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to surrender into the hands of youth and inexperience, those parts which time and practice has so well enabled them to perform. Bent on charming to the last, we have seen, with fear and trembling, a very fat old woman of fifty as Juliet, lolling over the frail and creaking balcony, while a short, pursy, and somewhat asthmatic Romeo came waddling to his love, puffing out
"How softly sweet sound lover's tongues by night!”
The truth is, that the personation of old women is a very thankless branch of theatrical business, and the same quantity of ability which, employed in it, meets with comparative neglect, would, in a more enticing line of character, draw down thunders of applause. This may in some degree account for the meagre and scanty mention which is made of Mrs. Wheatley by the press of this city. She is seldom noticed, and when she is, it is generally in one of those unmeaning commendations which are at intervals dealt out to every worthless appendage of a green-room, such as she “was quite at home,” or “ went through her part with spirit," or any other ready-coined phrase. For our own part, we have the highest opinion of Mrs Wheatley, and think there is little ventured in saying, that she is not only the best actress in her line on this contiplification of the importance a man's feelings and actions are to himself, and the less than the shadow of a shade they are to the rest of the world, than is to be witnessed in a farce where Liston alights from a coach top, and is followed on to the stage by the driver for the customary gratuity. Those who have traveled in England may have remarked the manner in which the coachmen receive what the traveler may be pleased to give them. While he is getting the money from his pocket Jehu is all attention ; but the moment he has received it, his business is over--he turns upon his heel, and all traces of the giver pass from his mind for ever. Liston detains the coachman, (and you can see in his countenance the vital importance he attaches to what he is about,) in order to draw the distinction and durably impress it upon his mind that his (Liston's) giving him a sixpence was by no means a compulsory measure, but a pure and spontaneous emanation of generosity, or, to use his own phraseology, “hentirely hoptional.” A person standing on the brink of a running stream on a cold day, seriously employed in writing his name in water," would be accounted insane—the attempt to write munificence and generosity on the coachman's mind, is equally futile; yet how many in the world make these and similar efforts who are not her countenance, and every modulation of her voice, are imbued with the spirit of art and demure hypocrisy.
There is another thing worthy of remark. Mrs. Wheatley, though the representative of age, is herself in the prime of life and full vigor of intellect. This is an advantage as great as it is rare; for the line of character in which she appears, is generally used as a dernier resort by actresses, who are themselves too old to appear in any thing else, and who bring to their task confirmed habits, and jaded and worn out powers of mind and body. According to the common course of nature, it will be long before the public will have to regret this as being the case with Mrs. Wheatley; and even when time shall have laid his unsparing hand upon her, her excellence in the execution of those parts, will have become so much a matter of habit, that only the physical force and energy will be wanting
The faults of this lady are so few, that it is scarcely worth while pointing them out. The greatest is, that she is not always proof against the applause of the more noisy part of the audience; so that when she does any thing particularly well, and a clapping of hands ensues, she wishes to do more, and is in the habit of spreading out the folds
petty grievances, leaves you no choice whether to laugh or let it alone. There is a farce, entitled " Comfortable Lodgings,” in which he enacts the part of a rich and hypochondriacal Englishman, traveling to get clear of an unaccountable melancholy, and to learn to enjoy himself like other people, and describes one of his peculiarities with good effect. In answer to his servant's inquiry of Lord, sir, why can't you laugh, and do as other people do ?” "Laugh!" he exclaims in a tone from the bottom of his chest, and with the bitter emphasis of a misanthrope--." laugh! I cannot laugh! I cannot do as other people do! When I look around me (looking at the pit with a dull stare) I see every one laughing and merry, (a fact,) while my face remains as immoveable as a face carved on a brass knocker!” “Do as other people do ?” he continues—"I can't do as other people do. Even in the packet-boat, when all the passengers were as passengers who had never been at sea before usually are, I tried to be like them! but I could not ! I looked on a disappointed man!"
Incomparable Liston! Thou hast been a benefit and a luxury unto the melancholy inhabitants of this great city for many a day! Thou hast refuted the trite axiom that “money will not purchase pleasure;" for what man in London town,
BARRY AND WOODHULL.
These two performers are as opposite as the antipodes, and we place them together for the sake of contrast. Their style of acting is as dissimilar as may be. Woodhull is as unbending as ironBarry as yielding as wax. In the expression of pas. sion, Woodhull, like a flint, must be struck sharply before he emits a spark of fire-while Barry, like a rocket, is off in a blaze, at the slightest touch. The one is as hard as granite—the other as flexible as silk ; and if, by any process, the qualities of the two could be compounded together, a fine actor would be the result. In melo-dramas, where murders have to be committed, or any other unlawful transaction carried on, they mostly hunt in couples. Both are generally scoundrels, but scoundrels with a difference. Woodhull is the stanch, obdurate villain-Barry the weak and wavering sinner. The one has "no compunctious visitings of nature"