« НазадПродовжити »
shall occupy it with a brief notice.of the first appearance of some of his contemporaries, as given by our authOf.
. This celebrated actress, like many'others who have reached professional eminence, began her career with the York company, in 1782. She arrived from Dublin with her mother, brother, and sister, and solicited, with great humility, an engagement at a moderate salary. The charm of her speaking voice, the languor and dejection of her person, excited the attention of the manager, and she spoke for him a few lines of Calista, the Fair Penitent, which let him know something of the highly gifted woman before him. The audience viewed her with astonishment and delight, and to exhibit herself with the full charm of contrast, after dying as Calista, in a few minutes she frolicked on agjin in a frock and little mob-cap, to sing the song of the "Greenwood Laddie," and poured out that liquid melody, which through life no ear could resist.—She appeared the first nightin town with no particular eclat: —one critic thought her vulgar, another conceived that she might do in Filch in the Beggars' Opera, but denied any great comic requisites. The actress pursued her course, and before the end of the season she had a train of fashionables on her nights, such as had before never assembled their carriages together, but on the performances of the tragic wonderMrs. Siddons.
Made his first appearance at the Haymarket, from the Bath theatre, in the character of Octavian. It was in substance the Octavian of Kemble, some of the subtler spirits flown off, and the loss compensated by the ardour of youth and a voice of very unusual power; manly beyond the age and figure of the actor. No young man ever exhibited higher promise; but Elliston, at the very first, was as high in the art as he could reach.
What Charles carried away with him from the town into the country, was little beyond the love of mimicry. Incledon told Mr. B. he found him in Ireland, in the most distressing state that could be imagined. "It strikes me," says Mr. B., "that Matthews actually formed himself, iu a great degree, on the model of the eccentric Tate Wilkinson. On Coleman's first night, he acted the meagre Jabal, in Cumberland's Jew, and followed it by Lingo, in the Agreeable Surprise. Mat
thews was a nervous man, and, like the class, too much in a hurry to get rid of What he felt embarrassing; but there Was enough drollery in his manner, to render him at first a diverting, and soon a favourite actor.
This performer first excited attention by his Shylock, in 1814; but his Richard III. acquired immediately, and retaided, the highest rank in his achievements. When Mr. Kemble had seen him, he said to Mr. Boaden, " Our styles of acting are so totally/different, that you must not expect me to like that of Mr. Kean; but one thing I must say in his favour,—he is at all times terribly in earnest."
We shall now take our leave of Mr. Boaden,without any addition to our general preliminary observations. His work, we doubt not, will become popular, and, be found interesting among those classes for whom it is chiefly intended. There is a portrait affixed to the volume, which many people think very unlike John Kemble, though a very good representation of the late marquis of Londonderry. There is also a dedication to the King, written . in the style such things used to be got up in Dryden's days, when they formed a regular marketable commodity.
Sacred Musie, consisting of a Selection of the best Psalm Tunes, both Ancient and Modern. Arranged for four voices, or a single voice.. By Robert James Edwards.
Mr. Edwards's present work forms a handsome folio volume of psalmody, accompanied with a part for the organ or piano-forte, which he has arranged with considerable ability. The words are partly selected from the new version of the' Psalms, and partly from the best sacred compositions of our classical poets. We find in this collection more than a hundred and fifty church melodies, most of which, either on account of their being established favourites, or because they are intrinsically excellent, merit our unreserved approval.
