Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 9.djvu/233

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whole house was that of wainscot, and the Muse of Tragedy, instead of ' sweeping by in her sceptred pall,' amused her retirement with the simplex munditiis of quaker affluence. In her drawing-room hung the portrait of her brother John [J. P. Kemble] as Hotspur, on horseback, which the late Sir Francis Bourgeois painted when M. Desenfans became possessed of the wonderful sketch by Van- dyke now at Dulwich." Gent. Mag.


" KEMP." This word, incidentally men- tioned in a contribution by MR. PLATT (ante, p. 74), is denned by Dr. Murray as a " coarse or stout hair occurring in wool." Our Bradford woolsorters would define it as "hair which has become detached from the skin before shearing, dead hair which will not take the dye and shows white or grey in the woven fabric." CHARLES A. FEDERER.


APPEASING A GHOST. The 1231st 'Cele- brity at Home' of the World, 15 January, was the Earl of Orford at Mannington Hall, Norfolk. With the writer of the article, I think

"it is interesting to note, in connexion with the late Earl's burial, that his coffin when brought from London, where he died, was not driven three times round the church at Wolterton, although this is the first time the formality has been omitted. The tradition held that Horatio, second Earl of Orford, destroyed the tombs of the IScalmers, former possessors of the place, and one of the unhappy ladies of this family, finding no rest, is said to still haunt the churchyard, always searching for the remains of her relations. To mollify her uneasy spirit, every Earl of Orford at his burial is driven in his hearse three times round the church before he is laid to his rest."


THE p.P. RIOTS. A graphic picture of these disturbances occurs in the second volume of (Lord) Campbell's * Law Reports ' :

" Mr. Clifford, a gentleman of great eminence at the bar, on the 31st of October [1809], between nine and ten in the evening, went into the pit of Covent Garden Theatre, which had been lately rebuilt. On this, as on every night from the first opening of the house, great noise and confusion prevailed, on account of the prices of admission to the pit and boxes being raised, and the public being excluded from a number of boxes which were let to particular individuals for the season. The performance on the stage was inaudible ; the spectators sometimes stood on the benches, and at other times sat down with their backs to the performers ; while the play was representing, ' God save the King ! ' and ' Rule, Britannia ! ' were sung by persons in different parts of the theatre ; horns were blown, bells were rung, and rattles were sprung ; placards were exhibited, exhorting the audience to resist the oppression of the managers ; and a number of men wore in their hats the letters O.P. and N.P.B., meaning Old Prices and No Private Boxes. But although there were some sham-tights in the pit, no violence was

offered to any person either on the stage or in any other part of the house, and no injury was done to the theatre itself, or any of its decorations. When Mr. Clifford entered, there was a cry of 'There comes the honest counsellor ! ' and, a passage being opened for him, he went and seated himself in the centre of the pit. Soon afterwards, a gentleman asked him if there was any harm in wearing the letters O.P. He answered 'No.' The gentleman then asked him if he had any objection to wear them himself. He said he had not. The letters O.P. were then placed in his hat, and he put it on thus ornamented. He continued, however, to sit without taking any part in the disturbance, and he persuaded a person who was near him to desist trom blowing a trumpet. Having conducted him- self in this quiet manner while he remained in the theatre, he was retiring from it."

Thereupon one Brandon, the box-keeper, gave Mr. Clifford in charge. He was taken to Bow Street, where the magistrate, Mr. Read, set him at liberty. Then he sued Brandon for the assault and false imprison- ment.

The case was heard before Sir James Mans- field, in the Common Pleas at Westminster. Serjeant Best, being retained for Mr. Clifford, contended that, within the walls of a public theatre, the public have a right to express their approbation or disapprobation without limit or control ; and that, as there had been no pulling up of benches, or breaking of chandeliers, or bloodshed, there had been no riot.

" The people were only expressing, according to ancient usage, their sense of what they disapproved. The noise was great, but not greater than is fre- quently heard at the condemnation of a new play. Bells and rattles may be new to the pit, but cat- calls, which are equally stunning, are as old as the English drama."

Besides this, Mr. Clifford's conduct had been quiet. He had even stopped the blowing of a trumpet.

" By wearing O.P. in his hat, he simply expressed his opinion, that the old prices were sufficient, and ought to be restored. If this were illegal, it would soon be a misdemeanour to wear a blue cockade at an election, or a white favour at a wedding."

Sir James Mansfield held that there had been a riot, and said :

"It is not easy to see that the plaintiff [Mr. Clifford] had no intention to encourage the rioters. How happened it that at his entrance he was saluted with the exclamation, 'Here comes the honest counsellor!' How had he deserved this peculiar panegyric? How came it that a word from him was sufficient to prevent a man from blowing a trumpet ? "

These were awkward questions; but the jury cut the knot by giving Mr. Clifford damages in the sura of five pounds.


Portland, Oregon.