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planets about the sun, but the revo- is now most probable that the Session lutions of their satellites about them- will not conclude till August. The selves;" and of “the organic descrip- town is thus kept full, and the Wintion of curves, on which the genius ter Theatres have been obliged to of Newton flashed a sudden plaze." encroach, by degrees, upon the period But enough on this subject. We hitherto considered the property of should, however, be glad to know their summer rivals. Of course, this whether these elegancies are likewise is a serious injury to the latter, esto be faithfully translated into the pecially as they will be compelled to French and German languages. shut their doors immediately after
“ It only remains,” says Mr L., the former re-open theirs in October. " for completing my plan, to pro Neither Covent Garden nor Drum duce a volume on Descriptive Geome- ry-Lane produced any novelty wora try, and the theory of solids, compre- thy of notice between the date of my bending Perspective, the Projection last letter and the end of their career. of the Sphere, and Spherical Trigo- To the first, the season has been very nometry." Another volume, then, profitable; and Mr Elliston, as lessee it seems, is to complete the Profes- of the last, has at least been able to sor's Course of Mathematics. We are pay his rent, and to add about £.1,100. not conceited enough to suppose that for extra-nights, not included in the he will endeavour, in his next, to engagement. Of course, the proprieavoid the faults we have pointed out tors of both are in good spirits, and, in this and his preceding volume; if matters still proceed in this way, we hope, however, shortly to see the we shall have theatrical property at completion of his plan, and sincerely a premium. On the subject of novela wish that “repeated accidents” may ties, I may mention, that one was not again intervene, so as to "re- promised on the night when Abbot peatedly interrupt” his very laudable took his benefit; but neither the prodesign.
mise nor the piece were performed. I allude to the announcement of the farce of “ Mr H.,” which was never
played but once, having had the misLOXDOX THEATRICAL CORRESPON
fortune, some years ago, to bedamned. It is the work of a man of very eccen
tric and original genius, Mr Charles London, July 2. Lamb, and it is printed in a late OUR Winter Theatres, as they are collection of his productions. It met called, and miscalled, both closed its fate, not from any fault of the aujust before the commencement of thor, actors, or audience, but from the last month of Summer-July. an accident of the weather, which The nobility and gentry of former put every body out of humour. The times used to enjoy the luxury of plot turns upon a point, and if the clear air, fine prospects, and healthy audience is not disposed to be well exercises, long before the termina- satisfied, but to be fastidious and hytion of May; but now, what with percritical, it could not succeed. The the late sitting of Parliament, and design of the piece is to shew the inthe consequent detention of the King conveniences, difficulties, and danand Court in the metropolis, nobody gers, to which a man may exposof any rank thinks of quitting Lon- ed, from having a hideous name, don for the country, until it has, which induces him always to conceal in truth, lost all its early beauty; it under the initial letter. If it had that beauty which is the more de- been revived on the fine evening when lightful, because it is contrasted with Abbot had his benefit, I would have the coldness and barrenness of winter. answered for its success. Its expulMr Brougham (but what has his sion from the stage was attended name to do with theatrical criticism?) with one good consequence, at least, in a late speech, incidently showed, viz. that the author, in a periodical that King William could not compel work of the day, wrote a most ingehis Parliament to sit in June, in or nious and amusing article, upon the der that he might have supplies for singular blessing of being damned! the prosecution of his campaigns. It Why Mr Abbot substituted another
farce for it, in the bills of the day, ther way disadvantageously; for has not been explained, and I do not they point out the individual who is know that it is necessary it should be. employed to write, and it is an awk
I have heard it said in various ward thing for him to make personal quarters, that my criticism upon Mr enemies of all the authors and actors Colman's “ Law of Java,” in the upon whom he may publish remarks Edinburgh Magazine of last month, which they consider ill-natured and was somewhat too severe. I did not severe. I allow, nevertheless, that a write it until I had seen the play critic, in a widely-extended journal, twice; and by an accident, (for after has a delicate and a responsible task discharging my duty, nothing but to perform, and that some forbearaccident could have occasioned it,) I ance, and even tenderness, is requirhave seen it once since; and upon the ed in its execution. re-perusal of the article, I feel satis As I have yet some room left in fied that I have said in it