Page images


It is not ofton that it is our pleasing duty to congratulate the public on the arrival of a man of genius. It is seldom that we get anything from America but large posters and enormous impostors. Considering the amount of fifteenth-rate American artists who havo made fortunes here, Columbia owed Ub a good deal. She has paid us. For one, Mr. Jefferson we would bear much. He would atone to us for many Feejee Mermaids, Talking Fish, Fig-faced Ladies, Doubletongued Kangaroos, Guinea-pigs with two tails, Anthropoglossi, and Anthropophagi.

The Adelphi Theatre re-opened on Monday. During the recess the theatre hus been re-embellished and decorated, and the seats re-stuffed. It is to pity that more room has not been left between the rows of seats for that beautiful piece of mechanism, the human leg, which is not capable of compression—no matter how intellectual the entertainment provided for its proprietor. Rip Van Winkle; or, the titetp of Twenty Feat is a new Drama from the pen of Mtu BoccicAtJiT, founded upon Washinoton InTrNo's well-known legend. It is an excellent drama, well-conceived and put together, and capitally written, with the exception of two " carpenters' scenes," as they are called, in the last act, which are commonplace in the extreme, and seem to belong to some other piece, and to bo tho work of an inferior hood. We will not attempt a description of the piece, which everybody will be forced to go and see—for actors of the Jefferbok altitudo are swans of the inkiest plumage. We will merely suggest that an improvement might be made in the costumes of Hendrick Hudson and his spectral crew; the skittle-playing goblins look too positive and real—dark blue pilot coats and bright scarlet waistcoats are slop-shoppy and comfortable. The ghostly garments should be of the hue of mist, with but a faint and foggy difference between the texture and colour of coat, vest, and knickerbockers. It would be as well, too, if the dresses worn by the villagers, in the third net, were more modern, for it would mark the lapse of time moTO strongly.

He would be a clever critic who could find a fault with MR. JefferSon's performance of Rip Van Winkle—the graceful, drunken, good humoured, loving and loveable Dutch scapegrace and vagabond. It was a highly-finished picture—full of humour, pathos, human inconsistencies, real pains and small pleasures—no miniature ever boasted more delicate manipulation, and yet it is unstained by an atom of PreRaphaelite pedantry. Rip Van Winkle, according to Mr. Jefferson, is a real man, and not a stage lay-figure, galvanised, and gas-lighted, and limo-lighted, and rouged up into a semblance of existence. In tho tenderness and truthfulness of its treatment wo were reminded of tho late Mr. Farren; and in its easy, natural buoyancy—if tradition be not fiction—old playgoers might recall memories of the elder Emery.

Rip Van Winkle, at the Adelphi, is extremely fortunate in his spouse. A truer specimen of manly tenderness and virago temper than Vrow Van Winkle, as personated by Mrs. Billington, was never seen outside the frame of a picture by Tbniebs. We never thought an ungentle person of the gentler (?) sex could have been so agreeable. It would be "something to be loved "—as the ballad says—as Rip Van Winklo was; even at the cost of being, at times, so crowed over and cudgelled. So Rip! Rip! Rip! Rip! Hurray for Rip Van Winkle, for Vrow Van Winkle, and the Fraulein Van Winkle, and her future husband, " ant their families, ant may they prosper!"

Many have told of the monks of old what a Baintly race were they; but Fra Angelo, who dwelt near Naples, in the thirteenth century, was certainly the worst specimen of monkery ever seen on any stage, or ever read of in any boiling-hot Protestant novel. Not only was this villanous ecclesiastic the ruffian and a hypocrite, but he was ugly to

[merged small][graphic]

who is beautiful and proud—to marry Leonora de Volgenza, who is also beautiful and proud. But Lorenzo loves—not to put too fine a point upon it, and to weary our readers with unnecessary circumlocution—Another; one Marina, who is also beautiful and proud. But Marina is lowly born, and Leonora is of the highest rank. Ijorenzo naturally prefers beauty allied to humble worth, to equal beauty and equality of station—young men who have been well brought up generally do; at least, they did near Naples in the thirteenth century.

