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who returns to her more loving than ever, and || circumstances, partly by his father's profusion, wants nothing more than your consent to cele- || and partly by his own credulity in depending brate the nuptials.
upon a false friend. He is attached to Sylvia Jaquemin. As for you, Sir, I believe you are Conroy, who is under the guardianship of two an honourable man; but it is Mr. Sainville who il uncles, who are both solicitous that she should introduced you to me, and he has behaved in marry. She has two other lovers, one Grumley, such a inanner that his aquaintance with you is the tyrannical Lord of the Manor, and Verdict, no recommendation to me But no; it is Louise the Attorney of the village. She despises them alone who is the cause of all this.
both, and is secretly partial to Frank WoodlandLouise. Permit me to withdraw, I cannot bear | Frank, having but little fortune, is too delicate your anger; but since it has been kindled by Mr. || to avail himself of her affection. After several Sainville, I hate his very name.
[Exit. || ludicrous mistakes, and much pleasant equivoque, Jaquemin. Very well, she hates him; and he | the uncles consent to a marriage, and it appears is gone never to return !
that one of these uncles, Commodore Convoy, had Therese. But father, my cousin and I are not | brought home property belonging to Frank, in the least guilty.
which enables him to redeem his estate from Jaquemin. Hold your tongue; this is the effect mortgage in the hands of Grumley. of my goodness, my indulgence, or rather my There is an under-plot arising from a former folly; but I'll be so no more; and if you don't connection between the Lawyer and the Widow amend I'll give you all up, and you shall die | Hall, as well as from the distresses of an old old inaids!
schoolmaster and his family who have been Therese. Oh father! do not curse us.
brought to beggary by the oppression of Grumley. Agathe. What a passion!
The piece is diversified by the humours of the Pauline. What a burst of rage!
Commodore, of the Lawyer, of a rustic Waiter, as Corsignac (to Pauline). Be so kind as to | well as by the wild desperation of Incoice, a initiate me into this mystery.
broken speculator. Pauline. What do you wish, Sir? to fatigue This Comedy is the production of Mr. T. me with your love; it would be very untimely, || Dibdin, who approaches nearer to the particular for I never was so far from feeling disposed to line of Mr. Colman than any modern dramatist. laugh in my life.
[Exit. If we were inclined to be fastidious we might Ledoux (to Agathe). Must I a second time || object to the model he has chosen; but as the withdraw from your presence ?
drama, by the general concurrence of the town, Agathe. Just as you please. My guardian is | has long been exempted from the obligation of angry with me without knowing why, and so am ordinary rules, and been suffered to plead to criI with you.
ticism with a pardon in its pocket, it would be Corsignac. Every head goes wrong in this ungenerous to quarrel with the puns or attempts huuse.
at overcharged character, which abound in this Therése (to Ledour). Follow Agathc.-(t0| piece. Corsignac.) and you Pauline.
In a country where folly is faith, who would Corsignac. Let us interrogate your father, the be a martyr to good sense? In an age in which servants, the whole house, for we must know the stage relishes, and indeed admits nothing else, whence this tempest proceeds.
Mr. Dibdin would be to blame to risk his profit Therese. From our neighbour, Ursule, I have for his reputation, or prefer the general object of no doubt.
[Exit. writing to one of its most barren and precarious Corsignac. Yes, you are right, I'll soon find it compensations. out.
This is doubtless Mr. Dibdin's excuse to him
This Ledoux. Why did I return so soon.
self, and may well be admitted as his apology to END OF THE SECOND ACT,
the critics. Some objections, however, we are (To le continued.)
bound to make.
In the first place, the plot was somewhat stale
-A bankrupt not appearing to his commission, HAYMARKET.
a young man becoming a dupe to misplaced conThe public were on Thursday, the 13th, at- fidence, a ship foundering at sea, &c &c. luciTraced to this theatre by a new Comedy, entitled | dents of this sort are of a species of plot which Errors Excepted. The scene lies in a country abound in that catalogue of mercantile sufferings, town, and though there is no great intricacy in Lloyd's List and the London Gazette. Mi Dibthe plot, it is very well calculated to excite an | din might have looked around him, and found a interest, and to afford diversion. The hero ot || better story with ease. the piece, Frank Woodland, is embarrassed in his I The characters were not very new ; Verdict is
an exception. The idea of the buckish country || tone of irony, leaving the joke and the laugh to pettifogger was original; we trust Mr. Dibdin 1l the audience, he very kindly conducted them 10 will not abandon this character. In the present it by his own grimace, and spluttered and gabbled piece it is a mere sketch. The country waiter | through his part, as if it had been Ollapod of was very good, and the landlady not amiss. Caleb Quotem. The humour of Puff is too re.
