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stand on end, like quills upon the frightful porcupine,' I supposed my father's ghost before me,' arm'd cap à piè,' and off I started. "• Angels and ministers of Grace, defend us !
(He wiped the racor. Be thou a spirit of health, or goblin damn'd!
[He strapped it.
[He lathered again.' “ I concluded with the usual
Say why is this ? Wherefore? What should we do?' But still continued in my attitude, expecting the praise due to an exhibition which I was booby enough to fancy only to be equalled by himself. But, to my eternal mortification, he turned quick upon me, brandished the razor in his hand, and thrusting his half-shaved face close up to mine, he made such horrible mouths at me, that I thought he was seized with insanity, and I shewed more natural symptoins of being frightened at him, than at my father's ghost. 'Angels and ministers! yaw! whaw! maw!' However, I soon perceived my vanity by his ridicule. He finished shaving, put on his wig, and with a smile of good-nature he took me by the hand. • Come,' said he, 'young gentleman-eh, let us see now what we can do.' He spoke the speech : how he spoke it, those who have heard him never can forget. There,' said he, 'young gentleman; and when you try that speech again, give it more passion, and less mouth.'
The following extract from a letter, written by Mrs. Siddons herself, shortly after the decease of two of her daughters, is so beautiful, that we have to regret that Mr. Boaden has given only one more such.
“The testimony of the wisdom of all ages, from the foundation of the world to this day, is childishness and folly, if happiness be any thing more than a name ; and I am assured, our own experience will not enable us to refute the opinion: no, no, it is the inhabitant of a better world. Content, the offspring of moderation, is all we ought to aspire to here; and moderation will be our best and surest guide to that happiness to which she will most assuredly conduct us. If Mr. thinks himself unfortunate, let him look on me, and be silent. The inscrutable ways of Providence! Two lovely creatures gone ; and another is just arrived from school, with all the dazzling, frightful sort of beauty that irradiated the countenance of Maria, and makes me shudder when I look at her. I feel myself, like poor Niobe, grasping to her bosom the last and youngest of her children ; and like her, look every moment for the vengeful arrow of destruction.”
Oh! that these books contained many passages such as these! The glimpse which we here obtain of Mrs. Siddons, when off the stage, is sufficient to make us desire a more intimate acquaintance with her than can be obtained by a perusal of the volumes of Mr. Boaden. Considered as a biography, they are certainly unsatisfactory in the extreme: they will never slake the thirst after information which the public always entertain as to the lives of distinguished persons---amongst whom Mrs. Siddons must be reckoned.
Our Village: Sketches of Rural Character and Scenery. By Mary
Russell Mitford. Vol. II. London: Geo. B. Whittaker. 8vo.
1826. These Sketches fully support the character Miss Mitford acquired by her first volume, and we have no doubt will obtain the same indulgent reception. They are pleasantly written, without apparent effort, and have the effect of making us in good humour with ourselves, Miss Mitford, and all the world. It does appear most extraordinary, that one, whose happy temperament seems peeping forth in every one of these Sketches, should also have produced two tragedies so intolerably horrible as “ Julian," and “ The Foscari.” We can solve the difficulty only by supposing, that whilst “Our Village” presents a faithful transcript of the world as it is, and as Miss M. is really. acquainted with it, the tragedies are the productions of an overwrought and tortured imagination; in the former, Miss Mitford copied nature, in the latter, she painted from fancy--she was desirous of producing tragic effect, and did not attempt any avenue except that of excessive guilt.
In the present volume, we would particularly point out the Tenants of Beechgrove, Jack Hatch, The Vicar's Maid, and The Inquisitive Gentleman, all of them admirable Sketches, full of life and truth.
A Treatise on Desk Diseases, containing the best Methods of treating
the various Disorders attendant upon Sedentary and Studious Habits. By W. M. Wallace, M. R. C. S. London: Griffiths.
8vo. 1826. We are not very friendly to Buchan-like books, they do much harm, and very little good. The present work is liable to many of the objections usually levelled against such treatises, but it certainly is far better than most of them; the subject is treated in a popular manner, the work pleasantly written, and we have no doubt will be useful. Men of studious habits often bring on dangerous diseases by inattention to first symptoms; the course prescribed in this work is simple and plain, and, as far as we can judge, would in most cases be effectual.