The Duke de Ceretto, the Marquis do Volgenza, and Leonora are all in despair, becaHse Iiorenzo insists on marrying Marina. What is to be done P Fra Angelo has an idea—it is the only idea he has, but he makes the most of it. "Suppose," he suggests, "Marina were to die

* Query, libel.—Ed.

by poison, then everything would go well, It need be no trouble to any of you, I'll do it—it will be a pleasure to me—the sort of thing I enjoy!" The Duke sees it, the Marquis sees it, and even Leonora sees it; and off speeds the delighted priest—joy in his heart and arsenic in his pocket.

Luckily, Leonora reflects that to lift your hand to poison a fellow creature—even though she be younger and more beautiful than yourself—is not only improper, but unladylike. She writes to Lorenzo informing him of the wily monk s nefarious intentions Lorenzo posts off to prevent their fulfilment, and arrives in the nick of time. Marina is about to drink the fatal draught, and the monk is standing by delighted, because he knows that it will disagree with her. Lorenzo Beizes the cup with Otto hand and the throat of Fra Angelo with the other, and tilting the contents of the cup down the throat of the holy father, waits to see how he likes it—an incident which causes Fra Angelo to writhe with agony, and the audience to roar with laughter. Fra Angelo dies cursing. It is his nature to. Leonora poisons herself, and pardons everybody; and Lorenno and his Marina are very glad, for they can be united; and the curtain falls, and the audience are very glad, for they can go out.

Such is an outline of the incidents of the new play at the Haymarket; which has the merit of being In five acts, each of them very long. Miss Kathbrttie Ronoans, a rftbntante from the provinces, despite the piece and the part, made it deservedly favourable impression—indeed, the play was very well acted, though Mn. Voi.lair*, who appeared as the Fra, made a too liberal use of the means of vocal and facial expressions at his command.


Bt Popular Sono-writbhb.



By G. L»kl*t.

TirEY told him rudely she was dead,

Yet still he sat and smiled,
And quite declined to see the bed,

Where lay the lovely child:
He little cared for fulsome praise,

Or stupid looks of sorrow, "Pooh! pooh!" he cried, " I know her ways

She'll do the same to-morrow!"

One day they missed him, and they found,

The old man pale and weak,
The summer wind with mournful sound,

Fanned his decided cheek:
In vain that wind he tried to raise,

And One and thruppenco borrow, "Pooh, pooh!" he cried, " I knew her ways,

She'll be all there to-morrow."



By H. B. F'rn'e.

She sleeps, and stiU the spell

Around the young thing clings, Tho lovelighta in her dwell,

And still her true knight sings: "Oh! fairer than the star,

That lights the ocean foam,
My steps have wandered far,

From thee, my spirit-home!

From thee, my spirit-homo!

The gladsome morning rath,

Within its cave abides, The spoil that Beauty hath,

Is gloaming on the tides; Yet still the knightly love,

Beyond the spell-fraught home, 8ays, like the gentle dove,

•' Coo! for our spirit-home."

"Coo! for our spirit-home!



Ut Swell:"why, Fwank, What On Eaeth Have You Got There?"

2nd Ditto:—" Well, You See, It's So Fwightfully Hot A Fellah Can not Keep Cool; so I've Got A Lump Of Wenham Lake



An Irish'Melody,
Only Moore musical and less melancholy.

Oh! Rip Van Winklo less doubt encumbers—

(The man who's fallen asleep for years), When first awaking from lengthened slumbers—

Than what to this Irish boy appears, Who's roused by voices of merry-making,

When years long he'd sleeping lain, And finds his country is now awaking

To such a fine prospect onco again!

lie sees the cabin no wretched shealing;

The boys arc dandies, the pig's a swell; There's girls flax-winding and girls flax-reeling,

And all the crops looking moighty well. His rusted arm, disloyal token,

Idly years may now remain, For Ireland's long sleep of sorrow's broken,—

There's such a fine prospect once again!


