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FROM OUR STALL.
TnE Haymarkct opened on the 9th, with the School for Scandal, as a comedy theatre .should; and Astley's opened on the 9th with a very bad drama, as a Hippodramatic Spectacular Theatre should not. It is possible that the manager of tho Havmarket may experience some difficulty in finding good new comedies, but surely even in these degenerate days (for it seems to be an understood thing that whatever is is degenerate), a better drama could be found than The Child of the Sun. With scenery, costumes, ballet, gunpowder, lime-light, actors, actresses, and auxiliaries, all good enough, the pieco was as bad as a bad piece oould be. This is inexcusable laches on the part of Mr.. John Brouoham, who is a very clever author and adapter. It is impossible to say anything of the new drama, except that Miss Adah Isaacs Menkes appears in it, that she wears several very becoming costumes —pardon our saying that tho Child of the Sun is arrayed after a fashion worthy of her luminous paternity, and displays considerable statuesque grace. It should bo understood that "the Menken" U clothed, and clothed considerably, and looks very handsome and gallant. She fires a real gun, and rides a real horse, and that is all that wo can remember of tho drama. Is there no playwright to bo found to measure and fit the Menkbn with a chnracter? There wore clever schoolbovs forty years ago, who would have taken a pleasure in the task. Where is Mr. Eiiward Fitzball? Whv reposes he beneath the shade of his past glories—(a lovely image that)? Shall not he who erst provoked thunders of applause by his "Jonathan Bradford," his "Floating Beacon," and his "Inchcapa Boll," again try tho mettle of his pen against these modern recreants. "By'r Lady of Saint Anywhere!" "By tho mass!" "By the mouldering bones of my unburied father!" "False caitiff!" "Heartless miscreant!" "Villanous murder-r-rer!" &c, &c, &c, but he shall, and when ho doth may—marry "ifaith; ifackins! and ifogs !—wo be there to see!
Some nights ago there was a sort of " scene" or "discussion" at the Princess's Theatre, and as wo hoar, for we were not present, an argument between the manager on tho stage and a theatrical critic in the stalls. As to how far realism, that is, the reproduction of actual things upon the stage, may bo permissible, it may be as well that Fi N should speak and set the question at rest.
Wo will premise, as the following is to be considered a decision, and not the opening of a controversy, that we shall say nothing of It is Never too Late to Mend, but wo will take as a parallel case the drama of Uncle Tom's Cabin, founded on Mrs. Beeguer Stowe's novel of Uncle Tom's Cabin, tho incidents of which were sensational, realistic, and terrible. Well, then, the flight of Eliza Harris, with her child, across the ice, pursued by slavoowners and their dogs, was a perfectly legitimate melodramatic combination of moral and physical terror. But had the ingenious dramatist or the spirited manager exhibited Eliza or her child, or both, torn down by the docs, in view of tho spectators, they would have exceeded the limits of good taste. Again, that Legree should order Uncle Tom or Cassv to rnceivo a hundred thousand lashes, and that they should be dragged off to punishment by twenty brutal overseers, would be right enough, but if either of the dusky victims were dragged up and flogged in sight of the audience, or if Cassy died from the punishment, or Uncle Tom exhibited his lacerated back, the ladies in the audience could not be accused of affectation if they fainted, nor the men if they turned sick, nor the whole body of spectators if they hissed with forty thousand Michaelmas goose-power. While upon tho bench, Fun will also decide as to the deportment of a newspaper critic when on duty in his stall or box. He, tho critic, may applaud, but only when some rare or subtle stroke of tho actor's genius, some delicate shade likely to pass unheeded by the general spectators, is shown. But he may not hiss, for he should act up to his judicial character, and be reticent of hig opinion. But there are limits to human endurance—even the critic of a newspaper is a man—and if any person should dare to place upon tho stage, for the mere greed of gain, a "sensation" sceno in the likunnss of the ward of a hospital, and simulate the operation of amputating the leg of the hero, or the arm of the heroine with real bandages, real tourniquets, real unguents, real saws, real needles, real arteries, and real blood, and the rest of the sickening apparatus, then the newspaper critic would bo dans son droit to rise and hiss loudly, and it is to bo hoped that ho would be aided by audiences whose length of suffering is as extraordinary as is their patience.