The chief snerit of this piece, however, was || fined for the comic habits of Fawcett. the dialogue, with a few exceptions as to the Mathews's Sir Fretful Plagiary was admirable; puns. The first scene in the second act, in it was most successfully drest ; his affected canwhich Sylvia ridicules some modern fashions, || dour had a very fine tone of hypocrisy; his pes particularly that of Egyptian furniture, was tulance and impatience were given with the most written with a true spirit of wit and vivacity, inimitable exterior gesture; in a word, Mathews, wbich would have done honour to any writer of in this character, was not inferior to Parsons the age.
himself. Dangle and Sneer were both mediocre. The piece was well supported by the per Mrs. Liston, in Tilburina, was excellent, and formers, and warmly received by the audience Waddy was a good representative of the mule Among the performers we have chiefly to notice || Lord Burleigh. Mrs. Litchfield, who may be said to have done 11 The piece was well received, and continues to more than justice for the author. Mathews was attract. excellent; and dressed his character most admirably. Mr. Young appeared to no advantage;
ON THE the part was unsuited to him, and had little effect. An airy, spirited Epilogue was delivered by Mrs. STRUCTURE OF OUR THEATRES. Litchfield, in a manner which procured her gane
MR. EDITOR, ral applause.
Mr Sheridan's dramatic satire, The Critic, has 1 The strictures in my first letter were confined been revived at this theatre. It has been a good to the shape of the house, or part allotted t the deal anticipated in its effect by Tom Thumb, a spectators; the remarks in my second episile piece which, without the ostentation of criti- || lrad for their object the disposition of the pruscel cism, or any grave attempt to expose the faults | niun, or intermediate space between the house of dramatic composition by means of ridicule, and the stage; the observations of this my third is invariably diverting by the vivacity of its | serawl will entirely relate to the arrangement of burlesque and the pleasant originality of its ca-l the stage itsell. ricature.
With regard to this latter part of our theatrical The Rehearsal was of that class of plays which structures, allow me to begin by observing that Aristotle might have written,-criticism thrown our nation, which perhaps makes a more dex. into a dramatic form, and familiarised and invi ferous and more extensive use of machinery than Eoraterl by stage examples; Tom Thumb might any other, in the production and improvement of have been the combination of Aristophanes and loljects of direct uility and comfort, seems to Plautus; but the Critic has all the grace and ele- || avail itself less than any other, of the powers of gance of Horace, with the addition of that hu mechanism, in the promotion and the perfecting mour so peculiar to English writers.
of instruinents and means of mere diversion and Notwithstanding the value of this piece, it is ll show. better in the closet than on the stage. The ma In the great Italian and French theatres, every jority of an audience understand nothing of cri change of scenery, however extensive its whole, ticism. They judge of good or bad writings only and however complicated its parts, is entirely ac. by effect; they laugh at a thing decidedly ridi complished by means of machinery. The turnculous, without any help from critical sagacity, ing of one single wheel effects at once, both the or application of the joke beyond its present ob simultaneous retreat of the entire assemblage of ject.When Burleigh shakes his head and makes
wings and drops and flat, that are to disappear, his erit, the laugh is at the actor's grimace; the and the simultaneous advancement of the entire satire on the stiff and empty courtier of modern set of lateral and top and back scenes, that are tragedy is perceived, and relished but by few. to come forward in their place: so that the For stage effect, therefore, Tom Thumb is much deepest forest or garden scene is, as if by masuperior to the CriticIts satire is of a very dif- gic, in a twinkling, converted into a street or. ferent value and kind. The Haymarket company palace. is not quite strong enough to do justice to this | In the English playhouses, on the contrary, piece. Fawcett was the Puff; but he was not every change of scenery (if we except a few of solemn nor dry enough for the impostor. Instead | those very confined and partial transfigurations of of delivering the dialogue in a grave and serious | our Harlequinades, termed Pantomimes) is at
