Page images
PDF
EPUB

Then rubicund Sh-rry, so funny and merry,

Hard bat:ies they fought in their stations, Touk Somerset house recreation;

Took conven's and fortifications: With his balls and his routs, how he laugh'd at

From America beat, the outs,

They heat. a retreat, When he'd got in the Administration.

Turn'd out, like their Administration. No Trotter was he in the nation,

There was Er-sk.nc, got wol, by chance he had got He gallopped away on his starion ;

The noble Lord Chancellor's station;
For the playhouse was left,

And there were some more, a precious half score,
Of its manager 'reft,

Whu fool'd with the strength of the nation. While he manag'd the Administration.

Now I have shewn you this Administration, Cr-f-rd, Wh-t-ke, and M-rr-y, went out in a

Without Battery or depreciarion; hurry,

If you don't like the sketch,
To get wealth and fame for the nation;

Send it on to Jack Ketch
But sorte how or other, didn't do one or t'other, 1 And he'll hang up this Administration.

But failed, like their Administration,

PUBLIC AMUSEMENTS FOR NOVEMBER.

DRURY-LANE.

ll be carried into representations beyond probability, On Tuesday evening, October 27th, a new but it must still be governed, in its fairy land, by Comedy, called Time's a Tell Tale, written by the same laws which restrained it in common Mr. 11. Siddons, was performed at this theatre.- nature. The romantic plot is the foundation of The following are the

soine of the most beautiful plays of Shakespeare; DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

but if his wildaess bursts beyond nature, it never Sir David Delmar........ Mr. RAYMOND.

exceeds reason. Sir Arthur Tessel ........ Mr. Russell.

The roniantic plot, however, is very different Captain Blandford........ Mr. EllisTON.

from that chosen by Mr. H. Siddons, which in Old Hardacre .......... Mr. DowTON.

almost every circumstance, has been selected, Ned Query ............ Nir. - Mr. MATHEWS.

and with little taste, from that circulating farrago

which breaks forth from the novel shops in peri.. Mr. PALMER. Record ......... Philip Hardacre

Mr. DE CAMP.

odical abundance. Lady Delmar .......... Miss MELLON.

Fathers, who recover lost children; ladies who

give away their fortunes without any probable Zelida ................ Mrs. H. SIDDONS.' Olivia Windham ........ Miss DUNCAN.

reason; servants who lend their masters their Miss Venuria .......... Mrs. Sparks.

wages; and masters who, ruined by prodigality,

reform at the bare inention of a few commonWe are concerned that we cannot speak of this

place maxims of economy; these are but the play with that commendation to which our kind.

ordinary tools, and have long been the staple of ness for its author has strongly disposed us. Mr.

the novel trade. H. Siddons is a young man of no common en 11 The purpose of comedy is to gather life fresh dowments, and no less respectable as an actor | from the stalk ; and, by the aid of agreeable fico than an author. If he has not succeeded there.

tion, to bring into action the beings of our comfore according to our expectations in this piece,

mon nature, and reach, by example, or some inwe are convinced he will succeed better in bis ! ference direct or indirect, an useful inoral or next.

lesson of life. The present comedy abounds with faults of the The novel plot always fails in this. It has first inagnitude, and is cast in a dramatic mould || no justness, no accuracy, no fidelity to nature. exceedingly vicious. The plot is a novel plot, With regard to character, which constitutes and therefore defective. A romantic or poetical the main excellence of comedy, to which fable plot inay sometimes be admitted. The castle should always be subordinate, this play is mi may be built in the air; but it must nevertheless serably deficient. Fable to the dramatist is the be constructed according to the just rules and canvass on which he paints; but it is not the proportions of regular architecture. Life may picture. It is the field in which his characters

Tun; the great object which puts them in mo- || thor of this piece; for as the tenderness due to a tion, but it is not the comedy itself. With re living writer compels us to estimate his merit by spect to character, therefore, we mean such as is the standard of his coteinporaries, and not by found in general nature, this piece can produce comparison with other models, we are safe in none. The modern drama, indeed, seems to asserting that Mr. H. Siddons's piece is fully have laid aside a rule, which our ancient writers, equal to any that has lately been presented to the our Farquhar, our Congreve, and Vanburgh, ll public. justly considered as the basis of comedy,--that it should not only be an imitation of familiar life, but that such situations and characters should be

COVENT-GARDEN. selected, that though, still within the sphere of After the tragedy of Isabella, on Thursday common life, the representation should have no night, October 29th, a new piece was brought less novelty than fidelity. They considered it out, entitled Too Friendly by Half. The princiequally fundamental in this species of writing, 1 pal characters are as in others, to observe the point where the trite and familiar, the natural and gross, become con

Sir Mathew Meddle...... Mr. MUNDEN. founded. They possessed ease without inanity,

Colonel Clairville ......... Mr. BRUNTON. and strength without coarseness.

