Page images

to most respectable natural talents, render his claim to his present pre-eminence unquestionable. His Timothy Quaint cannot be surpassed on any stage. In the outré characters performed by Munden, he is as respectable as any imitator can be, and it is no small praise to he second to that great comedian. His natural faults I have repeatedly enumerated; he is also reprehensible for not acquiring thoroughly the Somersetshire dialect, since, in many old plays particularly, that dialect is frequent. I am aware your great Covent Garden actor makes almost every county in England Yorkshire, but Emery is a fitter object of admiration than imitation. Faults cannot be justified by authority.

The greatness of Mr. Dwyer's benefit, considerable as are his talents, was, in the general opinion, chiefly owing to his being the last night of the performances, as well as the first time this season of Mr. Sheridan's admirable comedy. Strange that the manager, though possessing the talents of Dwyer and Mrs. Young, never thought of bringing forward this and similar performances during the winter, His conduct has been that of the landlord, who would present to his guests a table covered with plum-pudding, fruits, ices, &c. and send up his roast beef with the desert. Dwyer is unquestionably an actor of first rate merit, in a particular line; though a more accommodating disposition, and, particularly, more attention to the duties of his profession, vrould contribute equally to his popularity and theatric eminence. He is often deficient in the lowest mechanical part of his business, pulling out his words as I have witnessed jugglers, in country fairs, drawing out of their mouths the ribbons they pretended to have swallowed. As I am convinced of this actor's very great natural advantages, I am the freer of my rebuke. Great talents, uncultivated, are“ seed thrown upon stony ground;" if contaminated, like the finer shrubs, in rank soils, they inhale poison as they grow, or, at least, run to seed, useless and neglected. The truly respectable character of Mr. Toms, as a man, a public teacher, and a performer, has in part received its reward, in the public patronage and the general estimation.

That such a bad season for the manager should be succeeded by a series of very advantageous benefits, is by many imputed to motives of personal dislike, pretended to be entertained against our manager. This, however, I by no means assert, or altogether even credit. That our company has been, as a whole, altogether inefficient, cannot be denied. Mr. and Mrs. Wrench were only a few nights in Edinburgh ; Mrs. Young came among us, a star; Mrs, Brereton then left us, because, forsgoth, she would not play second to that lady! (risum teneatis.). The stationary female company, which coulů not have done credit to the lowest mumming party in Britain, not only disgraced themselves on the stage of the capital of a populous intelligent kingdom, but reflected indelible disgrace on the manager that offered, and the audience that tolerated, such an exhibition of imbecility. Since the departure of Stephens, who only remained a few weeks in the company, we have been totally without a singer, that necessary appendage to any the lowest companies. The manager may in vain attempt to exculpate himself from censure on this account. It is notorious that a person (one Kelly) from the York theatre, repeatedly offered his services on any terms, and whose vocal abilities were recommended as fully adequate, by numerous amateurs. These things gross, open, and palpable.” I a &c.




Theatre Royal GLASGOW.--

---The Misses Adams, of dancing celebrity, have concluded their engagement. Of two nights appropriated to their benefit, the first produced £. 130, and the second £.55. The entertainments were, The Rivals, West Indian, Citizen, and Sultan. The parts of Lydia Languish, Louisa Dudley, Maria, and Roxalana, by Miss Adams. Of this lady's acting I cannot speak in terms of high panygeric; however, on the whole, these varied characters were tolerably sustained, and being for her benefit, rigid criticism would be ungenerous: besides, the lady possesses the charm of a graceful figure in such perfection, that upon seeing her perform any part, I cannot help saying with the poet:

“ If to her share some female errors fall,

“ Look in her face, and you'll forget them all.” Mr. and Mrs. Evatt, mentioned in my last as being discharged, have made it up with the manager, and have accordingly resumed their situation in the theatre. This is fortunate for the town: than Mr. Evatt, “ we better could have spared another man.” We need no stronger proofs of either Mr. Jackson's obstinacy, or want of discrimination, than the preposterous manner in which many old men's characters are cast. They are frequently thrust upon Mr. Andrews, a stripling, while Mr. Hunter, who looks them well, and performs with judgment, remains idle !

