Clive, Catherine

, an actress of great merit, whose piaiden name was Raftor, was born in 1711, and shewed a very early inclination and genius for the stage. Being recommended to Cibber, he immediately engaged her at a small salary, and she made her first appearance on the stage in boy’s clothes, in the character of Isnienes, the page of Ziphores, in the play of “Mithridates,” at Drury-lane theatre. Continuing to improve in her profession, she added both to her salary and her fame. In 1731 her performance of Nell in the “Devil to pay,” fixed her reputation as the greatest performer of her time in that species of character, in which for more than thirty years she remained without a rival. In the next year, | 1732, she united herself in marriage with George Clive, a gentleman of the law, and brother to baron Chve; an union which was not productive of happiness to either party. They soon agreed to separate, and for the rest of their lives had no intercourse together. Mr. Clive, if we mistake not, died at Bath in 1780, but we doubt whether he was brother to the baron of the exchequer, as above mentioned. In 1768, Mrs. dive’s intimate friend Mrs. Pritchard quitted the stage; and the succeeding year she determined to follow her example; but certainly might have continued several years longer to delight the public in various characters adapted to her figure and time of life, as to the last she was admirable and unrivalled. From this time Mrs. Clive retired to a small but elegant house near Strawberry-hill, Twickenham, where she passed the remainder of her life in ease and independence, respected by the world, and beloved by a circle of friends; at which place, after a short illness, she departed this life, December 6, 1785. A’more extensive walk in comedy than that of Mrs. Clive cannot be imagined; the chambermaid, in every varied shape which art or nature could lend her; characters of whim and affectation, from the high-bred lady Fanciful, to the vulgar Mrs. Heidelberg; country girls, romps, hoydens, and dowdies; superannuated beauties, viragoes, and humourists. To a strong and pleasing voice, with an ear for music, she added all the sprightly action requisite to a number of parts in ballad farces. Her mirth was so genuine, that whether it was restrained to the arch sneer and the suppressed half-laugh, widened to the broad grin, or extended to the downright honest burst of loud laughter, the audience was sure to accompany her. Mrs. Clive, in private life, was so far above censure, that her conduct in every relation of it was not only laudable but exemplary. For her benefits she introduced some trifling pieces on the stage, written by herself or hejr friends, but of no great merit. 1


Biog. Drain. Daries’s Life of Garrick, vol. II.