General Vanguard ........ Mr. BLANCHARD. If in fable and character this play be defective,

Tattle .................. Mr. FARLEY. it is no less wanting in the grace, ease, and so

Lady Wrangle .......... Mrs. MATTOCKS. briety of appropriate dialogue.

This farce runs on a string of equivoques.In the language of the stage there are two re | The part of Sir Matheu Meddle is not ill ima. quisites : It should be a just imitation of that I gined; that of a man always giving his advice, species of dialogue which belongs to the particu- il and regulating every body's conduct by his own. lar mode of character in which the speaker is | The character of Lady Wrangle is copied from found: and secondly, it should be selected from Widow Blackacre, in The Plain Dealer. But the this mode of life, with that necessary abridgment | defect of this piece is, that it wants humourand colouring which the effect of the stage de l| The dialogue is terce, and somewhat elegant, but mands. If a character, who belongs to one class, it is without point and jest. Nothing is so abo. speaks in the language of another, we have an minable as gravity in a farce; puoning and bus. example of the first defect; if the redundant flip foonery are at all times preferable to melancholy pancy, the grossness, and unmeaning laxity of mirth. Comedy ought to represent nature as she general conversation be copied, we have an exam- i really is; farce may be allowed to distort and ple of the second. Such is the rule with respect overcharge, for the sake of humour. Dennis to the diction of the stage. In this the present and Dacier were of opinion that comedy allows piece is equally deficient. The dialogue is either nothing grase, unless for the purpose of ridicule, flippant and means nothing, as in the character of This is but true in part.-Farce, however, has an

Query, or is overcharged and beyond the occa- | uplimited range, and where we expect a laugha sion, as in the parts of Hardacre and Blandford. ll it is hard to be disappointed. The author of this

To improve the dialogue, recourse is had to piece is unknown; it has not succeeded suffthe pitiful expedient of patriotic and moral clap- | ciently to induce him to break cover. traps. All this is wrong, because out of natureno man talks so in common life-a little leaky patriotism, and unseasonable morals, may occa

THE STAGE. sionally break out in a maiden speech in parliament, or in an election handbill; but such lan. MR. EDITOR, guage in common life would be affected, and | You must know that I have long thought to should not therefore be copied on the stage. ll distinguish myself as a dramatic poet, and to that

If the fable, character, and dialogue of this end, fancying myself briunful of matter, am inpiece, therefore, be tried by the Norma dramatica, cessantly scribling; and, indeed, flatter myerli, it will be impossible to withhold our censure had Shakespeare left room for originals, that I from its wide deviation. But if, in compliance, could treat some subjects but no matter. What perhaps, with the popular taste, we establish a | I here propose is a simple relation of facts, which rule more suited to the greater part of our ino occurred to me as follows: dern dramas, and examine it upon this principle, In the beginning of last year, my muse, after it will not perhaps be unjust to admit that this | labouring soine months, brought forth the first comedy is equal to any which have been lately fruits of her genius, a comic opera. Proud of produced. In the present state of the stage, my coup d'essai, as papa of the first fruits of contherefore, it is some credit to have been the au. Il nubial affection, I contemplated with rapturuus delight every grace and beauty with which (in | The next persons to encounter were the actors, my ideas) it abounded; read, or caused it to be between whom, the following squabble ensued. read, at every opportunity among my friends and Celia, the heroine, thought proper to demand a acquaintance, and was compliinented profusely || song from the part of Delin; upon which, the by all parties; insomuch, that I began already latter complained grievously, and urged that she to think myself a great man; anticipated every was enviously robbed of the best part of the advantage that might arise from its success on the character allotted to her; however, with some stage; sat for my portrait without delay, fully address, matters were at length amicably settled persuaded that I should shortly have the satisfac belween the ladies. tion to see an engraving of me facing the title The first of the gentlemen comedians (though page of the Monthly Mirror; but, alas,!-How as vile a cruaker as ever sung Bobbing Jorn in a ever you shall know all.