It seems as strange to have to mention these remarkable facts as to inform our readers that the sum of two and two are four, but we live in strange times. Theatres now-a-days are temples of bad taste. The question often occurs to us, "What is the use of a licenser of plays?" Is ho a man who nover censures, or a myth altogether, the Mrs. Harris of the Lord Chamberlain's office? As it is ho 6eems to be a warning voice that never warns, a bailiff who never makes a capture, a beadle who is fast asleep while impudent boys play pitch and toss upon the tombstones beneath his very nose?
Nicholas, After A Brief Explanation, Proceeds To Celebrate Iiis Successful Prophecies For The C-esarewitch.
"up rose the sun, and up roso Emilie!" if you will excuse my quoting Chaucer, an obsolete poet of his period, but a great favourite with the old man, on Monday, the Ninth of October, "emilie" being really Mary Jane, who is within my gates, and came to give your Prophet a call. The Prophet hastily attired himself, and thought of the Cajsarowitch on the morrow. He heard the song of Chanticleer, such being more of a Cochin tendency than pastoral, and ho said, if Ma. Byron will excuse the liberty, "Oh, Shant-I-clear a lot of money!"
But what I was most anxious to see, Mr. Editor, was the Extra Number of your New Serious containing my prediction; for although used to seeing himself in print, your Sportive Editor still feels a little nervous on the eve of a great race.
Sir, that number was nowhere to be found! Many is the place your old man entered, and many is tho glass of sherry-wino that he partook; but tho Extra Number was all his oye, and well you know it never saw the light of day.
Did not prudential considerations prevent, I should say that this was something very like a gross breach of faith with " an old and deservedly-esteemed contributor," which you onco called him in your own handwriting, deny it if you can; but in justice to my own reputation as a Vaticinator, I feel bound to copy out, from the slate where I always do them first, not wiping out until Wednesdays, what I had sent you as my tip. Print it, Sir, as it wag wrote, every line and every letter, or you will bo doing tho old man a wrong:—■
"The obsolete winner of the Seizorwitch, it will be Salpinctes, with Alleybamma for the second, and John Davis for the third, whilst if I apprehend unexpected danger from any other quarter such will be found in Gratitude."
There, Sir! Now your sportivo readers can judge for themselves whether Nicholas is worth his prophetic salt I say, print it as it wag sent —I know as well as you do, or any of the otter contributors, than whom I am sure none of them have been treated worse, though perhaps a little gay—that the actual result was
Salpinctes .. .. .. .. ,. , • 1
Gratitude .. .. .. .. ., .. 2
John Davis .. .. .. .. .. ..3
and that Alabama selected by him for second was nowhere; but I Bcorn to appear wise after the event, and I am quite content to rest upon my own laurel-bush, figuratively speaking.
Still, despite of your leaving mo in the lurch, what is the old man's actual position? Why it is, oh ye Sportive men of England, that ho named tho winner, and stuck to him all along, as was the case with Gladiateur before him.
Turn, Mr. Editor, to the file of your New Serious in the backoffice, than which I am sure a more palatial department, though a little secluded.
The first time that Nicholas made any allusion whatever to tho Coesarewitch was in Number Twenty-one, and there, Sir, on pago 38, Second Volume, New Serious, on the Eighth line of his contribution from the top, you will find it put down:—
"Make all square with Salpinctes!"
Next turn to Number Twenty-two, page 43, not very far down in tho column neither. After playfully remarking, with that dry humour which has deservedly gained him the admiration of every true Sportive man throughout an Empiro on which the sun never sits, "And so, my merry men all, under which thimble is the little pea?" the Prophet proceeds to name tho horses accordingly. And which is the first horse that he does name '<
Salpinctes! Salpinctes!! Salpinctes!!! Such facts as these, Sir, speak trumpct-tongued, as montionod already in one of the Numbers, nor can his pinnaclo be shaken by all the shafts of tho individuous, bar none.