The plan adopted by Mr. Edwards in the concoction of this publication, has been that of uniformly adapting his tunes for four voices, — treble, countertenor/ tenor, and bass. This was a task which only a master could perform; at least, as Mr. E has performed it; and while we give him credit for the taste exhibited in the selection he has made, we cannot withhold our acknowledgment of his skill in the art of harmonization. <
There is perhaps no drama in our language so universally known, and whose moral influence has been so great, as that of George Barnwell. The author of this popular tragedy was George Lillo, who was born in 1693, in the neighbourhood of Moorgate, London; and by profession a jeweller, which occupation he followed with a fair and unblemished reputation. He was strongly attached to the Muses, and seems to have laid it down as a maxim, that the devotion paid to them, ought always to tend to the promotion of virtue. In pursuance of this aim, he was happy in the choice of his subjects, and showed great power of affecting the heart, . and of rendering the distresses of common and domestic life, equally interesting in dramatic representation, as those of kings and heroes. His "George Barnwell," "Fatal Curiosity," and "Arden of Feversham," are all planned on common and well-known stories; yet they have perhaps more frequently drawn tears from an audience, than more pompous tragedies, particularly the first of them. After the death of Lillo, Henry Fielding printed a high encomium on his character in the "^Champion, "in which he described him as inheriting the spirit of an "old Roman, joinel to the simplicity of a primitiveChristian." The place where the fatal catastrophe was consummated, upon which Lillo founded his affecting tragedy of George Barnwell, is traditionally said to be at Grove-hill, in Camberwell Grove, Surrey; which was the seat of the late Dr. Lettsom, so well known ill the medical,
literary, and scientific world. The house, of which we give a representation, is a plain, thatched structure, with low wings, having its front ornamented with the figures of Liberality and Plenty, and the goddess Flora, in artificial stone., Here is a sheet of water supplied by a spring, issuing near the summit of the hill which is supposed to be the spot where Barnwell, instigated by the artifices of Millwood, murdered his uncle.
Though Grove-hill is little more than three miles from the three city bridges, the situation is so uncommonly fine as to afford extensive and picturesque views over a circumference of two hundred miles. In the front, indeed, the city presents itself; but the eye soon passes over the great emporium of wealth and elegance to the summits of those high hills, whert Hampstead, Highgate, and other hamlets are scattered: among which Caen wood and various charming seats are interspersed; beyond, the Harrow on the Hill, and its lofty spire, arise: and, wandering towards the palace of Windsor, and passing along the counties of Middlesex and Hertford, we enjoy an extensive view in Essex; and crossing the Thames, return, on the east, by Shootershill and Greenwich. The south is bounded by Sydenham hills and Norwood; while the west takes in Chelsea, and the upper part of the Thames above the bridges. The spot is well worth visiting for its natural beauties, independent of its associations with one of our most popular dramas,
Hume has remarked, in some part of "is writings, how mankind are constantly deceived, by the very same tricks played over and over again. Human credulity, indeed, seems wholly incurable; and, in spite of all warning, we see one generation after another, with their eyes wide open, walk into the very same gulf of fraud, quackery, and imposture. We have a striking proof of this in the events now passing before us. The speculating mania of 1825, is the exact counterpart of the scenes enacted in 1720; the same reckless adventurers, the same fraudulent projections, and the same gullibility.
A seasonable little book has been published, entitled "TheSouth Sea Bubble," contrasting these two periods, and showing the resemblance between the artifices and management of Bluut and his associates, and modern schemers. The following are a few specimens, selected nearly at random, from a very' copious list of bubbles blown at the former period of national delusion:
Fish Pool, for bringing fresh fish by sea to London.
Westley's Auctions, for buying and selling of stock.
Insurance and improvement of children's fortunes.
Insurance against theft and robbery.
For fresh water brought to Liverpool.
Bleaching or whitening of coarse sugar, without fire.
For making oil from poppies.
For planting mulberry-trees, and breeding of silk worms, in Chelsea Park, where 2,000 of these trees were actually planted, and many large expensive edifices erected.
For improving the Cornish and Devon tin mines.
For building hospitals for bastard children.
For drying of malt with hot air.
For importing a number of large jackasses from Spain: in order to propagate a large kind of mule in England: for which purpose marsh lands were treating for near Woolwich. A clergyman was at the head of this project.
For trading in human hair.
For fatting hogs.'
For recovering estates illegally detained.
For a more inoffensive method of emptying privies.
For a grand dispensary, three millions.
For a wheel for a perpetual motion.
For the clothing, felt, and pantile trades.
