Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 5.djvu/274

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NOTES AND QUERIES. [9* s. v. APRIL 7, 1900.


as to make the vernal equinox fall on the same day as it did then, and to do this it was necessary to strike ten days out of the calendar. The yearllGOO was not a leap-year according to either system of reckoning ; but as 1700 was not by the Gregorian rule and was by the Julian, when the former rule was adopted in England in 1752, eleven days had to be dropped. After 1800 (which was also a leap-year by the Julian rule and not by the Gregorian) the Russian calendar differed by twelve days from ours, and from this year (1900) it differs by thirteen unless a change is now effected. W. T. LYNN.

Blackheath.

FIRST EDITION OP MOLI^RE. Of the first collected edition of Moliere's 'Works' only two volumes are known, although it is gener- ally supposed that at* least', five volumes were published. I have just purchased a first edition of 'Le Sicilien ; ou, 1'Amour Peintre,' 1668, and between the title-page and first page of the text is interleaved the following title-page :

"Les Oeuvres De Monsieur De Moliere. Tome Troisiesme. [Woodcut.] 'A Paris chez Jean Ribou au palais vis a vis la Porte de la S. Chapelle & 1'image S. Louis. M.DC.LXVIII. Avec privilege du Roy."

As no other edition before 1673 contains more than two volumes, the above title-page must refer to the first collected edition of Moliere. MAURICE JONAS.

THEATRICAL ANECDOTE. The conflicting statements of history are well illustrated by the following anecdote as related by two reputable authorities, and worthy, I think, of a place in the pages of ' N. & Q.' In the ' Life of Fitz-Greene Haileck,' the^American poet, written by James Grant Wilson, pub- lished by D. Appleton & Co., New York, 1869, pp. 366-7, we read :

" Another Kemble anecdote, which Haileck re- lated to me with great gusto, was as follows, the dramatis personce being John Philip and Charles Kemble, and a son of the Emerald Isle ; scene, Drury Lane Theatre, London. The gifted brothers sat one night in the' pit, listening to a play written by the 'divine William.' In the course of the evening Charles Kemble said to his brother, 'I really think this is the best play for representation that Shakespeare ever wrote.' No sooner had he made this remark, than a huge and red-headed, broad-shouldered, bull-necked, ferocious - looking Irishman, who sat immediately behind him, leaned forward, and tapped him on the shoulder to secure his attention. 'I think, sir,' he observed, with a strong brogue, 'ye said it was one Shakespeare what wraught that play. It was not, Shakespeare, sir, but my friend Linnard McNally what wraught that play.' ' Oh, sir,' replied Charles Kemble, coolly, ' very well.' A short time after this the Irishman tapped him on the shoulder again. ' Do you belave,


sir, that it was my friend Linnard McNally what wraught that play ?' ' Oh yes, certainly, sir, if you say so,' was the peaceable reply. For a while the brothers remained unmolested ; but at length Charles felt the heavy hand once more upon him. ' Your friend, what sits on your left side,' ex- claimed the Irishman, ' don't look as if he believed it was my friend Linnard McNally what wraught that play.' This was too much for the Kembles ; they rose and left the theatre together, not deeming it either pleasant or perfectly safe to remain in such belligerent society. Who the man was they never knew ; but the friend whom he was so determined to pass off as the greatest dramatic genius of every age was an obscure writer of plays and songs, who is entitled to remembrance only as the author of ' The Lass of Richmond Hill.' "

Michael Kelly, in his ' Reminiscences,' pub- lished by Colburn in 1826, 2 vols., at pp. 261-2, second volume, relates the anecdote, minus the many-ad jectived Irishman, in this way :

' I went one day to dine with my witty country- man Curran, the Master of the Rolls, at his pretty place at Rathfarnham. Among his guests was Counsellor MacNally, the author of the opera of ' Robin Hood.' I passed a delightful day there. Many pleasant stories were told after dinner ; amongst others, one of MacNally's, to prove the predilection which some of our country- men formerly had, for getting into scrapes when they first arrived in London. The night his opera, ' Robin Hood,' was brought out at Covent Garden Theatre, a young Irish friend of his, on his first visit to London, was seated on the second seat in jhe front boxes ; on the front row were two gentle- men, who at the close of the first act were saying low much they liked the opera, and that it did ?reat credit to Mrs. Cowley, who wrote it. On bearing this, my Irish friend got up, and tapping one of them on the shoulder, said to him, ' Sir, you say his opera was written by Mrs. Cowley ; now I say t was not. This opera was written" by Leonard MacNally, Esq., Barrister at Law, of No. 5, Pump Court, in the Temple. Do you take my word for it, sir?' 'Most certainly, sir, replied the astonished gentleman; 'and I feel much obliged for the in-

ormation you have so positively given me.' 'Umph ;

very well,' said he, and sat down. At the end of the second act, he got up, and again accosted the same gentleman, saying, ' Sir, upon your honour as a gentle- nan, are you in your own mind perfectly satis- icd that Leonard MacNally, Esq., Barrister at Law, of No. 5, Pump Court, in the Temple, has actually written this opera and not Mrs. Cowley ?' 'Most )erfectly persuaded of it, sir,' said the gentleman, bowing. ' Then, sir,' said the young Irishman, ' I wish you a good-night'; but just as he was leaving

he box, he turned to the gentleman whom he had
>een addressing and said, ' Pray, sir, permit me to

ask, is your friend there convinced that this opera was written by Mr. MacNally, Barrister at Law, of S"o. 5, Pump Court, in the Temple?' 'Decidedly, sir,' was the reply ; ' we are both fully convinced of

he correctness of your statement.' ' Oh, then, if
hat is the case, I have nothing more to say,' said

the Hibernian, ' except that if you had not both assured me you were so, neither of you would be sitting quite so easy on your seats as you do now.'"

The Kernbles, or perhaps Haileck, had a ittle animus in describing this character as