In my next I will discuss the Cambridgeshire, which is to come off on the Twenty-four Instant. Remember the old man's success.
P.S.—I have a good thing for next year's Derby. (Our Frophet's quotations are quite correct; but tho prophecy to which ho refers never reached us.—Ed.)
The Last Thing in Lucifer Hatches.
There is an ingenious safety match, now in general use, which. wiU light only on the box, and not always on that. We hoar that it is to be superseded by a now invention which will not light at,all. The latter is especially intended for the use of nurseries, powder magazines and asylums.
IN THE MATTER OF STAGE PLAYS.
Being A Letter To A Popular Manager.
My dear Mr. Whining,—As a general rule I leave the discussion of theatrical topics to the accomplished and spirituel young gentleman who writes "From our Stall," and whose freedom of speech and habit of telling the truth, have, I doubt not, endeared him to every managerial bosom, especially your own.
But I am myself a patron of the drama, and I have to say a word to you oh certain theories which you appear to entertain.
You have just produced a bad and tedious play, written by a man of real genius, and you pique yourself upon the intense "realism" of the scenery and accessories. You may bo ready to admit that the piece is wanting in dramatic interest and unity, in force, compression, intelligibility, but you proudly cling to your " real pump," and you fancy that you can wipe away all the blots of the play with your "real water."
I don't think, Sir, that in the course of a tolerably long experience, I have ever met with a theory more degrading to the drama, or to yourself as one of its cleverest exponents on the stage.
The truth is, Mr. Whining, that your doctrine is akin to that held by the worst of the sham Prc-Raphaelites. You think that "realism" in unimportant details atones for want of thought and want of central interest. You would give us a false notion of a forest, for instance, by presenting us with the photograph of an acorn.
And just as the sham Pre-Raphaelites go in for physical ugliness, so do I find you defending what is morally repulsive. I like golden hair in a girl, but there is a difference between the colour which Giorgione loved and carrots. I like passion and excitement, but I would rather not see a gang of convicts on the treadmill.
Assuming, however, that for all this the author is mainly responsible, in which case I transfer the blame from your shoulders to his, and we all know with what splendid vigour he can exemplify the noble art of self-defence, I have still something to say on a matter of politeness which happens to be a matter of business as well.
When your piece was hissed, you turned upon certain professional critics in the stalls, and told them that the only opposition came from "those who didn't pay."
Whether this was or was not ungentlemanly, is a point which I will not now pause to discuss with you, but surely, my dear sir, it was a little imprudent.
There are a few questions which it is my melancholy duty to address to you.
Do you imagine that those gentlemen come to your theatre for their own enjoyment, or, that they expect to be amused? My dear sir, you can hardly fancy that.
Do you give them a free admission simply because they are clever men, and you are passionately attached to their society even with the footlights between you? My dear sir, you will hardly expect us to believe that.
Or, do you ask them simply because it pays you? Because they are much more necessary to you than you are to them? And because, as a mere matter of business and to put the thing quite plainly, you must? Is it not so, my dear Mr. Whining? Come, be candid.
Having done so, sir, I submit that you have no right to insult them because, forsooth, they don't pay.
In another sense of the word, sir, they do!
There are gradations in everything; I havo spoken to you with considerable freedom, but I wouldn't for a moment think of holding you responsible for some of the nonsense that is talked on your behalf.
Take, for instance, a letter published by an evening contemporary of mine, dated " Civil Service Club," and signed B. V.
The writer is good enough to say that when gentlemen of the press "find their way into the stalls," they must be taught "how to conduct themselves."
I am a gentleman of the press myself, and I decline to accept this person as my Social Mentor, my "guide, philosopher, and friend." And, as for the critics, you know, Mr. Whining, though I daresay B.
V. docs not, that they happen to he men of established reputation, men of ripe culture, acknowledged honour and ability.
I am not a member of the Civil Service Club, though I have a good many valued friends in the profession, and I don't exactly know where it "draws the line," but really I can hardly believe that any one much above the grade of a tide-waiter would have penned the Blatant Vulgarity that is signed B. V.
