People, Society & Culture of Tunbridge Wells in the 18th Century & later.

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In the Eighteenth Century
unnatural, when it is remembered that Cumber­land sat to Sheridan for Sir Fretful Plagiary. The party consisted only of Cumberland and his wife, and Kelly and Bannister. The read­ing of the comedy, The Last of the Family, took place on the evening of the visitor's arrival, and it has been graphically described by the vocalist. " Five acts of a play, read by its author after tea, are at any time opiates of the most determined nature, even if one has risen late and moved little; but with such a pre-disposition to somnolency as I found the drive, the dust, the sun, the air, the dinner, and a little sensible conversation had induced, what was to be expected ? Long before the end of the second act I was as fast as a church —a slight tendency to snoring rendered this misfortune more appalling than it otherwise would have been; and the numberless kicks which I received under the table from Bannister, served only to vary, by fits and starts, the melody with which nature chose to accompany my slumbers. When it is recollected, that our host and reader had served Sheridan as a model for Sir Fretful, it may be supposed that he was somewhat irritated by my inexcusable surrender of myself; but no, he closed his
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