Page images

row, returning to her place: is the hall escapes, without being stopped in its course before it touches the ground, they strike up the dance and sing, beating time with their hands and seet; this lasts about live minutes, when they prepare to receive the ball from the other party who have stood still: is they catch the ball, they return it again; is it escape them, the other party dance in their turn. After thus amusing themselves and the spectators for some hours, the bill is kicked away, and both parties strike up together. It is at this time they use the lewd gestures described by some of our voyagers; but these are only practised by the young and, wanton, who (fays the reporter) are no more to be taken for the standard of manners than the ladies in the Strand, or the sea-nymphs at Spithead, would be specimens of our fair countrywomen.





KNOW not whether it was about this time or earlier in his lise, that Thomson lived in the family of


Lord Binning, in the quality of tutor to some of his children. I have heard or read an anecdote of his conduct while he lived in that situation, which, as it is Indeed somewhat trivial, 1 mould not mention here, did it not strikingly bespeak his characteristic sensibility and indolence. A young lady of the family, who was very amiable, had attracted Thomson's most passionate admiration. He durst not reveal his love, nor had he all the opportunities he desired of gazing on her beauty. It happened, however, that his bed-chamber was immediately above that of Che fair lady. The ceiling

was was flight, and the! lover contrived to bore a hole through, which he could, whenever he chose, enjoy a bird's-eye view of what passed in his mistress's chamber. As she was one evening undressing herself with her maid's assistance, they were alarmed by the loud snore of a person asleep. The lady was surprised and frightened. But her maid's penetration having ^before discerned the state of the Tutor's heart, fte instantly suspected the snore to issue from his nostrils. A little observation discovered his peeping hole; and the inhuman Abigail, by applying the candle to the orisice, roused the poor lover very abruptly—perhaps from a dream of happiness.

Heron's Life of Thomson, prefixed to the Perth
Edition of the Seasons.



STONING was one of the four capital punifli. ments among the Jews, inflicted for the greater and more enormous crimes; especially for blasphemy and idolatry.

The malefactor was led out of the consistory (where he had received sentence) at the door whereof a per,, son stood with a napkin in his hand, and a man on horseback at some distance from him; that, if any one came and faid he had something to offer for the deli-ve. ranee of the criminal, the horseman (on the others waving the napkin) might give notice, and cause the offender to be brought oack to a farther hearing.

He had two grave persons to go along with him to the place of execution, and to exhort him to confession

by r • . —

by the way. A cryer went before him, proclaiming who he was, whaL his crime, and who his witnesses. When arrived at the fatal spot, which was raised twa cubits from the ground, he was sirst stripped, then, stoned, and afterwards hanged. He was to continue, hanging till fun-set; and then being taken down, he and his gibbet were buried together.

(See Cave's Life of St. Stcflien, Seel. $.)



WEDNESDAY, August lift. A new play, entitled the Red Cross Knights, was brought forward this evening. It is taken from Schiller's famous tragedy of the Robbers; and is accompanied by some pleasing music, scenery, and decorations.

The scene is laid in Spain, where Ferdinand, the only son of Count Desmond, is supplanted in his father's affections by the bale conduct of Roderic, the son of the Countess by a former husband. Ferdinand, driven to despair, enters the army, and displays the utmost valour against the Moors. Returning, however, sometime after to his father's castle in disguise, he sinds his beloved Eugenia on the eve of marriage with Roderic, who is in possession of his inheritance, the Old Count being supposed to be dead. Ferdinand, by accident, discovers that he is alive in a dungeon, into which he was thrown by the artisices of Roderic. He is almost immediately

released released. Ferdinands restored to his mistress, and the execrable Roderic is delivered over to an exemplary punishment. Such are the general outlines of the plot; and considered with respect to the German original, in which horror predominates, this Alteration, attributed by common report to Mr. Holman, may be deemed an improvement.

The characters in this play were not very impressive, except Eugenia, who had one great scene for exertion. Ferdinand and Roderie, indeed, appear with advantage in various parts; but the rest are mere shadows. The language does not possess any peculiar energy or beauty, excepting in the last act, where Ferdinand discovers his father; this is a scene calculated to rouse all our seelings, and with which, of course, we were much gratisied. The music is a judicious selection, comprising several good marches, and a sew exquisite airs, executed by Mrs. Bland with her usual felicity.

The dresses are splendid, and we were pleased with the Moorish palace, and a great variety of rural views, which constitute the scenery. The Prologue wu spoken by Mr. Trueman. It is a composition in praise of knight errantry, and announces the play as an improved copy, in respect to the moral, from the German school. It was announced for surther exhibition with an indisferent approbation.

September Io. Miss Campbell made her sirst ap. pearance here this evening in the character of Julia, in the Surrender of Calais. This lady comes from the theatre of Newcastle. Her person is middle-sized, aeitly proportioned, and genteel. There was a delicacy in her tone of voice, though too much depressed by timidity; and her whole manner was characterised by ease and resinement. Her talent seems to lie in genteel


comedy, where we have no doubt she will acquit herself with considerable ability.

14th. This theatre closed for the season this evening; the company was brilliant, consisting of the Prince of Wales, Lord Moira, the Dutchess of Devi.nlliire, and other persons of distinction. Mr. Fawcett, at the conclusion, delivered a neat address of thanks, in which he regretted the brevity of their Summer career; and acknowledged, in terms of gratitude, their numerous obligations for the attendance with which they had been honoured. "However his term," faid Mr. FawCett, " may have been reduced—however he may regret that he has sported "for so Ihort a period in the sun-shine of your favour, still your beams nave cheered him during his brief summer, and he is sully sensible of their warmth."


September 16. This theatre opened with the comedy of Laugh When You Can, and the opera of Kqfina. The performers were greeted upon their appearance by the audience, who renewed their acquaintance with them in tokens of exultation. Mattocks, Lewis, Munden, and Incledon, were among the number received with the greatest pleasure A Prefatory Address, delivered by Mr. Pope, contained an eulogium on our recent military exertions, and a modest claim to the patronage of the public.

The improvements of the house were equal to our expectations. The fronts us the boxes are painted in compartments, of which the pannel is a delicate rosepink, framed in gold, the frames white j and the whole produces a rich and brilliant effect.

September 18. Mrs. Dibdin made her debut here as Aura, in the Farm House, She sustained the


« PreviousContinue »