The Empress Eugenie climbed the Itighi on the 21st ultimo. On her return she declared herself to be Righi-larly tired out.

The Queen has dispensed with the personal investiture of the Earl Op Stair, and has empowered his lordship to wear the insignia of the Order of the Thistle. The band of the Scots Fusiliers was present and played " Sich a gettin-up's Stair's!"


September promises well, but is not likely to last quite as long as August. In fact, wo shall not be surprised at finding it a whole day shorter. The two months are supposed to have tossed up for the odd one, and September, after losing, went off to bed grumbling "Perdidi diem," a quotation subsequently lifted by the Emperor Titus, who sung the first word to the air of Per-diddy-iddy-iddyiddy-ido! Some people say that the moon is responsible for the shortcomings of September. If so, somebody ought to shoot the moon for her injustice directly the supply of grouse begins to run short. There need be no lack of guns for this purpose, because the wind will begin to blow great ones directly the equinoctial gales commence The crops are quite ready for cutting—especially carrots, which can easily be replaced by a brown wig, if necessary, and nobody need be a bit the wiser. Cattle are in a sad way, particularly when they are coming up on the road to Newgate Market. It is no use to give the sheep any advice, as they are suro to reply, "Bah!" like a lot of unbelieving Frenchmen. For intelligence respecting pigs, we must refer our readers to the reports of tho iron-markot, in which placo they are quite at home. (N.B.— The pigs, not the readers.)

We have not paid much attention to the parks lately, but they are accustomed to neglect, so they will hardly complain of us. Abneypark is as full of life as usual; and a nicer walk, for anybody who is anxious to bury his cares for an hour or two, it would be a difficult thing to point out. Barnsbury-park is at Islington for the season; we happen to know a very nice young lady who lives there—a fact which will, no doubt, endear Barnsbury-park to the general public. Greenwich-park, we hoar, is not far from tho hospital, which says very little for the condition of its health. Wo should recommend it strongly to tako a run up Observatory-hill once a day for the sake of exercise, if it wishes to recover. In case of the worst, of course Greenwich Hospital would be happy to take it in as an out-pensioner.



It give me that turn when that young man come in and Bays, "Is your name Martha Brown?" and hands me the strip of paper that I downright staggored, and if Mrs. Ciiallin hadn't give me a chair I should have fell backwards, as the savin' is. The young fellow he says, "It's no hangin' matter, but mind you attends to it;" and as soon as ever he woro gone I says, "Mrs. Challin, if I don't take a-somethin' I shall bo took bad, for I feels them shivers a-comin' up my back, as is often warnings of illness." So she did step out for half-a-quartern, as is a thing I will nover keep in the house, for it's gone like magic, tho' necessary when parties is liable to be took, sudden.

Well, as far as I could mako it out, it was a paper from the Queen, as I says, " However can sho know anything about mo," I says, " as never troubles my head with nothing of the sort." So I asks young Edmunds, as brought in the water-rate, whatever it meant. "Oh," says he, "your subpiena'd."

"What for?" says I. Says ho, "All along of Mrs. Brittles's back washus winder bein' broke into that Sunday ovenin'" with me a-settin' in the arbour a-readin', as commands a full view of her premises, and see the parties as they was a-levantin' as the savin' is.

"Wherever is it to ?" says I. "The Old Bailey," says ho. "Well, then, I'm suro as Brown won't never let me go for to stand like a criminal in the docks." Ho says, "You're only a witness."

I says, "That comes of my talkin' to that 'ere policeman as come here a-pumpin' and a-spyin', and askin' that civil for to see our backgarden, and talkin' that agreeable, me little a-thinkin' as ho was a reg'lar Jesuit, as I'm told there is in every family, with a book wrote all about it." So when Brown come in ho says, "That comes of your lettin' that red rag o' yourn run so free." "But," I says, "Brown, you won't never suffer it." "Suffer what?" says he.