Among the thousands of victims of these and similar phantasia, there was one poor creature, named Thomas Hudson, who attracted particular notice. He was a Yorkshire-man, (for even the natives of that county were not proof against the general infatuation,) and enjoyed a handsome patrimony in the country, where he was living happily, till, in an evil hour, he embarked all his property in the South Sea scheme. When the news reached him, of the failure of that portentous bubble, he left his residence, in a state of distraction, and went to London. From this moment he became insane; and "Tom of Ten Thousand," as he called himself, wandered through the streets, wrapped in a rug, and leaning on a crutch, and without either shoes or stockings. In this state did the poor fellow continue, till death relieved him from his troubles.
Oh, John Bull, beware !—think of this t—and, though thou art now rich, recollect how very easy it is to become poor.
Meditations among the tombs, and elegies in country church-yards, have been subjects for the employment of the man of contemplation, the scholar, and the moralist, ever since Harvey and Gray made them interesting by the seriousness, the earnestness, and the beauty of their inculcations. And yet, notwithstanding the multiplicity of views, the various lights and shadows in which the taste or the singularity of man have placed them, they are subjects which admit of no exhaustion; but, like the widow's cruse and her barrel of meal, still produce, or ought to produce, food healthful, and of exceeding price.
Amusement may be blended with instruction in almost all our actions and relations in life, and therefore I would not be deemed irreverently to speak, when I confess that one of the first resorts to which I fly against the ennui of a country town is a visit to its church, and the receptacles of its dead. The collections which I have brought away with me are neither few nor uninteresting; and trite as I admit the subject to be, the production of a few of the least common, illustrating, it may be, the several peculiarities of our epitaph, may not be deemed either tiresome or' obtrusive. I will at least hazard the attempt.
Simplicity, in all things, is the distinctive mark of what is conformable to nature; it has been well called the " dress of sentiment and the costume of virtue," and if I add that it is the stamp of wit, and the impress of sense, I shall be but designating it justly and characteristically. Hence have I ever deemed the single couplet—
"Lie here, sweet maid, and wait th'.Almighty's
will, Arise unchang'd and be an Angel still /"
and which is dedicated to the fairest of those who boasted alliance with " Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother,"—to be an eminently beautiful specimen of that style of commemorative poetry which I am now considering.
Here is another, imbued with some snatches of thought. I met with it in Wiltshire, and the epitaph, on a plain headstone, marking the unostentatious grave of the good man whose memory it so justly compliments, was placed there by the grateful pensioners and legatees of his Samaritan bounties:
"Pilgrim! seek not this humble mound of earth Or him who sleeps beneath to know the worth; For when we vainly tried to trace the line, Recording goodness, oh ! how near divine! Grief shoor the hand, and many an honest
tear Blot!cd the glories we would chisel Aere.
But if thou need'st memorials that shall prove
The following is an excellent commentary upon the beautiful autobiography of Shakspeare's Adam. "Tho' I look old yet I am strong and lusty," never had a fitter parallel. It is in the burial-ground of Chelsea college:
"Here rests William Hiseland, a veteran, if
ever soldier was,
Who well merited a pension.
If long service be a merit,
Having served upwards of the days of man.
Ancient. but,not superannuated;
Engaged in a series-ol wars,
Civil as well as foreign,
Yet not maimed nor worn out by neither.
His complexion fresh and florid,
His health hale and hearty,
His memory exact and ready:
In stature be excelled the military size,
'In strength he surpassed the prime of youth.
What rendered his age still more patriarchal,
When above a hundred years old
He took unto him a wife.
Head, fellow-soldien,, and reflect, that there is a
As well as a warfare temporal.
Born 6lh August, 1620.' __
Died 7th Feb. 1732.
These are only a very few of my "tales of the dead;" at a future opportunity I will endeavour "to vary my talk of "graves and epitaphs," by presenting you with another description of these memento maris, such as by their pithiness and terseness might claim an affinity to the brevity of the Athenian or Roman models, from which |many of our best epitaphs have assuredly been fashioned.
Amid the twofold and powerful interest that has been excited by Mr. Kean at Drury-lane, and the reappearance of Miss Fogte at Covent-garden, it would be worse than superfluous to devote our columns to the particularizing the several performances that have taken place since the publication of our last number. That the "representative of Shakspeare's heroes" personated Sir Giles Overreach on Monday week, and Slacieth on the following Friday, our readers know, and how, on those occasions, he was received. The storm of public anger, which his own conduct raised against him, and which that of his employer contributed to sustain, has, at length, considerably subsided; and had its abatement, or even entire cessation, been the result of some
decent concession on the parts of the actor and manager, we should have been pleased at the event.
