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HISTORY, BIOGRAPHY, POLITICS, ARTS, MANNERS,
Amusements of the Age.
EMBELLISHED WITH PORTRAITS.
(VOL. I .NEW SERIES.)
FROM DECEMBER TO JULY,
PUBLISHED FOR THE PROPRIETORS,
BY LUPTON RELFE, 13, CORNHILL;
SOLD BY ALL BOOKSELLERS.
OF THE THEATRE ROYAL, COVENT GARDEN.
With a Portrait painted from the Life expressly for this Work.
FROM the retirement of Miss O'Neil the metropolitan stage was destitute of every actress, who could do honour to the tragic muse, until the debut of the subject of our pre sent memoir. As Miss Kelly's extraordinary talents will not only ensure to her a splendid portion of contemporaneous celebrity, but will transmit her name to posterity among the brightest ornaments of the stage, we have selected her, as a benign and guardian herald, to proclaim the commencement of our periodical labours for the New Year.
The stage, apparently, presents a very short road to fame and opulence, when it is considered that an actress, only seventeen years of age, can arrive at the highest pitch of theatrical eminence. In all other professions a similar degree of excellence cannot be attained without the labour of many years; and a permanent fame is scarcely possible to be acquired until approaching old age has blunted the keeper feel ings of enjoyment, and prompts the melancholy reflection, that all human fame and consequence are seldom worth the time and labour consumed in acquiring them. At the early age of seventeen, the aspiring children of genius can in no other profession obtain the universal applause of their contemporaries.
Every art or science has its discrepant dogmas, and able advocates to defend them, however futile; and more knowledge at this premature age is to be unlearned, than can be afterwards acquired in the short space of human existence: for, before the regions of philosophy can be entered, it is necessary to pass the almost invincible barriers of prejudice and error.
Hic labor, hoc opus est.
But the tragic muse is a far more generous maid than her sisters; she is less reserved, has neither prudery nor coquetry; and, when she bestows her smiles on her most favoured worshippers, she requires less labour and less waste of years in sacrifice, than any of her pierian sisters; her
"Bounty is as boundless as the sea," her throne is the human heart; and in all the variety of sorrowful and tender emotion she delights most to pour the current of her woes. Her treasures are in the deepest recesses of feeling; and she produces them with the unerring hand of nature.
The best tragedian has little to do with art; for which reason extraordinary proficiency may be at