"Why, your lawful wifo to be took up like that to the Old Bailey, as I never should hold my head up again thro' shame?" "Woll," says he, "there ain't nothin' to be ashamed on. You must go, or they'll put you in prison and make you pay a hundred pounds."

I says, "Then they're tyrants, that's what I calls em ;" but ho only says, " Rubbish! Mind you're there by ten o'clock punctual."

So on the next Monday fortnight as ever were I had to go, and got Mrs. Challin to mind the house, and Mrs. Eyles she went with me, and of all tho drizzly, dirty mornings as ever I was out in, it was the worst. I says, " Let's be there in good time, and then p'raps they'll let us go all the sooner." So wo got there as the clock was on the stroke of nine, and there was such a frightful crowd, and we wasn't able to get near the place in tho 'bus. I says to the conductor, "Is this the nearest as you can put us down?" He says, "We ain't allowed to go no nearer; but," he says, "if you walks very quick you maybe just in time." I says, "Whatever do you mean?" and if they hadn't been and hung a man, as is a thing as I wouldn't see, not for all tho world." I says, "I'd rather go to prison or pay the hundred pounds, so back I'll go." Mrs. Eyles says, " Bless you, it's all over, and we'll take it gently. There goes nine."

Of all the crowds I ever seo it was the wust, and I'm suro to look at 'em you'd say as hangin' was too good for 'em, and they camo a-rushin' and a-hootin' that violent as me and Mrs. Eyles had to stand in a doorway over so long for to let 'em pass. I says, "Mrs., in my opinion them hangin's did ought to be done private, as might be made moro agreeable to all parties, and not for to collect such ragamuffins together, as is a reg'lar p«st to theirselves and others."

It was just ten When we was got to the Old Bailey, as was crowded up by the most wretchedest parties, and it made my heart feel for some of them poor creeturs as was a-sheddin' tears talking to policemen, and seemed a-beggin' hard for to be let in, as is a place as I'd rather be kept out on. We waited and waited in them damp, dirty passages till I was quite chilled, when a door opens sudden, and out comes a woman a-sercamin' like wild, and her friends a-tryin' to hold her, but, law bless you, sho fought like wild, and seemed ready for to tear 'em in bits, till at last she fell down in a fit. It gave mo that awful turn as I says, " Mrs. Eyles, mum, I must take somethin'," and the policeman as was friendly to us he took us over to got some refreshments. So I asks him, "Whatever mads her take on like that?" "Oh!" ho says, "hor Joe's got a lifer. I know'd he would." "Whatever for?" "Oh!" he says, "a heavy burglary."

Well, just then in came a lot of parties as was that cheerful, and a-talkin', gay in' they was that glad as she'd got off. Says the policeman, "I told you sho would; I never see a young gal do it better."

I asks, " What?" "Oh!" says he, "she was up for tho murder of her infant, as was six months old, only she come the gammon that strong, a-faintin' away every moment, and bein' good looking, the jury let her off."

"Then more shame for 'em," says I. "Is that justice," I says, "a brazen-faced hussy as one might forgive a misfortune to, but for to go and imbrood her hands in hinnocent blood of her own child, she's wuss than a beast of prey. If I'd my way I'd burn her, a wreteh."

"You would, would you, old corpilence? It's well as there ain't a law for burnin' you, or all the fat 'd be in the fire;" and if them wulgar, low-lived wretches didn't roar with their laughter.

I says, " You're a reg'lar Blaughter-house lot, as a littlo hangin' wouldn't do no harm to."

Just as I was a-speakin' there was a old woman decided in liquor as up and shied a pint pot at me, as would have done for me if it hadn't missed and hit a party at ween the blade-bones, as returnod the compliment by hitting out all round. So the police had to interfere, and glad I was to got out of the place, and Mrs. Eyles and the policeman led me into the courtyard, and there was a man Bhoutin' "Martha Brown" like mad.