country alelouse), was much disconcerted that My opera fell by chance into the hands of an he had no song; for, added he, I am always well eminent literary gentleman, who read it, and was received in a lively duet with the Signora ! How pleased, without hesitation, to say, that the story weapples swim! Sir, you shall have something was good; that it was nearly and humourously 1-all right so far. Another objected to his part, wold; characters chastely drawn, and judiciously because, forsooth, there was no breaking of shins varied; incidents naturally diverting, songs charm. over banisters, no lady's toupee to frizzle, no cant ing, and introduced with much taste; adviserl me phrase, nor any of those chaste eccentricities to present it to the theatre; adding, that if I which the gods admire, and which constitute so thonght of so doing, he would give me an introductory letter to the Manager. This from What could I do here but appeal to the mahim, who (by the way) is a severe critic, gave nager? who did not chuse te interfere, as Mr. me every reason to hope that I was now in a fair Feignwell was, in his opinion, perfectly acquaintway to attain the very summit of my wishes. Iled with John Bull, whose taste it was their par. gladly accepted his offer; and accordingly waited ticular interest to study; and desired therefore, upon the manager, who read the letter, and ap- that this gentleman be allowed to arrange the part pointed me to call again, which I did the week he was to enact suitable to his own powers : following; when he informed me with great whereupon, some of my best dialogue was to be coolness, that he had read my piece, and, to my | omitted, and a Merry Andrew, Jew Pedlar, no sınall mortification, without a single encomium Sailor Jack, Tom Tinker, Tom the ; in short, upon it, observed, that it wanted stage-effect; but, any thing, as I at last understood, like grimace provided Crotchet, the composer, thought it and buffoonery introduced. worth music, it should have a trial. Crotchet, By this time, the poor child of my brain was in his turn, vouchsafed to pronounce it pretty; so mangled and disfigured, that it was with great and, though in its present state not fit for repre- difficulty, my patron on seeing it again, could sentation, thought it a production of much pro recognize a single fealure; who therefore, ad. mise; but the songs, which were by no means) vised me to take it to my own protection, which suitable to the taste of the day, must be altered. I consented to do, rather than " turn it forth," Here, I observed, that the songs of an opera as I must have done, “ ashamed of my own ought, in my epinion, to be expressive of some work, and set no mark upon it." passionate sentiment, naturally arising froin the Now, Sir, as the last consolation we can hope character, situation, &c. and upon that principle for in cases of this kind, is the commiseration of I had written mine. “Why, aye," rejoined those who will indulge us with a hearing, I must Crotchet, “ that formerly was the principle ad-beg you to excuse this trespass upon your pahercd 10; but we find now that any little episo-rience; and if you can insert this in your Fashion. dical litry, opposite to the situation in which it able Vagasine, as a word to my brother scribblers, is introduced, goes off much better than any it may prepare, them for a similar ordeal; and thing absolutely connected with the business of perhaps in some measure, account for the cene the piece."— Yielding with deference to the temptibly degener te state, 10 which that once judgment and experience of a professional gen. elegant and delightful species of amusement, teman, I promised my best endeavours to make called an Opera is reduced; which from a regular them what he would like; and accordingly in and forcefully harmonious compasition of poetry voked the musa second time: who, though and musie, aided by the graces of the dance, and very reluctantly, at last, furnished me with ballads || embellished with the beauties of art, is become a for bravuras,-comic songs for quartettos, ditties confused jumble of heterogeneous matter, scarcely for duettos, and for rondos, short couples, gar-worth representation in a booth at Bartholomew nished with fal, la, la,-i, tum, ti, &c. &c.all Fair I am, Sir, &c.

VAPID of which were approved.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][subsumed][ocr errors]
[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Pareigned from the orginal dishes sapratly for La Belle AlambliesNa Pohlechat fa falta U Riprietor of the weekly Mutsenger, Southampton Stint, Strand, December 1.1007

« PreviousContinue »