Knowles's ‘Secretary,’ Portia in ‘Julius Cæsar,’ 24 April, Hermione, and Elfrida, also an original part in Smith's ‘Athelwold,’ carried her to the end of the season, when Macready's management broke up.

Edinburgh and Glasgow were then visited. In the former city she seems to have first met Mr. (now Sir) Theodore Martin, who was subsequently to be her husband. After visiting other towns, including Dundee, Newcastle, Cork, and Limerick, she went to Paris, whither she was followed by Macready. The two appeared together at the Salle Ventadour 22 Dec. 1842, Macready being eminently dissatisfied to find her reception