o a real appreciation of her genius. He is manly enough to confess that not even the silvery tone of that honeyed voice could, "'till after some time incline my ear to any hope in her favour." "But public approbation," he tells us, "is the warm weather of a theatrical plant, which will soon bring it forward to whatever perfection nature has design'd it. However, Mrs. Oldfield (perhaps for want of fresh parts) seem'd to come but slowly forward 'till the year 1703." So slowly had she come forward indeed, that in 1702, Gildon, a now forgotten critic and dramatist, included her among the "meer Rubbish that ought to be swept off the stage with the Filth and Dust."[A] Time has avenged the actress for this slight; who, excepting the student of theatrical history, remembers Gildon?
[Footnote A: From the "Comparison Between the Two Stages."]
What is more to the purpose, Nance was able to avenge herself in the flesh, only a few months after these contemptuous lines had been penned. It happened at Bath, in