Hoping to see you ere long in another and a better piece, I remain, my dear Mr. Whixino,
Your sincere admirer,
You may well say I must be glad to be home again. I'm sure I novcr should havo comd down only Brown worreted so, and said as the sea air'd freshen mo up a bit, as is good for every one; not as I wanted it, for home is my natural elephant as I likes to stop in.
But we como by the boat all reg'lar from Blaekwall pier, as is a noble sight them docks, as puzzles me, for however they gets them wessels in is a wonder, and as to getting them out I should say it must be dono piecemeal, as the savin' is. And lovely weather, tho' the sun was sweltry, and looked to me as if it was a-drawin' up rain, as is its nature, and I must say as it wero very agreeable, and met a many parties, as made theirselves that pleasant till overtook by the waves, as gives a dreadful qualm.
Just about the Noro is where you first feels it, not as I suffered anything to speak on, as I owes to takin' nothin' but a few sandwiches and a little cold without, constant; but them parties ns dined hearty on sucking pig, and biled mutton with caper's sauce, and damson pie, was upset dreadful, which bottle porter will do, as it stands to reason must set everything of a work thro' bein' a constant fomentation itself.
Certainiy that oshun wave is wonderful a-dashin' up like soap-Bnds as I stood and watched myself that very evenin' as wo arrived in the moonlight, as was crowded to suffocation, and if Mus. Yakdley hadn't got us a bed we might havo been reduced to bathing-machines, not as I can say much for the bed, as were a tent, and rickety with the sackin' a-givin' way as soon as I was in, and Brown forced for to draw it up afore ever we could get a night's reBt; but I was thankful as it wasn't no wuss, for I've had bed-fellows as wouldn't let me rest, as I do think would find me out anywheres, as is my horrors of them lodgin's, for you'll never make me believo as they're not to bo got rid rid on thro' strict cleanliness, as is not to be looked for in a seaside lodgin'.
But if there wasn't one insect there was another, for the gnats, or somethin', had took to my right eye and reg'lar bunged it up, as wasn't no pain, but a dreadful eyesore.
Certainly I did enjoy my breakfast, as was relishin' thro' the shrimps, and Mks. Yardley one as knows good Iivin'. But of all the things as ever I did see in my lifo it was the bathin', as is the grand sight of the mornin', it give me that turn as I was obligated for to set down, and couldn't keep my eyes off for wonderin' at 'em.
However such things is tolerated, in a Cristian country I don't know, as reminded me of a picter I'vo seen of them savages a-nmnin' into the water for to murder Captain Cook, as hadn't no business there in my opinion; but to see full-grown Englishmen a-forgettin' of all decency is a thing as I don't hold with.
I says, " Brown, you don't mean to tell me as it's right and proper." He says as he supposes as parties likes it, or else they wouldn't be a-settin' there a-lookin' on.
I says, "Likes it, indeed, then, they did ought to be ashamed of theirselves, and you may talk to me about missionaries to savages, it's a pity as they don't come here, not as I holds with their rubbish; but if I'd my way I'd just send out tho police in a boat with somo good stout cart whips, and soon make them counter-skippers jump into their clothes like disgustin' beasts as they are.
But, law bless you, I do believe as there's somethin' in the sea air as makes parties forget theirselves wonderful, for they all lives with the winders open, and not a bit of blind, as may be all very well on a uninhabitable island, as Margate used to be, as I went to see the caverns as they hid theirselves in, as struck that cold to me that I was glad to get out on, and have a little somethin' hot for to take off the chill.
It certainly is wonderful to see the crowds as is on that pier, just for all the world like cattle in a pen, and flaunty-lookin' gals that hold in their hats, and their hair all dishovelled thro' hangin' out to dry after bathin', and a parcel of young chaps a-danglin' after 'cm, as is a gigglin' set of idjots as don't suit me.
So Mhb. Yakdley and mo was a-settin' on the end, a-waitin' for the boat as come in there, as Yakdley were expected by, and there was a elderly party as had got a tellyscope, as he was a-making very free with.
He says to me quite civil, "It's very wonderful." I says, " Oh, indeed!" not a-knowin' what he was a-talkin' about.
