From 1823

06 May 1823

Providence Theatre

Positively the last night of Mr.Wallack's Engagement. Evenings of performance, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. This evening May 6, will be performed, Shakespeare's celebrated comedy, in 5 acts, called the Merchant of Venice
Shylock, (this night only,) Mr.Wallack
To which will be added the celebrated musical Farce, in 2 acts called the Children in the Wood
Walter Mr Wallack
In the course of the farce
Song- Dorothey Dump could mutter and mump
by Mr. Wallack.
03 June 1823


A late Gretos-Green [?] marriage of Mr.Hughes Ball, to the celebrated and fascinating Opera-dancer, Mademoiselle Mercandoti, made as much noise in England as the war against Spain. The bride is described as a beautiful Spanish girl, with a small and delicate person, formed with perfect symmetry. her movement that of a sylph, her face interesting and rather pensive, with dark, beaming, and intelligent eyes - "Speaking to the soul, which struggles through and chastens down the whole" - The husband, a young man with the solid charms of an income in the funds, of one hundred and twenty thousand a year.
The paper waxes rather poetic about Mademoiselle Mercandoti considering all other marriage announcements read like the one immediately above the Balls'.

More on Mr.Hughes Ball and Mademoiselle Mercandoti
It turns out the marriage was more of an elopement providing some very juicy gossip.
From http://www.georgianindex.net/Prinny/prinnys_set.html (this website includes a picture of Mr.Ball)
"Edward 'Golden Ball' Hughes (1798-1863)
Edward Hughes Ball assumed the name Hughes in 1819 after an Uncle on his mother's side who left him a fortune of 40,000 a year. He then became Edward Hughes Ball Hughes. A remarkably handsome man, he was celebrated for his chocolate colored coach, and his invention of the black cravat. One evening in 1823, the King's Theater was packed by an audience eager to see a beautiful 16-year-old Spanish dancer who was the toast of London. The manager, however, appeared and expressed his regret that the Mercandotti had disappeared. Subsequently it transpired that she had married 'Golden Ball' Hughes. Ainsworth, the novelist, summed up the matter very neatly : 'The damsel is gone, and no wonder at all that, bred to the dance, she is gone to a Ball.' Having squandered his inheritance through an incredible level of gambling and wasteful spending, Hughes ended his days in poverty in Paris wither he had fled to escape his creditors."

http://bridgemanart.com/search/view_image2.asp?image_id=124833 This website features a colored etching of Maria deserting the stage for Edward drawn by Isaac Robert Cruikshank entitled TI's Leap from the Opera, or The Ballet Turned into a Ball (1823). Maria Mercandotti (b.c.1801, d 1863)- Spanish dancer said to be the daughter of James Duff, 4th Earl of Fife.


Deborah Nash at dn@riDance.com
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