The Golden Violet, with its tales of Romance and Chivalry, and other
Poems. By L. E. L. Author of “ The Improvisatrice," &c.
London: Longman. 12mo. pp. 810. 18:27. The puffing of the Literary Gazette has, in our minds, done a great deal of harm to the poetical fame of this young lady. They who have read her praises in that publication, imagine her to be a very superior genius, and are astonished when they come to peruse her works ; which, although certainly pretty, do not warrant unlimited applause. One of her greatest faults is excessive sameness; one set of images runs through all her poetry; wherever we open her books, we meet with thein. Estimating her powers at the very utmost, they do not advance beyond the limits of respectability, and being "a respectable poet," is, we believe, not much to boast of. The
present volume contains an account of the contest between the Provençal minstrelsy for the prize of a “ Golden Violet.” The day on which the contest takes place, is the first of May, and our readers may imagine a great part of the book, when we say it is Mayday poetry. The illustrations suggested by the state of the earth on our entrance into that lovely month—its Howers—its nightingales its springing grass-its budding roses, &c. &c. &c. are dwelt upon, until they become tiresome and cloying. In the tales there is more variety, and some of them are good, but told very carelessly. What can be worse than the following ?
“ Where on earth is the truth that may vie
Threw away a chance for a lady's eyes.”
""Tis May again, another May,
The Greck Bubble: a Poem. By J. Thomson. London: J. Bul
cock. 8vo. Tous is an extremely severe, and, in some parts, a very effective satiro upon the parties concerned in the late 'Greek Loan affairs. The author has in some instances wandered from his subject into matters very little connected with it; but, upon the whole, we think there is considerable force and vigour in his production. It has been manufactured in a hurry, and we hope will sell, if it be merely that the bonest indignation it expresses may be circulated.
The sentiment in the following lines is so beautiful, that we cannot come to a close without quoting it.
“Mortal, nor pleasure, nor wealth, nor power,
THE DRAMA.-No. III.
“Let this suffice, if all receive their due,
Some of just praise, and some of censure too."
Wednesday, Nov. 22.---Holcroft's Play of Deaf and Dumb was this evening revived, with much attention to the arrangements, and was warmly received by the audience. It is one of those pieces, which, if it will not altogether bear the test of rigid criticism, is well adapted to please the public. The story is interesting, and the moral good.
Young's De L'Epée was an admirable performance. The character affords few of those strong situations, or marked expressions, which constitute what are called points; but it abounds in many nice touches and delicate inflexions, requiring talent of the first order to seize upon, and close observation to remark. We have often admired the manner in which this gifted actor produces great effect, without the appearance of any exertion; and this peculiarity has been seldon evinced more forcibly than in the performance of De L'Epée.
In the personification of the ambitious and guilty D'Arlemont, Warde was eminently successful; and Charles Kemble's representation of St. Aline, with one or two exceptions on the score of rant and extravagance, is entitled to an equal share of panegyric.
Miss Scott performed the hero of the piece very cleverly. Her gait and attitudes were unrestrained, natural, and graceful. Mrs. Glorer raised the part of Madame Franval to a consequence which probably no other actress could have given to it. Blanchard's Dominique was admirably comic; and Serle's Franval coldly correct.
Thursday, Nov. 30.---His Majesty honored this theatre with his presence this evening ; as lovers of the Drama, we wish these visits were more frequent. The presence of a King, would stamp a fashion on the theatres, and collect all the elegance and splendour of the country. Why should not the royal favor be extended to the Drama, as well as to the Fine Arts of the country? Shakspeare, to say the least of him, is as worthy of a monarch's notice as Lawrence; and the Drama at present wants all the support tbat can be given to it, for the whole fabric is tottering. The performances were Weber's Oberon, and Poole's Scape Goat.
