Зображення сторінки

vent all possibility of your mistaking the object, directing their finger towards him.

A very thin house at Drury-lane.

Attending private theatricals, where the gentlemen performers always press near the prompter's side, always hurry over passages in order to catch every word before it slips from the memory, one performer not giving the cue word, or giving it, not remembered by the other who plays with him, standing like posts when they have nothing to say, and using their legs and arms as if they had been just bestowed upon them.

A fine overture playing, and a noisy audience.
To hear nineteen prologues out of twenty.

Going to the theatre on a very crowded night, waiting an hour in the pit passage, half jammed to death, receiving a dreadful kick on the ankle; in making a desperate effort to stoop down to rub it, finding your hand in the coat pocket of the man who stands opposite to you, and gradually withdrawing it with indescribable horror, so as just to escape being taken up for a pickpocket.

Going to the theatre to see some distinguished play and performer, having places kept; owing to some of the party not being ready in time, entering your box just as the first act is over, and observing the last bustle of a number of persons who have just descended into your front seats, and are all smirking and smiling to think themselves so very fortunate.

Attending a school play.

Being annoyed by the venders of bills of the play, in going to the theatre, having a party of fine ladies to attend to.

Paying at the theatre in a hurry, and being obliged to change a bad shilling.

Coming to London, from a great distance, for the sole purpose of gratifying your loyal curiosity, once before you die, with a sight of the royal family at the play; then, on entering the house, finding that the place kept for you is directly over their heads; so that, when you have painfully stretched yourself farther and

farther over the front of the box till you are in danger of getting a fuller view of them from the pit, you at length succeed in catching the tip of a princess's feather, or—if you are still more fortunate-of a royal nose!

After going very early to the Opera, for the sole purpose of hearing a celebrated duo, in the first act (for which you had always come in too late), learning from the bill, as you take your seat, that you are to be cut short off with the second, which you already know by heart.

At the playjust as you are beginning to recover yourself, after a song of unequalled length and insipidity, to which the singer has added the deficiencies of taste, time, and tune,~; encore ! encore !"from every mouth in the house but your own, which is fully taken up with hissing and gaping alternately.

Kemble in comedy—with a great coat on.

The present reformed state of the Dramatis Personæ at the theatres, consisting of a total transposition of ages and characters among the performers; the matrons and seniors of the stage frisking and dashing through the parts of romps and rakes; turning Grecian daughters into grandmothers, and young lovers into rheumatić twaddlers; while their little ones are laying down Tom Thumb, the Children in the Wood, &c. and getting leave from their mammas to “ round their baby-brows with crowns and tiaras, as the toddling Zaras and lisping Lears of the scene. I last night went to the house, in a humour to be rationally amused, and little thinking to find any thing under full age and size upon the boards—and there did I see one of these tyrants from the nursery (it was in Bajazet!) turning its trip into a strut, like a Lilliputian grenadier, trying to knit its brow, and flourishing its little falchion at an overgrown victim of its vengeance, who was bending half way down, to hear more distinctly the penny-trumpet tones in which he was threatened; he was discreet enough, however, to seem quite unmoved by it all; for fear, no

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

doubt, of acting upon the wrong muscles in the countenances of the audience.-Why, now, we may laugh, or swear, at all this, as we please ; but the public sees no joke in the case: the boobies are now getting to choose their players as they do their peas—the smaller and younger, the better.- Plague take the folly! where will it stop? For as to what I have now stated, it is nothing ! absolutely nothing! In the country, they are getting far beyond us. It was but last week that, as I was riding by a provincial theatre, my eye was caught by the huge letters of a bill on the walls: you may guess what I felt, when, on looking it over, I found what follows:

At the Theatre Royal,
On Monday next, will be presented


In which, by particular Desire, the Part of CALIBAN,
will be performed, for her own Benefit, by


An Infant, not yet quite Four Years old! and who appeared in the same Character almost Two Years ago,

with such universal Applause at the Theatre, Dublin.

N. B. The

Will introduce (for that Night only) a Song, in Character, written

and composed, and to be sung and accompanied, by herself.

To which will be added

The Part of SIR ARCHY MACSARCASM by the Child.

The Parts of CORIOLANUS, KING HENRY THE EIGHTH, and SHYLOCK, have been some time in Rehearsal by Miss BIDDY, and will be performed by her as soon as the daily Bulletin shall de clare hez sufficiently recovered from her Hooping Cough, a Disorder which, the Public must have perceived, is rather friendly than other.

wise to her Performance of CALIBAN; in which she will, therefore, continue to appear during the remainder of the Season. The Pit will, as usual, be laid into Boxes, on every Night of

Miss Biddy's Appearance in


The Manager further respectfully acquaints the Public, that, in consequence of the numerous and calamitous Accidents which have arisen, from the unexampled Pressure of the Crowd on the Child's Nights, skilful Surgeons will, henceforth, be regularly stationed in all Parts of the House.


The gallery at the Opera-house restricting you, not merely to a bird's-eye view of the dancers, but to a bird's-ear sound of the singers.-Item,

The loss of your delight in looking at the faces of the female performers, after the enchantment has been dissolved by a closer inspection behind the scenes.

On the first and last appearance of some theatrical meteor, when every seat in every box has been eagerly caught up months ago; venturing for the pit amidst a shoal of plebeians, completely soldered into one mass, with the varied accompaniments of heat, delay, fatigue, crushings, treadings, quarrellings, and total loss of purse, peace, and-shoes. When you are at length borne along to the paying-place, the new struggle and difficulty of ransoming your right arm from its close captivity, for the purpose of diving into your pockets, to find nothing there. After thus involuntarily bilking the treasury, you continue to be swayed along into the house, there to be rewarded, at last, for all your patience (if you have had any) by finding—"a little standing-room!"

Boring a friend to death, who has pronounced Kemble his aversion, to go and see him in a favourite character, and finding that it is one of the nights in which he has made up his mind to-walk over the course.

Having your ears annoyed by "a bill of the play" under the piazza, and “want any oranges, want any

beer or cider," when you have struggled, through a phalanx of impediments, into the house.

A modern prologue to a modern play.

Shirking a pleasant party to get early to Drury-lane to see the new comedy of a popular writer, and, when the curtain draws up, learning from your next neighbour that, on account of the indisposition of a principal performer, the managers have been under the necessity of substituting the Bold Stroke for a Wife, or She Stoops to Conquer.-N. B. No money to be returned !

A ticket night at Covent Garden on the thirtieth of June!





ONCE upon a time the seven wise men of Greece met together at Athens, and it was proposed that every one of them should mention what he thought the greatest wonder in the creation. One of them, of higher conceptions than the rest, proposed the opinion of the astronomers about the fixed stars, which they believed to be so many suns; that each had their planets rolling about them, and were stored with plants and animals like this earth. Fired with this thought, they agreed to supplicate Jupiter, that he would at least permit them to take a journey to the moon, and remain there three days, in order to see the wonders of that place, and give an account of them at their return. Jupiter consented, and ordered them to assemble on a high mountain, where there should be a cloud ready to convey them to the place they desired to see.

They picked out some chosen companions, who might assist them in describing and painting the objects they should meet with. At length they arrived at the moon, and found a palace there well fitted up for their recep

« НазадПродовжити »