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school in which they were bred to mere mummers and farce actors. Macklin published two or three accusatory letters against Quick on this score, and Murphy complained of Lewis; but, be it remembered, both of these dramatists were verging towards, if not in, their dotage when they vented their angry fulminations. Murphy died at the age of 76, leaving Macklin, who was a quarter of a century older, his survivor.]
Rehearsals.- When Macklin “ got up" “ Macbeth" in Dublin, in 1780, it was rehearsed daily for six weeks previous to its production. A new play is now frequently read on Thursday, and acted (after a fashion) on the following Monday. Nay, sometimes the author's labours and all are commenced and completed within that space : yet persons wonder at the deterioration of the drama !
Gag.–This term implies the ad libitum introductions which favourites embellish or destroy characters intrusted to them by making. Gagging, properly speaking, is additional matter of the actor's own: in the present day it has degenerated into language substituted at the moment for that of the author, which the comedian has not taken the trouble to commit to memory. Shakspeare's “ Let your clowns," &c. proves the antiquity of gag; but the substitutory system originated with Theophilus Cibber, and his mantle has certainly fallen on the shoulders of Mr. John Reeve. F*** had written a drama, which was accepted and put into rehearsal. Reeve, who had absented himself from the reading, and the first and second rehearsals, bustled in on the morning of the third, found his scene on, and, for the first time, looked at his part.
Enter Ruddilaw, R. H. (meaning right hand.) “ Ruddilaw.—Ah! my dear Marion. I've been, &c. &c. &c. &c. &c." “ Marion.
Ah! indeed. [This is the way the cue of the opposite character is written.]
Ruddilaw.-Well, and after that, &c. &c. &c. &c. &c." “ Marion.
Ha, ha, ha.” “ Ruddilaw.- Don't laugh, &c. &c. &c. &c. &c. &c."
John got thus far amid an ill-suppressed titter, and then stepped up to the dramatist with—“I beg ten thousand pardons,-wasn't at the reading, and I don't quite understand these et ceteras." “Oh!" said F***, with his peculiar drawl, " as you never say what is written for you, I did it to save trouble to both of us; so where you see &c. &c., you can put in any thing you please.”
Mathews and his Namesake.-A man, well known through the provinces as Irish Mathews, travelled from about 1815 until within a year or two, with an entertainment entitled “ Mathews at Home." He was of course continually mistaken for the real Simon Pure, but as Mathews was his genuine patronymic, he replied to all remonstrances—“ Get out of that entirely; why will I change it? Wasn't it my father's name? let t'other chap (meaning the renowned Charles) change his.” To all requests to omit the words “ At Home,” he replied with similar ingenuity. Irish Mathews was a man of great muscular power, and amid his “ other vocal performances," listed an anvil from the ground by fastening it to the hair of his head by whipcord. He had shoulders of ample dimensions, and was altogether a handsome fellow, as the ladies would say, which is equivalent to an“ ugly customer," in the less polished phraseology of the ring. On one occasion the Mathews arrived at Norwich, and, to his great dismay, saw the Irish jontleman's bills stuck all over the town. D-n this impostor," said Charles; “ I'll kick him, sure as he's born I will—I'll kick him out of the place." The more Mathews thought of it, the more resolved he became to perform the aforesaid operation upon the person of
his namesake. Y--, who was with him, thinking to make the impostor's shame more certain, advised him to go to the performance at night, and declaring himself, then and there kick out the intruder. The justice of it pleases me," quoth and quoted Mathews: and together they went, paid for admission, and entered the place; the hero of a thousand at homes reiterating to his companion—" I'll kick him-don't try to prevent meI will kick him.” At the moment they came into the exhibition-room, the Irish jontleman had just concluded his feat of strength, and was putting away the anvil with as much apparent ease as Mathews could lift à chair. This, to say nothing of the “ brawny shoulders four feet square" of the exhibitor, was enough. “ Come along, my dear fellow," exclaimed Mathews; “it isn't worth while to make a disturbance; he's a low fellow, you see, beneath my notice.”
Dr. Johnson I never saw but once, if it be certain, as I have heard many of my contemporaries declare, that at or about 1780 he did not go on crutches; but if he did, then it was he I saw, many a time and oft. The once I have alluded to was some two or three years previously. I remember his “ looming large” through Temple Bar, looking like a model of a giant made in Indian rubber: if the reader knows a Jew bruiser, called Bitton, who has perambulated London for the last twenty years, and can recall his appearance, they have a short copy of the great lexicographer. In my youth I heard of the Doctor, as I heard of St. Paul's Cathedral, as a something great that everybody saw once. Then a thousand anecdotes were rife about him, and I know that I was bred in the belief that his Dictionary was the most wonderful (uninspired) book in existence. At the age of fourteen I should no more have dared to speak to the Doctor, had the opportunity presented itself, than I should have dreamt of walking into the House of Lords, and commencing a confab. with the Chancellor. I remember he had list bound over his shoes to prevent him from slipping (it was a hard frost), and he coughed and spat a great deal. I thought it was something to see the author of Rasselas spit.
