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had recourse to a little false courage, and perceiving a little boy, a hanger-on of the carpenters, at the side scene, he bid him go into the adjoining tavern and get a glass of cold brandy-and-water, at the same time charging the lad to “set the better foot before," and make diligent speed. Away, in nimble haste, scampered the little messenger, and quicker than Ariel, he did his “spiriting,” for he returned in less time than the sender had believed possible, and presented a huge tumbler, filled to the brim, to Mr. Holland, who was just then “called” to go upon the stage. The actor eagerly seized the compound, drinking it to the very dregs, literallyfor arriving at the bottom of the glass he observed a dark red sediment clinging to it, and exclaiming against the dirty compounder of the draught, told the boy to carry back the glass to the tavern, and ask what filthy stuff had been mixed with the brandy-and-water.

At this instant, Horatio's cue being given, Mr. Holland went upon the stage, from which, shortly after, his attention was withdrawn by the apparition of the landlady of the hotel—whose figure he knewstanding at the

wing,” with several of the performers, who seemed listening with consternation to something she was telling them as she wrung her hands and wept bitterly,—from time to time looking anxiously towards the stage, and beckoning to Mr. Holland as if, in imitation of Denmark's ghost, she “some impartment did desire to him alone !"

Oh pray,

He was surprised, but of course could not attend to her, although again and again did she wave him “to a more removed ground.” At length the scene ended, and Mr. Holland's " fate cried out ” in very audible accents—"what's the matter my good woman?” At this address the sorrowing woman's tears fell faster and faster, and with hands and eyes uplifted in supplication, she, by piecemeal, thus “unpacked her heart with words.”

“Oh! Sir! oh dear Sir! Pray forgive me !-I didn't go to do it, — indeed I didn't. pray, say you forgive me for what I've done!”

“Well,” replied the actor, in his softest tones, “what have you done? and what have I to forgive?”

Oh, Sir! oh Mr. Holland !-you may forgive me, but I shall never forgive myself to my dying day !” declared the conscientious landlady.

“But what ?” asked Mr. Holland impatiently“What is your dying-day to me, Ma'am ?—What is it you mean ?”

“Oh ! Sir-promise me that when I tell you, you will forgive me !"

“Well, well,” replied Holland—“I do promise only make haste, and tell me what I'm to forgive.”

“Well then, Sir,” sobbed the afflicted womanyou sent to our bar for a glass of brandy-andwater.”

I know I did,” exclaimed the actor, still more impatient with the person, who thus “played the tor


turer by small and small,” “ of course I know I sent for brandy-and-water.”

“ And you drank it, Sir ?”

“Why to be sure I did,”—peevishly added Holland.

“ Ah Sir! oh Sir! oh Mr. Holland, you are a dead man, Sir; you hav’nt an hour to live ; you're poisoned Sir !"

“What !—Bless my soul!” cried Holland, pale as his shirt, and naturally ruffled by this dreadful intelligence—Poisoned ?"Oh

yes Sir, you are indeed !—But I did'nt know what I had done, till you sent back the tumbler. Oh Sir! red arsenic ;--kept to poison our own rats, not you Sir ! did'nt see what glass I took off the shelf—your boy was in such a hurry !-only one candle in the bar,—did'nt notice that any thing was in it-oh that unlucky tumbler !”

Poor Mr. Holland had like to have been a tumbler also at this minute for a visible faintness came over him from fright, and which he naturally enough, mistook for the first throe of the poison, which he believed had assumed the right of search throughout his interior ; (indeed it was not improbable that the brandy was contrebande) and staggering with agitation and horror against the wall, he gave vent to his feelings in a burst of tears, exclaiming in the words of his friend Hamlet :

Oh thou most pernicious woman!”

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“ Oh ! ” soliloquised the wretched landlady“what shall I do? what shall I do ?”

“What shall I do? you mean;" exclaimed the agonized man in despair, and whose words, and expressions were now amusingly contrasted with his naturally impassive air, and calm manner of speaking ; and, turning to the by-standers who looked stupified, he asked—“ Will no one send for a doctor ?-don't you hear that I'm poisoned ?

Indeed every body seemed aghast, and paralyzed at this but half-understood calamity; but they now assisted Mr. Holland to a chair, for he felt his sufferings of mind increase every moment—and the miserable cause of them was sent away to summon medical aid. In the mean time the curtain was about to draw up for the Fifth Act, and Mr. Kemble appearing at the wing, and seeing Mr. Holland talking in his very soft toned voice to those near him and apparently forgetful of his approaching duty, addressed a reminder to him, that the act was begun, and that they would soon hear their cue to go on the stage.

The truth is, Mr. Holland, though suffering intense distress of mind, and anticipating the momentary approach of still greater suffering,— was not yet assailed by the consequences of the fatal draught beyond a slight burning sensation, which a glass of strong brandy-and-water might in itself occasion; and though dreadfully affected by his situation, he did not yet exhibit any acute symptoms of bodily ail—but he looked wild and distrait, and Mr. Kemble, who had retired to his dressing - room, after his last exit, to recruit his strength by rest, was totally ignorant of the disaster that had befallen the young actor-and catching the words “ brandyand-water,” and observing the altered and pallid looks, and uncertain deportment of Mr. Holland, he became somewhat suspicious, that his friend Horatio had taken a drop too much and that “the drink” had stolen away his brains—little dreaming that the poisoned cup of scenic royalty had been anticipated. But as the cue for their mutual entrance was about to be given by the Grave-digger, and perceiving that Mr. Holland made no effort to move forward, -Mr. Kemble jogged his elbow saying in his quiet manner :

Come, Mr. Holland, our cue will be given in a few minutes.'

“My dear Sir," replied Holland, faintly, “ I've nothing more to do with cues," and, raising his handkerchief to his eyes, added, pathetically, “I shall never go upon the stage again, Sir ; it's all over with me!”

Nonsense!cried Kemble, still more assured that the

Oracle of Apollo spoke out of the pottle ;"

Nonsense, Sir, you must go on immediately.“My dear Sir,” replied Holland, with bis natu

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