no more my sheet, I may advert very briefly than was deserved. People in Lon- to another ground of complaint, apdon are very little used to read any plicable to both the last theatrical thing freely written, regarding the articles in the Edinburgh Magazine, stage. In general, they just skim over viz. that they are written in the first the theatrical articles in the daily person singular, and not in the crinewspapers, in order to see whether tical, corporate, editorial first person a piece or an actor has been well or plural. If this mode had not been ill received ; but they have ceased, thought an advantage, it would not and properly, to have much reliance have been adopted; and it would have upon the opinions and impartiality of been quite as easy to have followed the writers. In this respect, the the ordinary course, of pretending system is very different now, to what that the separate opinions of an init was formerly, (I mean some eight dividual come from a body of men or ten years ago,) and our journals clubbing their knowledge, and comare all more or less unwilling, or paring their judgments. What I afraid, to speak out in the way of write, I write on my own authority; dispraise. They are by no means as and if, on any occasion, it displease, independent in the affairs of the dra as no doubt it will, I ask nobody to ma as they are in the affairs of the be responsible for me. I shall alstate ; and it is certainly a great de ways endeavour to be as little egotisfect in the mode in which they are tic as possible, and never to make conducted. Boileau has a line,
“ Little I the hero of each tale." C'est un mechant métier que celui de mé. dire;
If this plan were pursued more gebut the writers to whom I refer seem
nerally, it would put an end to a to make no distinction between fair great deal of the humbug of authortruth and unfair detraction. It may deal of it has been exposed.
ship; and this is an age when a great
Much also be admitted, that it is better to err on the more favourable side ; but
yet remains. the paltry squeamishness almost in
London, July 4. variably displayed, on theatrical sub The title of “ The Fortunes of Nijects, by the daily press, is undoubt- gel" could not fail to draw me to the edly highly injurious to the true in- Surrey Theatre, and there I saw a terests of the drama. What if the drama evidently got up with great Managers of Drury-Lane and Co- haste, but with no inconsiderable de vent-Garden withheld their free ad- gree of skill, and knowledge of effect. mission, in consequence of the publi- One fault of the piece is the fault of cation of a little wholesome censure? the novel, viz. that we have no great It could be a matter of no importance respect or admiration, and, therefore, to such newspapers as the “Times" no great interest for the hero : heand the “Chronicle;” and they would roine there is really none, though it gain infinitely more, by delivering seems pretty clear that the author themselves from the trammels under originally meant to make much more which they are at present placed. of Lady Hermione than he has done. The free admissions operate in ano The writer of the adaptation has st
tempted rather too much, by bring- conflict between two men, both badly ing in all the characters. The three wounded at the bottom of the Blind volumes of the novel did not give the Mine, and which was acted with “Great Unknown” room for display- astonishing effect, by two men of the ing, with full effect, all the personages names of Bradley and Blanchard. whom he has made prominent in the The former of these is perhaps unoutset of his work; and it was not equalled in the part of a murderous therefore to be expected, that they ruffian. I may also mention, in terms could all be brought within the limits of almost unqualified praise, a perof a play, occupying no more than two former of the name of Beverley, who hours in the representation. In this possesses great comic talent, although respect, the dramatist has displayed in a narrow compass. The actresses some deficiency of judgment: he has, at this house are not remarkable besides, dwelt upon incidents, that either for beauty or ability. tell most excellently in the reading, Davis, who has taken Astley's Ambut have not the same effect upon phitheatre, relies almost exclusively the stage. On the whole, they have for success upon the excellence of collected a very good company of ac his quadrupeds, not merely horses, tors at this theatre, and the play of but dogs and bears. His bipeds are, “ The Fortunes of Nigel” has been without exception, the worst in Lonvery well got up.
don. Man, with all his boasted reaSach as have not read “Halidon son and genius, appears here to inHill," have been looking for its an finite disadvantage : nouncement in some of the bills of
“ We cannot call a brute a man, our theatres; but those who have
That language would not suit ; read it, pretend to a great degree of
But here most certainly we can sagacity, in finding out that Sir Wal
Call every man a brute," ter Scott meant it to be considered a failure, in order the better to conceal though not without considerable inhis being the real author of the justice to the latter.
