History Of Brighton And Environs - Online Book

From The Earliest Known Period To The Present Time.

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" I read the order, and gave it to Mrs. Knox. Im­mediately I rose, and addressing myself to the opposite boxes, which, however, were now nearly empty, the military having accompanied their despatch, requested to know who had sent me this impertinent paper without a name. The messenger, whoever he was, had disappeared. I turned back to look for him, and beheld a phalanx of military men, who had come round, and were drawn up behind me at the door of my box, and in the Lobby, through which I must pass in my retreat. While I was asking for the messenger, a clamour began, and finding the passage closed by the very persons who had ordered me to withdraw immediately, I stept a little forward, and endeavoured to say to the Theatre, which was not half filled, ' Ladies and gentlemen, I have this moment re­ceived an extraordinary paper, neither signed nor dated, containing a requisition that I should quit the Theatre immediately, on account of the sermon which I preached last Sunday morning in your parish church. I beg pardon for interrupting you ; but under these circum­stances, and surrounded, as you see I am, I humbly intreat the permission of the House, to ask aloud who sent me this note, and by what authority I am bound to obey it, in this place of public entertainment, where my family and myself have entitled ourselves to unmolested seats, by paying the price demanded at the doors. We have interrupted nobody. Will you authorize the arbitrary expulsion of us all? for my family and friend will certainly follow me. I beg leave, besieged as you see me by a con­siderable number of men behind me, who are at this moment expressing their anger by opprobrious names, to enter into a short explanation with them, to ask the par­ticulars of my offence in your presence, and to declare, that if anything advanced in my sermon gave personal offence, it was unintentional, and that I am concerned at it. If any one of these gentlemen will prove to your satisfaction
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