Mathews and Curran.-The mimic was introduced to the orator as he has pleasantly narrated in his youthful days. When Mathews went from Dublin to the provinces, some one asked Curran why he had gone: “Och ! the fellow's gone on a mimicking excursion,” replied Curran," and wants to catch the stray brogues of the barefooted pisantry."
Hecate.- When Incledon was in the zenith of his fame, he did almost as he pleased. Kemble sent to him to ask his aid in “ Hecate." This Charles was inclined to consider infra dig. “The national singer,--d me, play this he-cat! The fact is,-d. me, you may tell Mr. Kemble,--d
me, that if he 'll play one of the thieves to my Macheath,-dplay a He cat, or any cat he likes, to his Macbeth,
me, I will
THE FLYING ISLAND.
A LEGEND OF NEW ENGLAND.
"" I tell thee, an island thou shalt have,' said the knight,' round and regular, and as fine a bit of earth as ever the salt sea washed.'
“« I thank your worship for nothing,' replied Sancho. "The worst of it is, this same island can never be got at.'”-Don Quixote.
Though the New World cannot boast her moss-grown towers and nodding temples, her crumbling arches and “chietless castles, breathing stern farewells,” yet she is not without antiquities and antiquaries, --relics of bygone times--to stir up dreamy thoughts of eld, and men who delight to muse over them. There is a certain spot on the seacoast of New England which has always been specially dear to me, from its associations with the poetry of the past. To a mind truly alive to the influence of poetry, the past is ever poetical ; and in this spot I find materials for no ordinary excitement of that feeling—“ most musical, most melancholy.” The place in question is one of the few remaining records of the existence, decay, and extermination of one of the many kingdoms of men—an aboriginal nation of Indians. It is true these men were but painted savages, and the land of their dominion a howling wilderness; yet their history is not wanting in claims upon our regard, and their premature fate cannot but excite our sympathy. With a bold and striking originality of character, and qualities of unsurpassed heroism, it has been their lot to suffer a total extinction in a career tenfold more rapid than that of the ordinary generations of mankind. Everything in the character and institutions of this remarkable race bespeaks them a young people; and to what results their slow, but certain, progress toward self-civilization might have reached in a course of centuries, had they remained in undisturbed possession of their native soil, we can only conjecture; but they have perished even before their prime. The nations who reared the temples of Pæstum, and founded the Cyclopean walls on the rocky hills of Etruria, have perished, too, with all their history, literature, and language. Barbarism and civility seem thus destined, at times, to a common end by some strange caprice of fate. The philosopher and moralist may contemplate with different feelings these two races of men in their career; but the similarity of their catastrophe serves to impress upon the mind this simple truth,—that the course of nature is one unbroken chain of creation and destruction.
The locality to which I have alluded, is a pleasant and quiet green valley, at the mouth of one of the numerous rivers that wind in a thousand mazes among the hills, and dash in cataracts over the rocky ledges of this rough and romantic land. On a lofty eminence, rising gently from the river's margin, a few miles from the sea, you may take your stand on a bright summer day, and behold a scene which, if you
be either a lover of natural beauty, or a New England antiquary, will not fail to delight your eyes, or set you pondering in a reverie on the days
and deeds of the olden time. The heights on both sides of the valley above, open here and there, and show you glimpses of a chain of blue mountains far off in the interior; below, the landscape lies stretched out at your feet, fresh and verdant-masses of thick forest, dark rocky dells, bright patches of smooth grassy pasture, and fields waving with tall green maize. Here and there rises a rocky peak, covered with a thick mantle of dark pines, or a smoothly-swelling hill lifts its sunny head amid clumps of wood, and the scored, chequered, and dotted variegations of the farmer's garden and orchard. The river, in its meanderings, bursts upon you at once, seeming to spring out of the earth at the foot of a rocky promontory, a mile or two distant; and, winding indistinctly among the trees, sweeps round a long tongue of flat meadow, and then glides, in a smooth and clear current, along the base of the hill at your feet. Your eye follows the bright course of the stream down the valley, till it rests upon the spire of a little town near its mouth. Here it makes an abrupt turn; and the view is terminated by the white sand-hills of the shore, and the blue rim of the distant ocean.