Miss Duncan has once more illuminated our theatrical hemisphere. She shines with increased splendour, and we have to regret her visit has been so transient. She appeared only five nights, and played the following characters, viz. Lady Teazle, Letitia Hardy, Rosalind, Juliana, and (for her own benefit) Mary Thornberry. The receipts of the night were £. 230, the highest sum ever taken here, an indubitable proof of her great and deserved popularity ; but, notwithstanding her universally acknowledged abilities as an actress, and her uniformly amiable conduct in private life, she has not escaped calumny and

“ Slander, whose tongue

Outyenoms all the worms of Nile." In the Caledonian Mercury of June 20th last there appeared a piece of stuff, no less stupid than scurrilous, purporting to be an extract of a letter from Lomr don. It, however, bears internal evidence to the contrary, and is generally supposed, here, to be the joint production of a dashing actor, and a no less dashing vender of crockery ware. The above letter commences with a pitiful attack on the editor of the Theatrical Register, (let the gall’d jade wince,) then hints that the Young Roscius has greatly impaired his fame by playing Lear, (which chaa racter, by the bye, I believe he never did,) and concludes by assuring the world Miss Duncan's popularity is greatly on the decline in London ; in proof of which the writer asserts that her benefit, after clearing charges, amounted only to £.60 : 11. This insidious and malevolent attempt to injure and defame this lady's reputation as an actress is, by report, thus accounted for.

A Mr. P, who thinks himself “ a fellow of no small reckoning, and well worth a lady's eye,” formed, about eighteen months ago, the resolution of taking Miss Duncan to wife, risum teneatis! and being fully confident that his “murthering glances" were irresistible, never dreamt of consulting the lady

until the moment he intended to lead her to the altar. He then addressed her in terms similar to the following:---“ My dear Ma'am, I am a philosopher; I disregard the opinions of mankind: though the world should scorn me for life, I'm determined to sacrifice all my glittering and gilded prospects, and marry you for better and for worse :--

- O let me now Transplant thee safe! where china pots and bowls “ Diffuse their largest warmest influence,

“ And of my warehouse be the pride and joy." But unfortunately, however, for Mr. Potsherd, while he thus “ poured out the pious rapture of his soul,”

“ Confus'd and frighten'd at his sudden love,

“ Her rising beauties flush'd a higher bloom.She looked indignant: the language of the eye imported the following words of Milton.

“ Whence and what art thou, execrable shape,
" That dar'st, though grim and terrible, advance

“ Thy miscreated foot across my way!” In fine, his matrimonial proposal was treated with ineffable contempt, and our pottery Adonis ordered to retire, and never more appear in the presence of the object of his adoration. Hence, soured by disappointment, and goaded by “ the pangs of despis'd love," he eagerly embraces every opportunity of venting his spleen, and, in addition to the letter in question, he was observed to set up, on her benefit night, a solitary hiss ! ! ! “ But something too much of this."

Mr. Rock, a true disciple of Momus, has arrived, and will remain to the end of the season. For these ten days back our theatre has been shut, the company being in Edinburgh with Mrs. Siddons. They return this evening, when our amateurs will be highly gratified with that lady's inimitable (performance of Jane Shore.

I am, &c. Glasgow, 15th July, 1805.

MERCUTIO. Boston, AMERICA.---By theatrical intelligence recently received from America, it appears that the theatre at Boston, in Massachussets State, meets with the most liberal encouragement, under the management of Mr. Powell, brother to Mr. C. Powell, formerly of Covent Garden. The following statement of receipts at the benefits of several performers, during the last season, will evince the manner in which the Bostonians support the drama. Ms. Powell, Manager, who plays light comedy, 1000 dollars ; Mr. Bernard, formerly of Covent Garden, plays Irishmen, Jews, &c. 1050 Dollars; Mrs. Powell, formerly Miss Harrison, of the Exeter theatre, plays tragedy, 1163 dollars ; Mr. Cooper, late of Drury Lane, plays first tragedy, 1050 dollars ; the other performers met with similar success. The theatre is calculated to contain (by admeasurement) eleven hundred dollars, though, on some occasions, the receipts have been from 1300 to 1400 dollars.



On Friday the 12th of July, the Lord Chancellor, as speaker of the Lords Commissioners, addressed both houses of parliament in the following speech:

My Lords and Gentlemen, “ We have it in command from His Majesty to express the satisfaction with which he has observed the proofs you have given in the course of the present session of your constant regard for the honour of his crown and the interests of his dominions, and particularly the measures you have adopted for strengthening His Majesty's hands at this important conjuncture, by the augmentation of the disposable military force of the kingdom."

