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ANNALS

OF

THE ENGLISH STAGE,

FROM

THOMAS BETTERTON TO EDMUND KEAN.

Jibon
BY DR. DORAN, F.S. A.,

AUTHOR OF “TABLE TRAITS,

," "LIVES OF THE QUEENS OF ENGLAND OF THE HOUSE OF

HANOVER," ETC., ETO.

WITH

A MEMOIR OF DR. DORAN, AND AN INTRODUCTION AND CONCLUSION,

By R. H. STODDARD.

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. II.

NEW YORK:
A. O. ARMSTRONG & SON,

714 BROADWAY.

1880.

8329

69

28 80
y,

DORAN'S ANNALS OF THE STAGE.

CHAPTER I.

MARGARET WOFFINGTON.

That good-tempered woman, who is looking with admiration at the pretty and delicate child who is drawing water from the Liffey, is Madame Violante. She is mistress of a booth for ropedancing and other exhibitions in Dame Street. As the young girl turns homeward, with the bowl of water on her head, the lady follows, still admiring.

The object of her admiration is as bright and as steady as a sunbeam. If she be ill-clad, she is exquisitely shaped, and she will live to lend her dresses to the two Miss Gunnings, to enable them to attend a drawing-room at the Castle; their first steps towards reaching the coronets of countess and duchess that were in store for them.

This child, meanwhile, enters a shabby huckster's shop, kept by her widowed mother, on Ormond Quay. The father was a working bricklayer, and married the mother when she was as hard-working a laundress. There is another child in this poor household, a sister of the water-bearer, fair, but less fair than she. When Madame Violante first saw Mary and Margaret Woffington, she little dreamed that the latter would be the darling of London society, and the former the bride of a son of one of the proudest of English earls.

Margaret Woffington, born in 1720, was very young when Madame Violante induced her mother to let her have the pretty

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