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—there is no competitor to contend with him. Who is there that has seen his Robert Tyke, and forgotten it? Unfortunately we never beheld the late John Emery in this, his favorite part, though we have Rayner, his successor at Covent Garden, and a number of others, but not one of them is to be compared with Hilson. This character is, perhaps, the best of Morton's crude conceptions. Tyke is a malefactor and a low and reckless vagabond, though still with some remnants of better feeling hanging about him; and, when his remorse is awakened by circumstances, it requires a person of no common mind to depict the passions and sufferings of the uneducated villain.-- There are plenty who appear in it that can display a superabundance of bodily exertion, and do very well if you will accept gesticulation for feeling--that can rant and foam at the mouth-that can look like ruffians, act like ruffians, and gabble bad Yorkshire ;-but all that is not playing Tyke. Very little is hazarded in saying, that, in the United States, there is but one man who can do justice to Robert Tyke, and that man is Thomas Hilson.
WHEN nature quits the even tenor of her way to form a prodigy, and manufactures clay out of the ordinary routine of business, to which long habit has accustomed her, she generally does herself no credit, but instead of a beauty spot, drops a blot upon the fair face of creation-a wart-an excrescence. Her commonest freaks in this way are--giants and dwarfs learned pigs,calves with two heads, which those with only one throng to see or calculating youths, like famous Master Bidder, who go through the arithmetic without flogging, and know by intuition that two and two make four. But of all her prodigies, the precocious theatrical prodigy is the most to be dreaded and avoided. It is in general a pert little creature, which has been taught to repeat certain words like a parrot, and drilled to imitate certain actions like a monkey, and is then stuck upon the stage for "children of a larger growth” to gape and wonder at, and applaud for no better reason than because it is six years old and two feet odd inches high, as if all man and womankind had not been, at one period of their lives, just as old and as high. To sit and witness the abortive attempts of such animalcules, when there are full grown men and women in the world, is about
eat ripe. We always eschewed these small evils; and though having numerous opportunities, could never be prevailed upon, same few years back, to go and see the then little Miss Clara Fisher represent Gloster, (that bloody and devouring boar;" Hamlet, Shylock, or any other appropriate character; and hearing that she was on her way to this country, we thought Mr. Simpson had done a very foolish thing, and made many wise predictions to the effect that she would be found altogether worthless and good for nothing.–Perhaps no one ever entered a theatre more full of prejudice than we did against the young and blooming girl, just bursting into womanhood, who at that moment came forward upon the stage, and dropped one of the most graceful curtsies that ever woman made, to the admiring audience. We expected to see something small, impertinent, and disagreeable ; but instead, here was a sight of all others most grateful to the eye-a beautiful female
exerting herself to please, and a load of unkindly feelings was at once swept away. The first three acts of the piece (The Will) exhibited some agreeable acting, though nothing extraordinary; but when, in the fourth, she gave “The Bonnets of Blue," with all the fire and enthusiasm of a devoted follower of "Charlie the chief o' the clan," an in. stantaneous and total renunciation of all preconceived opinions took place; and before she had finished her personation of the four Mowbrays, we were thoroughly convinced that Clara Fisher was one of the most natural, charming, clever, sensible, sprightly actresses that ever bewitched an audience, and to that opinion we ever have since firmly adhered.
In form and feature Clara Fisher is neither dignified nor beautiful, but she is irresistibly fascinating, and that is better than all the dignity and beauty in the world. Her form is finely proportioned-smoothly and gracefully rounded, with more of the Hebe than the sylph about it, and when - in motion most flexible and waving. Her face, as was said of Mrs. Jordan's, “is all expression, without being all beauty." There is no word that will exactly characterize it: "pretty,” is unmeaning, and it does not strictly come up to the idea conveyed by the word "handsome." It is at all times, VOL. II.
however, a very charming face, even when in a state of calm repose; but when the passion of the scene stirs the mind within, and that mind is reflected in the countenance—when the eloquent eye is lighted up by feeling, and the smooth cheeks clustered with smiles and dimples, then that face is indeed lovely. In appropriate gesture and action she is most 66
express and admirable.” This is, in fact, one of her most prominent characteristics ; and if we were asked in what particular Clara Fisher was superior to any other actress, we should answer, in the perfect grace and freedom of her motions. In this respect she is a little English Vestris; and if any one doubts it, let him pay particular attention to the singularly appropriate beauty of her action in singing the spirited Scotch ballad before alluded to: the toss of her head which accompanies the utterance of the word "hurrah,” is precisely the one thing that Matthews cannot imitate.
She is one of nature's actresses. Perhaps no one ever so completely possessed the faculty of mobility, or entered with more keen enjoyment into the spirit of the part represented. Her whole soul appears to be in every thing she does, and we believe it is not only so in seeming, but in reality. From the infinite variety of characters in which she appears,