" Gentlemen of the House of Commons, “ His Majesty has directed us particularly to thank you in His Majesty's name, for the zeal and liberality with which you have granted the large supplies which the necessity of the public service has required.”

My Lords and Gentlemen, “ His Majesty has not yet been enabled to communicate to you the result of the negociations in which he is engaged with powers on the continent; but

you may rest assured that no step will be omitted on His Majesty's part, for promoting such a concert as may afford the best prospect of restoring general and permanent tranquillity; or may, if necessary, furnish the means of repelling with vigour the continued encroachments on the part of the French government, which threaten every day, more and more, the liberty and independence of all the nations of Europe.”

Then a commission for proroguing the parliament was read. After which the Lord Chancellor said :

My Lords and Gentlemen,

• By virtue of His Majesty's commission under the great seal, to us and other Lords directed, and now read, we do, in His Majesty's name, and in obedience to his commands, prorogue this parliament to Thursday the twenty-second day of August next, to be then here holden ; and this parliament is accordingly prorogued to Thursday the twenty-second day of August next.”


The removal of Whitechapel Mount has commenced. It is said to be composed of the rubbish of the houses that were destroyed by the fire of London, in the year 1666. This spot at that time stood in the fields at some distance from town. A silver tankard, a watch, other metals, some coins, &c. have already been found.

Mr. Lindley, of Catton, Norfolk, has experimentally proved, that sowing salmon raddish seed with the Sweedish turnip, will draw the fly from the turnip to the raddish, and preserve the former.


FIRE AT THE ROYAL ARSENAL, WOOLWICH.-On Sunday night, the 30th of June, a dreadful fire took place in the Warren, Woolwich, which, from its situation (being only 100 yards from the magazine), excited the greatest consternation and alarm. There is reason to fear that it was intentionally set on fire. The long range of wood built store-houses full of ordnance stores, are totally destroyed. The greatest praise is due to the officers, cadets, &c. of the royal artillery, for their prompt exertions to stop the flames, and for the means adopted to prevent the magazine from taking fire ; they covered all the roof and walls of the magazine with waggon tilts, and, by keeping the cloths constantly wet, farther mischief was prevented. Had the magazine taken fire, the consequences would have been dreadful, as it contained 8000 barrels of gunpowder. Some persons are in custody on suspicion, but nothing yet has been found out which it would be proper to communicate to the public. We are happy to announce that no lives were lost, and only a few trifling accidents happened. The two buildings consumed were full of what is called dead ammunition, such as grape and cannister shot in boxes, ready to be sent to different garrisons at home and abroad. The boxes are supposed to have amounted to nearly half a million in number. The buildings consumed were situated behind the moat, and were about the length of 160 or 170 feet, and two stories high, not a vestage of which remains. The buildings, with what they contained, were very valuable; the estimate of damages is not yet ascertained, but it is supposed to be from fifty to 100,0001. We understand great hopes are entertained of the villains who set the storehouses on fire being speedily brought to condign punishment. Sir Richard Ford, assisted by Mr. Stafford, the principal clerk at Bow-street, attended at the royal arsenal on Tuesday, and the whole of the day was spent in taking depositions, in consequence of which several persons have since been committed to the house of correction in Coldbath-fields. The dreadful act must have been premeditated for some time,' and planned for the execution and prevention of extinguishing the flames, as when the engines belonging to the yard were brought out, they were rendered nearly useless hy four of the brass screws belonging to the leather pipes being injured so much, that they would not screw together. A number of the fire buckets were likewise rendered useless, by being cut and holes made in them.

Mr. Phipps the occulist has introduced a gentleman to his Majesty, who had been afflicted with a similar disorder in his eyes to his Majesty's, who had undergone an operation, and had recovered. His Majesty conversed with him for a considerable time.

It appears by the journals of the House of Commons, that the expense of fitting up Westminster Hall for the impeachment of Mr. Hastings, was 37591.

A gentleman of Lymington, Hampshire, has a cow which yielded 1336 gallons, 2 quarts, and half a pint of milk, in 10 calendar months and 20 days; and the produce of another cow of the same breed has been for some months together 16lb. of butter per week.

In the American papers we find ic announced that Mr. Jefferson will not stand a candidate for re-election in 1808. The candidates who have already been named for the next presidential election, are the Hon. James Maddison, the present secretary of state; Mr. J. Randolph, the celebrated manager of impeachments; and the Hon. Robert R. Livingston, late minister in France.

« PreviousContinue »