Monday, Dec. 4 ---Mr. Young's Richard. By some of our contemporaries Young's Richard has been considered a failure : in the justice of this decision we cannot acquiesce. We are willing, however, to allow that it is not a character peculiarly adapted to the full developement of this gentleman's characteristic excellencies. Mr. Y.'s performance bad little of that energy, and none of those abrupt and pointed changes, which inark Mr. Kean's Richard. Mr. Y.'s voice is more adapted to declamation than to passion : grandeur is ils essential character; its march is by nature solemn; and therefore little calculated to cope with the abrupi transitions and passiovate out-pourings for which Mr. K. is so celebrated. In Mr. Y.'s personification of the tyrant, he seems to have considered, that heroism in the field, miglat have been preceded by fearful doubt in the closet. That fear and remorse, struggling fiercely with ambition, and gaining a hardly disputed victory, may appear, in the exaltation of circumstances to the public gaze, of determined courage and fearless daring. Mr. Y. acts the iucipient soliloquy less, but plays it better than Mr. K. ; still we think he does not sufficiently remember, that to conform to Cibber*, the opening lines, which in that situation partake of triumph, and the recollections of success, should be given with a consonant air of pleasure
Colley Cibber's Richard III. (the acting play) contains 1945 lines. Of these, only 922 are Shakspeare's, and 1023 are Cibber's; and yet the managers persist in calling it SHAKSPEARE's Richard III,
in the tyrant, who cannot be insensible of his own and his party's security. We think Mr. Y. might improve his performance, by recollecting that there is a dash of humour in Shakspeare's Richard, and by striving more effectually to conceal the depth of his hypocrisy. The real dissimulation of the tyrant held his brother Clarence in soothing converse, whilst he beheld the order for his death in preparatory execution. It not only deceived Lord Hastings to the last moment of life, but inspired him on the brink of fate with the happiness of confidence. Nor is it fable, however difficult to represent, that his tongue won the widow made desolate by his sword. Mr. Y., however, makes Richard's deceit so palpable, that it is impossible that it should ever have imposed on the world, and must necessarily have been shunned even as it appeared. Mr. Y.'s manner, in the ill-placed murder scene in the Tower, is decidedly superior to Mr. Kean's; nor must we omit to mention, in terms of the highest praise, his admirable performance of the
When Richard, “ in all the hells of guilt," burst up from the bondage of his supernatural alarm, he seemed, indeed,
“ to guilty minds
A terrible example.” Applause followed him throughout, but was particularly enthusiastic in the concluding scene.
Friday, December 1.-This evening His Majesty visited this theatre, to witness the Devil's Bridge, and Love, Law, and Physic. His reception, like that of the preceding evening, was enthusiastic. The house was filled at the first rush, and hundreds were disappointed of admission.
Saturday, December 2.-A pleasant little after-piece, under the title of White Lies; or, the Major and the Minor, was produced this evening, and met with deserved success. It is from the pen of Mr. Lunn. Delineation of character bas not been attempted ; the piece depended on its situations for success, and the audience seemed dispused to overlook its want of originality in the mirth which it excited.
Wednesday, December 13.-A farce, in one act, was performed for the first time this evening, under the title of the Lawyer's Clerk; or the Lottery Ticket. It is ingeniously, but lightly, constructed; the dialogue, with the exception of a few common-place jokes, easy and humorous, and the situations highly dramatic. M. Laporte is the hero of the piece. This gentleman is not more remarkable for the breadth and originality of his invention, than for his science and study. His short thick figure, and expressive eye, are always able to command a laugh; and he never coudescends to petition for it, by unnecessary grimace and unwarrantable mummory. The audience evinced their sense of his inerits by loud and repeated plaudits. In the character of a Maid of all Work, Mrs. Orger displayed a degree of power in the delineation of a species of acting, generally supposed to be attainable by Miss Kelly only.
The present month has been particularly unfortunate to our ministry: Lord Liverpool, Mr. Canning, the Lord Chancellor, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, have all been confined by indisposition. The latter, it is said, is about to retire.
Lieutenant Colonel Denham, the traveller, is about to embark on board the Cadmus, Captain Hallowell, at Plymouth, which ship is to convey him to Sierra Leone and the other detestable settlements on that hateful coast, of which he is commissioned to take a survey, and make a report upon their state and circumstances.
Lord Amherst has been advanced to the dignity of an Earl, and Lord Combermere to the rank of Viscount.
Lord Granville Leveson Gower, eldest son of the Marquess of Stafford, has been called to the House of Peers by the style and title of Baron Gower, of Stettenham, in the county of York.