That the boards of the other Theatre Royal, are by no means so pure as royal boards ought to be, we are free to confess; but the shades of misconduct exhibited there, are so decidedly different, as to place a broad line of demarcation between the culpability of the male delinquent, and the foiblesse of the female defaulter.—Miss FootE's.announced return to her professional duties in the Covent-garden bills of Saturday last, drew an immense audience ; the opening of the doors a quarter of. an hour sooner than usual did not prevent a terrific rush into the house, every part of which was speedily occupied. The audience securely and tranquilly seated, it only remained to be seen how the fair object of all this pressure and solicitude would be received. Some manifestations of disapprobation were by many expected; and we really think, not altogether without reason. Curious to say, one individual in the private boxes was Mr. Hayne! That some expression of disapproval of Miss Foote's conduct was apprehended by her friends, was evident, from the ruse played off, soon after the house was filled, of suspending from the front of the lower gallery a large placard with the words, " Miss Foote for ever." All was impatience till the curtain rose. This was the signal for a general cheer, which continued so loud as to effectually drown the dialogue of the first scene, and consequently to destroy the interest of the piece: but the audience went to see Miss Foote, not Letitia Hardy, or Mrs. Cowley's best dramatic production. Even Kimrle's Doricourt (originally Lewis's) was all dumb show. He, however, and Jones in Flutter, were received with great favour. At length the heroine of the play appeared, and extorted an universal cheer. Mns. Gires (as Mrs. Racket) met her as she entered, and kindly endeavoured to support her on the trying occasion. The moment was critical, and she seemed to feel it. It was with no little difficulty that she sustained the shock; an insuppressible flood of tears spoke the intensity of her mind's sensations; and she was compelled to take the relief of an offered seat before she could possibly proceed to the business of the scene. So considerable a clamour of applause, mixed with a degree of disapprobation, then commenced, as to render the remainder of the act utterly inaudible. During the performance of the succeeding acts, many sentences in the play were applied by the
audience to Miss Foote and her particular case ; but none were more promptly seized than that in which Mrs, Racket says to Letitia, "Sol you are dressed out for conquest.' Aye, think of nothing but ensnaring hearts; you are a coquet, a wit, and a fine lady!" Her song, in which is the line "My face is my fortune, sir," was encored After the flurry and perturbation of her first feelings were over, she performed with all her wonted spirit, and one of the best comedies in the English language went off with perfect ttc/at.
Now, we love the drama and admire histrionic talent, as much as we abhor sermonizing, out of the pulpit, moralizing in the green-room, or canting any where: but really, we must, partially at least, enter our protest against the supposed propriety of all this. The applause which Miss Foote received on Saturday night last, the first of her appearance, after the late trial, what was it but an implied approbation of the whole of her private conduct? of her voluntary and_protracted concubinage with one man, and willing desertion of the fruits of that concubinage, for the sake of becoming the wife of another ! That Miss Foote and her parents partly lived upon the liberality of colonel Berkeley, has been made evident by a public attestation of the colonel's solicitor; and surely the treatment she experienced from Mr. Hayne, cannot be construed into any merit on her side! The fact is, there was nothing to admire or sanction in the principles or conduct of either of the three parties. Colonel Berkeley seduced Miss Foote, whose age and knowledge of the world afforded her little excuse for havina- been the victim of seduction; and while married men are to be found capable of the crime of adultery in its foulest form, are we to wonder if young Mr. Hayne thought the unmarried consort of another man what in this world of libertinism, is called fair game, especially under the encouraging circumstance of her father becoming obligated to him for considerable and needful loans? Looking therefore candidly and impartially on the whole of this affair, we see nothing like propriety or rationality in heaping personal encomium on an actress, purely on account of circumstances to which she was partly, if not chiefly, subjected, by her own original indiscretion; and had the audience received Miss Foote with indifference, or even with a moderated expression of their disapproval, and confined their applause to the most meritorious parts of her performance, we are convinced that they would much better have promoted the