Scotch Novels. It has been over and · over again said, that the author of
London, July 7. the Scotch Novels must have great The Haymarket Theatre having talents for the stage. This point is opened for its season, at the end referred to in the introduction to Ni- of last month, a new comedy, in gel, where the scraps of old plays, or three acts,' was brought forward on pretended old plays, are mentioned; Wednesday last : it has met with and it is asserted by those who affect considerable success, and is announ" to penetrate into the depths of ced in the bills for " every evening things," that Sir W. Scott is anxious until further notice.” It bears for to shew, on this account, that he has title, "John Buzzby, or a Day's Pleano talents for dramatic poetry. sure;" and is from the pen of Mr
While upon the subject of what Kenny, author of " Raising the are called our Minor Theatres, I wish Wind." This farce is always conto notice a piece now acting at the nected with his name, because, as it Coburg, and which merits great was his earliest, so it was his most praise. It belongs to the class of successful production. A young auInelo-dramas; and it has plot, charac- thor, making a first attempt for the ter, and situation, to recommend it. stage, should always be careful to The title of it is " The Blind Mine," write for a summer audience. Cerand the scene is somewhat injudici- tain it is, that the spectators at a ously laid in Derbyshire. It is partly summer theatre are never so cereoriginal, and partly translated; and monious, punctilious, and scruputhe reason why the scene is injudi- lous, (all which epithets come under ciously laid, is, because we know that the term genteel,) as those at a winter in this county no such state of so- theatre, who, in general, seem to think eiety exists, as to account for the it a sort of imputation upon their unboldness of some of the incidents. I derstandings to be too easily pleased. am not about to analyze the produc- It is not to be denied that the higher tion, because it is not absolutely new; nobility and leading gentry are rarely but there is one dreadful scene, of a present in summer; but it is perhaps VOL. XI.
equally certain that the fineness of (a scold, who followed her husband the weather has its effect in keeping John, the latter having made his ethe audience in good humour, and scape,) her son by a former husband, prepared (like a man with a good (a vulgar cockney dandy,) and a lady appetite) to relish whatever is set named Cecilia, the ward of John before them. Many authors have Buzzby, who had fallen in love with held, and among them Milton and
a dragoon officer, quartered at RichCowper, that they could write better mond. There is great variety of chain clear sunny weather, than on dull racter in the play, indeed too much to foggy days; and there seems no rea- be clearly developed ; for Mr Kenny son to confine the difference to writers seems to have been desirous of inonly. It is often a great source of cluding the whole dramatic strength pleasure to watch the countenances of the House. Oxberry played the of a summer audience: they are all part of an inn-keeper, who bawls out so determined upon being merry, so to his talkative daughter, (who says resolutely good-natured, so predis- very little on the stage,) "Hold your posed to be satisfied with the enter- tongue, hussy!" Mrs Chatterley, tainment afforded them, and so free as the daughter, with all her talent, from that fault-finding spirit which could of course make but little of prevails in colder weather, and makes her part. Terry was rather too much the undertaking of a play-writer in. of a gentlemen for John Buzzby, the finitely more hazardous. A sum. haberdasher and hosier, and Jones mer audience always seems to feel not enough of a gentleman for Capt. exactly what Rabelais expresses in Greville of the 18th Dragoons. He the two last lines of the sonnet (ex- mistakes flippancy for ease, and cuse the old French) prefixed to his whisking about the stage for spirit Garagantua :
and alacrity. Mrs H. Johnston per
formed the heroine, the mysterious “ Mieulx est de rire que de larmes escrire, incognita—and sufficiently well ; but Pource que rire est le propre de l'homme. she begins to want the two great reNature seems to have intended man quisites she formerly possessed as för enjoyment, by giving to him only, an actress--youth and beauty. Mrs of all creation, (the Hyena excepted) Pearse performed the scolding wife the faculty of laughing.