This, I have said, is a very quiet place; it is an out-of-the-way spot -a nook-and-corner seclusion, which nobody ever visits who does not belong there. No traveller has told tales about it; no railroad or canal has made it mart or thoroughfare; there is not even the modern improvement of a turnpike within the precincts of the town, whose juris diction extends over the greater part of the territory I have described. The inhabitants have a rustical and primitive simplicity of character, well agreeing with the place of their residence, and breathing a strong relish of the days of three-cornered hats. They keep Saturday night in the strict old pilgrim way; think a great deal of deacons; sing psalms in the genuine New Englaud read-a-line-and-sing-a-line fashion; and make it a point to plant their potatoes in the same holes where their fathers, and grandfathers, and great-grandfathers did the same before them.
A traveller who should suddenly come upon this spot in his rambles through the land, would be convinced at first sight that he had got into a genuine old-times community-something that smacked of the very classical age of New England antiquity. Nothing meets the eye that does not show somewhat of the calm of long-standing habits and the rust of years.
The town is nothing like its neighbours, which are clusters of snug, smart edifices, as bright as paint and whitewash can make them. The houses here look quaint, dingy, and pathetic withal -such sprawling old structures as have been out of fashion a hundred years: they are venerably black with time; and the most of them so rickety, as to be saved from falling only by the enormous chimney in the centre, which is commonly half as big as the house itself. They all front to the south-for the old settlers were fond of sunshine; and the roofs come sloping down in the rear almost to the ground, as a means of avoiding the full brunt and direct force of the northerly storms of winter, that blew so terribly in ancient times, before winds, like everything else, had degenerated. Clumps of tall sunflowers grow under the windows; the old Scandinavian well-sweep stretches out its long arms before the door; and enormous elms overshadow house and yard, and swing their pendulous branches across the road that passes by.
The road, too, has nothing of the direct, straightforward, hurrying character of these stage-driving times; it goes winding and zigzagging up and down the land, as if it meant never to lead you out of it. The fields and pastures exhibit nought of the thrifty trimness of modern agriculture; their stone walls are dilapidated and moss-grown; and the foot-paths run among thickets and tangling vines. The old grave-yard shows you stones whose ancient date and mossy covering carry your thoughts back to the venerable past; the cattle seem to go to pasture with a more leisurely and quiet air than quadrupeds elsewhere; the geese that straggle over the green have a decided pococurante look ; and the very smoke appears to curl up from the chimney-tops with a slower and easier motion than in the towns round about ;-in short, everything breathes an uncommon air of stillness and repose,
“ It is, I ween, a lovely spot of ground;
And there a season atween June and May,
A listless climate makes, where, sooth to say, Ne living wight can work, ne careth e'en for play.” I never cast my eyes over this “ pleasing land of drowsyhed” without imagining myself transported a century and a half backward, like Corporal Trim's giants, out of all harm's way of modern matter of fact. The red-bird waves his brilliant wing among the green boughs in as undisturbed a possession of his leafy solitude as in the quiet times of yore; the crickets and catadeds chirp, methinks, in a cadence marvellously resembling the tune of Old Hundred; I see in the demure countenances and quaint homespun attire of the plodding villagers a living and breathing image of the old Puritans; and I know nothing in nature which can produce a stronger impression of the peaceful repose of patriarchal times, than to stand upon a sunny height, overlooking the little dell that embosoms the village, on a Sunday morning, and hear the Sabbath bell, as its clear tones come swinging slowly through the still air. There is, in fact, hardly such another place in the country; and many people are puzzled to account for the quiet, stationary life led by the noiseless race who vegetate in this queer corner of the laud, while all around them are in a bustle of thriving improvement, chopping down the trees, building enormous new houses, damming the rivers for factories, founding lyceums and colleges, and going a-head with steamengines and the march of intellect. True antiquaries, however, are of opinion that this is owing to the genius loci: there is a spell about the spot-a hallowing charm—which dooms it to remain a special remembrance of the days of the Red Men. This valley was once the seat of empire of a powerful tribe of aborigines : here they lingered to the last man; and here a remarkable circumstance, peculiar to the place, had given rise to one of the strangest superstitions of their religion. It is this circumstance to which allusion is made in the title of this paper; and which, though it may be called in question by matter-offact people, yet I make no hesitation in setting forth in my narrative, just as I received it, my informant being a genuine Indian antiquary, which is saying enough to guarantee his correctness.
The dwellers upon this spot have been from time to time, and at uncertain intervals of many years, greeted with the apparition of a strange