chieved by dint of hands; and, whether the ac- '| be supposed to lead to different distinct contition lie in Peru or in China, in ancient Greece guous apartments, it has as many more additional or modern London, whenever the scene is to be doors as there are supposed to be such apartshifted, out pop a parcel of fellows in ragged ients, each contrived in some one of the wings laced liveries, to announce the event, and to that line the sides of the stage. This practice bring it aliout by mere manual labour. They not only increases the illusion of the scene, but, are not only distinctly heard, giving each other what is still more material, renders much easier directinns to that purpose, to the unspeakable the understanding of the plot: not to speak of annoyance of the actor, whom they perhaps out the infinitely more striking effect which is probellow in some of his finest passages but they duced by a performer of a commanding mien, are even distinctly seen, tugging and pulling and invested with a dignified character, entering piecemeal at each different piece of the scenery : the scene at the centre, and from his very first of these various divisions some hitch, others appearance presenting himself in front to the tumble; here a wing comes rolling on the stage spectators, than when obliged to slide edgeways before its time, there another lags behind until on and off the boards, through an interstice in the perhaps the time for a new removal is arrived : side scenes. and thus does every one of those changes of de- In England there hardly ever is a central door, coration, so frequent in English plays, only pre- || contrived in the flat which closes the scene : sent a scene of confusion, most distressing to l Whatever be the performance, and whoever be the eye.
the personages, they all either walk in and out at I shall not expatiate at length, on the constant the permanent doors, which form part of the violation of those laws of perspective, which prosceniuni; and, which, as I have already obought to make the whole range of wings and served, offer in their architecture and decoration drops and lat, one single cohering body; or on no harmony or connection whatever with the pethe equally constant disregard of those rules of culiar scenery or event exhibited ; or they slide in congruity, which should render every one of and out, between the intervals of the wings, these different component parts of the same which are generally intended to represent a solid whole, subservient to an uniform style of archi- cohering wall; so that, were the laws of pertecture and of decoration. Suffice it to say, that spective sufficiently attended to, in the painting this violation and this disregard of the most || of the scenes, to render the separation between essential conditions of theatrical illusion are car- | their different divisions as imperceptible as it ried in England to the highest pitch. Instead of ought to be, and to make them look like an unfitting to each other's extremities with nicety, interrupted mass of masonry, the entrée and the the wings and drops often encroach upon each exit of each personage athwart this solid wall, other's boundaries in such a way as to occasion, would every time appear effected by downright in the different objects which they represent, the witchcraft. most unsightly mainings and breaks : and not In French scenery, a room, represented unfrequently is the roof of the humblest hovel as inhabited, always is made to display a lost in the tattered sky. For the most part, the | few chairs, and other pieces of appropriate fur. wings, neither in the style, nor in the propor niture, disposed all around, and ready for the tions, nor in the perspective of their architec performers to help themselves to, when required: ture, correspond at all with the fat with which nor, if, in the play that is acting, a dialogue bethey are associated ; and between the extreme tween two seated personages, should not be inshallowness of these wings, and the excessive tended to take place, until, perhaps, near the width of the intervening spaces between them, ll very conclusion of the scene, would a couple of half the audience is treated, in all our playhouses, the gentlemen in laced liveries aforementioned, with a full view, not only of the premeditated as if endowed with the gift of second sight from and full dress play, acted before the scenes, but || the very rising of the curtain, lug two lumbering of the extempore and undress play, going for. arm chairs to the very centre of the in all other warıl behind the stage, to the utter destruction of respects totally unfurnished boards; there to reall illusion, decorum, and pleasure !
main, staring the spectators full in the face, On the French stage, whenever the scene re- || during the whole of the ensuing scene, in order presents a room, particular attention is given to to give them timely intimation of a conversathe making that room appear habitable and inha- tion, which, perhaps, the author has been tor. bited. It always displays in the very centre of turing his wits to represent as an unpremeditated the flat or closing part, its own appropriate and spontaneous effusion, resulting from the folding door, at which the dramatis personæ most unforeseen concurrence of incidents. usually go in and out; and if, from the peculiar | texture of the play exhibited, this room should