He says, "They must bo millions of miles in size." I says, "It can't be," a-thinkin' ho was a-talkin' about the Goodwin Sands, as I've heard say was swallered up in a singlo night, and is quicksand:to this very hour.
Ho says, "It's my opinion as we must hear more about 'cm."
Well, I was a-beginnin' to think as ho was pr'aps a "armless mumbecile, when he says to me, "Would you like to have a look?"
"What at?" says I. "Why," says ho, "tho spots in the Bun, as my glass shows quite plain."
So I says, "With pleasure," and he holds the glass for me, as I never could see thro' in my life; but just for to please him I says "Wonderful," as makes him laugh, and ho says, "That's a good un. Why you've got both your eyes shut."
"Well," I says, "ain't that the way for to look thro' them things?" Well, ho took over Bo much trouble, but law, I couldn't see nothin!.' but every now and then a round Hash as came over the glass all black in the middle.
Mus. Yakdley, as has had a boardin'-school edication, she saw it all wonderful, and talked to the old gentleman, as was a observatui y like the one in Greenwich Park, as I've seen them old pensioners a-showin' myself. But law, I don't hold with any of their rubbish about the sun, nor the moon neither, as they goes a-watehin' thro' them glasses, but can't get near, nor hnd out nothin' about.
As to that old gentleman a-standin' me out as ho know'd them spots to be holes as was thousands o' miles long. I says, "Go on with your rubbish, however can you measure 'em?" as said it was a burnin' mask, as I knowed afore ho told me, as any one can feel for theirselves.
So jest then the boat come in, and there was Yardley, as is good company, and one to live, a-bringin' down nice things and all manner, not as thero is no lack of nothin' in Margate, and a pleasant tea wo had, and went arterwards to the Assembly Rooms, where I've heard my dear mother say the fust in the land did use to dance, as come down reg'lar in the hoys, as was boats afore steam was know'd about, and couldn't bring them numbers as comes a-rusbin' in like the waves, as the sayin' is.
Certainly they did dance delightful tho' crowded, not as I cared much about it, for parties came a-gallopin' about tho place, and give mo such drives as throwed me down on to the laps of them as had got seats as I was a droppin' for, and made them rude in their remarks, a-sayin' "fall easy," and like that, and two partitas seemed for tofollow me up liko a-bumpin' agin me, till at last I watches 'em a-comin', and give 'cm a shove as sent 'em over.
Well, there was a pretty how d'yo do. Up como a chap as called hisself master of the ceremonies a-talkin' to me.
So I says, " I don't want none of ceremonies, as I ain't one for to stand on none; but," I says, "if parties makes too free with me they know what they'll get, that's all."
Just then Yarbley he come up and says, "You and me'U have a a dance together," and afore as 1 could hardly think if ho wasn't a-jumpin' me round tho waist, as made parties roar, and I was that put out, but law, Yardley is such a one with his larks as you can't be angry, and didn't go too far, as is tho way with some, but only just to the refreshments, where he got mo a tumbler of hot port wine negus with lemon and nutmeg, as did me a world of good. Then we went home to supper, as is a meal I always look to, and as to the sea air why you can be oatin' for ever and not feel it, as must be ruin to a family as I should say.
As to sleopin' I was no sooner in bed than asleep, and certainly no wonder parties like the sea-side, for it is a life, as the only pity is it can't last for ever, as p'raps we shouldn't enjoy it as much if it did, tho' for my part I likes to enjoy myself, and none of grizzlin' and grievin' for me, as'll bring you to your grave aforo your time; but for my part I do think, if it's ever so 'umble, there's no place like home, as the sayin' is.
(From the Sanskrit.)
What two classes of paupers are best known in tho Indies? The East Indy-gent and the West Indy-gcnt.
A Pun from the Persian.
"Have you seen my translation of Ifofiz .'" asked a well-known Anglo-Indian poet, tho other day at the Oriental Club. "My friends tell me that it will sharo the fame of the original, which must tor the future be considered Ilafiz and half mine."
No Admittance Except On Bus-iness.—What "bus" has found room for the greatest number of people ?—Colum-bus.