of the citizen as noisily and vulgarly John Buzzby was written to pro
as could be wished-indeed more so duce laughter, and it accomplished than the author wished, for she its purpose completely on the night drew down the only hisses heard, when I went to see it. It contains from the rising to the falling of the the adventures of a citizen who takes curtain. I must not omit to notice a journey to Richmond, on a fine Mr W. West's representation of the July day-an excursion probably vulgar, conceited cockney : Liston made at some time or other by every (for whom the part was originally one of the spectators. The characters intended) could not have done it are all of a familiar, every-day kind, much better. The cock of his hat with only such exaggerations as was worth his whole salary. serve to make them effective; and the The dialogue has but little to reincidents, if not always quite pro- commend it, excepting its general bable, are at least entertaining, and appropriateness ; wit would bave follow each other with such rapidity, been out of place, not less in the that the attention never flags. On mouth of the hosier than of the drahis arrival at Richmond, John is ac goon. However, Mr Kenny's talent costed by a lady, with whom he had does not lie this way, and it would travelled in the stage-coach : she be difficult to name a single author throws herself, somewhat præter of the present day who does posspem, upon his protection ; and out sess it. It may not be amiss here of this circumstance, and the secret to notice, that this play contains two cause of her journey, (which, by the or three double entendres, not of the bye, is never sufficiently explained,) most delicate kind; and “ The Bill arises nearly the whole structure of of Fare," a sort of introduction the piece. There is, however, an un. brought out on the first opening of der-plot made out of Mrs Buzzby, this theatre, without being puritani
cal, we may pronounce to be highly In the musical department, Miss censurable in this point of view. Carew is a very powerful assistant; Congreve had great wit to compen- but she will need support; and what sate for his great grossness.
adequate support can such singer A new farce, called “ Love-Let as Mr Pearman give? The Manager ters," has also been brought out here, of a place of amusement styling itand with quite as much success as the self par excellence, the English Opera piece merited. It is but justice to House,—thereby setting it in opposi-, the Managers to say, that they ap tion to, and comparison with, the Itapear to have exerted themselves with lian Opera House, -ought to engage considerable success to amuse the all the best English singers upon the public. The company of performers boards of our Winter Theatres. is, on the whole, very respectable, What is usually understood by the and possesses a great deal of comic words English Opera, is commonly talent. In one respect, nevertheless, a piece of a description that requires it is deficient : excepting Charles very eminent musical talent to renKemble, there is not a man belong- der it at all successful ; and it has ing to it, who looks like, walks like, not unfrequently been seen, that the or talks like a gentleman. For many less it resembles the class of the draobvious reasons, a gentleman is very ma to which it professes to belong, rarely met with on any stage. the more profitable it has been to the London, July 11th. ductions in this kind have been mu
Manager. The best of the serious proThe Manager and Proprietor of the sical comedies; both of them plays, English Opera House, when it open- interspersed with singing, the songs ed, very recently, for the season, an- generally having little or nothing to nounced, that no exertion had been do with the subject-matter of the wanting to secure a most efficient story. The “ Beggars' Opera” is alcompany. It is to be regretted he most the only performance on the has been so unsuccessful, for, recol- stage that really merits the name of lecting that the peculiar province of an English Opera, because there, as this theatre is music, a list of more in the French Vaudeville, what the inefficient performers, both male and actors sing is essentially connected female, has seldom been produced. with the progress of the plot: it asMr Wrench, who cannot sing at all, sists, instead of retarding it. The and Miss Kelly, who can sing a very dialogue of such productions as are little, are really the most distinguish- too frequently brought out at this ed members of the company. I ad- theatre, is the most mawkish stuff mit Mr Wrench's excellence in cer- imaginable. tain departments of comedy, and Miss The best thing represented here Kelly's first-rate talents in her par are what have acquired the title of ticular line; but it is asking a great Musical Farces, and of this kind is deal too much of them, that they a piece acted for the first time a few should appear in almost every piece. nights ago. It is called “ Love among The Manager himself will find, nay, the Roses, or the Master-key;" and he has found it in previous seasons, it is a very pleasant piece of playfulthat the public gets tired of seeing, ness, full of bustle and business, time after time, the identical actors with some pretty songs, and dialogue and actresses, however admirable. above the common level. If not Miss Kelly is under peculiar obliga- witty, it is sprightly, and, what is tions to Mr Arnold, and she willing- more, it is adapted to the characly exerts herself to the utmost; but ters, and the characters to it. It has she cannot do every thing, and it is been announced, in our daily prints, very unreasonable to expect that she to be from the pen of Mr Beazley, should go so far as to make the au as if he were an author of some redience tired of her. For myself, it putation. If he be, it may shew great would be very long before I grew ignorance on my part, but I do not tired of her, in any part, however recollect that he has written much often repeated; but the public in ge- before. Let this point be as it may, neral require more than the Manaa judging from this After-piece, I think ger seems disposed to afford. him perhaps the most promising