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Foote's Wooden Leg








George Colman, the younger, notes:--"There is no Shakspeare or Roscius
upon record who, like Foote, supported a theatre for a series of years
by his own acting, in his own writings; and for ten years of the time,
upon a wooden leg! This prop to his person I once saw standing by his
bedside, ready dressed in a handsome silk stocking, with a polished
shoe and gold buckle, awaiting the owner's getting up: it had a kind of
tragic, comical appearance, and I leave to inveterate wags the ingenuity
of punning upon a Foote in bed, and a leg out of it. The proxy for a
limb thus decorated, though ludicrous, is too strong a reminder of
amputation to be very laughable. His undressed supporter was the
common wooden stick, which was not a little injurious to a well-kept
pleasure-ground. I remember following him after a shower of rain, upon
a nicely rolled terrace, in which he stumped a deep round hole at every
other step he took, till it appeared as if the gardener had been there
with his dibble, preparing, against all horticultural practice, to plant
a long row of cabbages in a gravel walk."

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