I says, "Hero I am." "Look slippy," says the policeman, and they hurries me along and shoves me thro' a door, and there I was reg'lar flurried and out of breath, afore tho judge and all. Of all tho smelly, stiflin' places ever I was in it was that court. However them judges can bear them head-dresses and furs puzzles mo, not as I'd time for to think of much thro' a party shovin' a book in my hand and a-makin' me kiss it and swear to speak the truth, "as," I says, "is my habits, young man." Well, a very nico party asked me very polite all about it. So I says, "My lord," I says, "I'll toll you how it cum about." "Answer my questions," says the party.

"So I will," I says, " my lord; but," I says, "how ever are you to know if I don't tell you, not as I bears any malice nor hatred in

my heart; but," I says, "for to rob a lone woman "The other

judge, him as was a-»ettin' up above, says, "My good woman," a expression as didn't sound well in his mouth, " confine yourself to answexin' when you're spoke to."

I says, "Yes, my lord," I says, "as it is my habits, for I ain't ono to trouble myself with nobody's business, for I'm sure any ono as knows me can bear testaments." "Answer the counsel directly," says another old judge, as had a pimply nose and spoke irritable, as I should say had been a-takin' somethin' in his tea, as he must require, a-settin' stiflin' and a-stowin' in that place all day.

I says, "By all means; I'm sure I don't want to speak." No more I didn't, for with all his rigmarole questions he didn't get at tho truth, for ho kep' a-stoppin' me, and when I thought as he was done, and was a-turnin' to go, up got a young chap with a snappy sort of manner, and says, "Pray, Mrs. Brown, how old are you?"

I says, " I ain't ashamed to tell my age, as was born in the year of the allied sufferings comin' over, as I've often heard my dear mother say, as she stood on Westminster Bridge for to see 'em pass by, and it's a-mercy as she got a hackney coach." So says the young chap, "Ah! I dare say; but wo don't want to hear about that, but all we want to know i3 about your eyesight, is it as good as it used to be?"

"Well," I says, "for that matter I can see as far as my neighbours, and that Sunday afternoon—" he says, " What Sunday afternoon?" I says, "As you're a-speakin' on." He says, "I never mentioned the words."

"Then," I says, "you did ought to, for it was a Sunday as I was a-settin' a-readin', leastways a-dozin', when I heard a crack like glass a-givin' way. So I gets on tho seat, and looks over the wall jest in time to see a man a-gettin' in at Mrs. Bhittles' back-kitchen window, as I know'd was gone to a place of worship." "Well," says the young chap, "you must have a very long sight if you can see a man's face gettin' in at a window when a long way behind him."

I says, "It is not a long way; for," I says, "it is only the length of Mrs. Brittles's garden." "What length is that?" says he.

"Why," says I, "the length of a garden." "Well," he says, *' look at the prisoner at the bar, is ho tho individual that you saw a-gettin' into tho window?"

"Well," I says, "let him turn round and make believe to be a-gottin' in at a window, and see if I don't swear to him?" "Can you or can you not say whether he is the man?" asks the judge.

"Well," I says, "my lord, leastways I think—" "Don't think. Will you swear?" oays the young chap. "You're quite enough to make any one, not as anything would make mo give in to such a low habit." "You won't swear then?" says he. "Certainly not." "Stand down," says a policeman,

I did stand down, and was glad to get out of the place, but was that trembly as I sunk down on a bench, and if they hadn't got me somo refreshments I don't think as I over coukl have left that place.

Woll, it wasn't very long aforo they como out, and 1 hears a young chap say, "It's all right, he's got him oil'. Wasn't the old gal a trump." Jest then up comes Mrs. Brittles in a toweling passion, as says to me, " You're a base ooman a-perjurin' yourself like that just to spite me, as have told me yourself as you could swear to that man anywheres, and then to eat your own words, as in my opinion you've been bought off, as I'll see if law can't lay hold on you."

Well, I was that took a-back as I nearly dropped, and how I got home I don't know with a splittin' head and Brown that coldblooded, a-sayin', that it was all my own fault, and if I'd held my tongue I might have kept out of it, as was only my wantin' for to seem to know cverythin'.

« PreviousContinue »