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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
"Alexander the Great" of the Glasgow Theatre Royal

AFTER some rustication, the chagrin and mortification caused by the sorry failure of the "First Appearance of a Stage-Struck Hero," if not entirely got over, became greatly abated; and as it ebbed, the tide of the former ruling passion again rose. The result was an application for employment to the theatrical magnate and star, styled above "Alexander the Great," and whose actual name was John Henry Alexander, proprietor and manager for a series of years of theatres, not only in Glasgow, where he erected his temple of entertainment in the year 1822, in Dunlop Street, but also of others in Carlisle, Dumfries, and Edinburgh. The applicant, whose theatrical name was Frederick George Capelton, in reply received an offer of fourteen shillings a week to begin. He describes his first appearance there as follows:-

"In due time my arrival was announced at the temple of the drama in Dunlop Street, and I was ushered into the sanctum of the great man.

"Ah, Mr. —, what’s your name? How do you do? and what is your business with me?’ said Mr. Alexander.

"My name is Capelton, and this is a note I received from you to join your company,’ was my reply.

"Yes, young man, I recollect; and no doubt you think, like other young stagers, that you are fit for all the great parts of the drama—eh?’

"'Once I thought that, sir, but I have been tamed down a little.’

"‘Oh, well, you seem to have some modesty, which is commendable in a young man; but no doubt you have already done great things. Did you ever try Hamlet?’

"I saw at once that he had heard of my adventure at Threadyton, so I laughingly replied:

"That I did at one time attempt that character, and—’

‘Failed in it, and served you right, sir,’ said he, and added: ‘Do as I did; work your way from before the mast, and get on by degrees—that is the certain way to success—and you may consider yourself fortunate in having me to help you. Look at me, sir; I have created this great establishment—this theature—out of nothing, and I am proud of the fact, sir. It’s the finest theature out of London. You must work hard, Mr. Capelton, and you will get on. Don’t be above doing anything you can get to do ; that is the road to success, sir, in every profession.’

"I could not do less than thank him for his advice; and calling upon his stage-manager, he said

This is Mr. Capelton, for the second utility. You can give him the Second Actor, Bernardo, and the Second Gravedigger for to-morrow night, and he can come on in the mobs. Sir, I am not above doing that myself, although I am manager here, and proprietor as well. Good-morning, sir.’

"And stroking his long chin, the great man ‘booed’ me out of his presence." -

Such (says Mr. Capelton) was my introduction to Alexander the Great, as some of his friends called him, from the fact of his having fought and gained so many theatrical campaigns.

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