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The necessity, therefore, of ap- often found in the ranks of the pearing no less dressed at the theatre audience, the general appearance of in the Hay-market than at Al- wealth and prosperity, and the total mack's, or at an assembly of fashion, absence of all features of an opposite acts with these ladies rather as a kind, form altogether such a picture stimulant than as a preventive. of gaiety and magnificence as is in
Let me too remark, en passant, deed unrivalled. It was my good that it happens oddly enough that fortune to be present a few evenings we, who really have a taste for the since; when in honor of His Majesdrama, call all places where scenic ty's presence, “ God save the King," representations are performed des was called for. Never shall I forspectacles,(which word would strictly get the splendor of the sight, or the imply that we considered them as enthusiasm which displayed itself shews, or exhibitions,) while you, in the audience when, at the comwho principally value them on the mencement of that national song, latter account, in speaking of them the ladies dressed in feathers and use no similar expression.
diamonds rose from their seats, and It seems very strange to me, that joined their voices to those of the though you are so very, punctilious actors in the performance of the in enforcing a particular style of chorus. All the rank, beauty, tacostume at the Opera House, you lent, and elegance of London seemstill suffer the greatest violations of ed to be concentrated there; and good manners there to pass unpu- that heart must be cold indeed nished. At the time when all that which could witness unmoved such is good, great, or respectable in a general burst of ardent loyalty. England may be seen in the boxes, Your play-houses of Covent-Garthe most abandoned females appear den and Drury-Lane are fine ediin the adjoining pit; and your fices, but I am sure you must join young men of distinction make no with me in regretting that, instead scruple in paying attention to the of those two colossal buildings, latter in the presence, and almost large enough to hold a little world, in the hearing, of their mothers and you have not several smaller but sisters. Indeed nothing can be more convenient theatres. The premore common than to see the same posterous dimensions of your preperson, five minutes after whispering sent ones are attended by several in the ear of one of those less cruel fair bad consequences. In the first place, ones, approach the box of a woman it is next to impossible for the of rank and reputation, and receive spectator to see at such a distance as cordial a welcome as if he had those nice variations in the councommitted no such impropriety. In- tenances of the performers, which deed, accustomed as I have been to constitute one of the principle consider England as the most moral charms of dramatic excellence; and of nations, it seems to me most ex- in the second, it is equally difficult traordinary that your ladies should to hear what is said on the stage tolerate a kind of behaviour which with sufficient accuracy to enable in every other country would ba- one to enjoy the quick repartee of nish the person, who had been guilty an animated dialogue. The best of it, from all the circles of decent written plays, therefore, lose half society.
their powers of pleasing; and in As after disapproving of any of spite of the wit of Sheridan, I doubt your usages it always gives me much, whether if the School for pleasure to be able to commend, I Scandal had lately been acted for the must acknowledge that the whole first time on one of these boards, universe offers not a more splendid it would have succeeded. This is the coup d'æil than the English Opera real cause of your drama having House presents on a Saturday night. sunk to so low an ebb at the very The beauty of the theatre, the rich- moment when, in all other walks of ness of its decorations, the loveli- literature, England has been takness of the women, the variety and ing such rapid strides. The fact brilliancy of their dress and jewels, is, your great moralist and the blaze of light, and the number critic (Dr. Johnson) has observed, of distinguished characters who are “That as those who live to please,
must please to live," the writers of Among the many-coloured chathe present day perceive that no- racters which frequent your plaything animates the stagnant atten. houses, I am told that drunken men tion of the immense crowds which are still occasionally seen, but much these theatres now contain but less frequently than they were a few broad farce, splendid processions, or years ago, when Bacchanalian exeloquent appeals to the best feelings cesses were more common in Lonof the human heart, appeals which don; at that time I am told that it is but doing justice to this coun- few evenings passed without a thetry to add, are never made in vain. atrical quarrel, which ended in a Instead, therefore, of endeavouring duel on the following morning. to sketch real characters such as Indeed I have heard mentioned the nature produces, and Shakspeare names of several gallant men who, portrays, modern dramatists either after distinguishing themselves in try to force a smile by drawing ca- the battles of their country abroad, ricatures which by their novelty or returned home to lose their lives in absurdity may challenge attention, ignoble combats, occasioned by alto charm the eye with military pa
tercations of this kind, with persons rade, funeral pomp, and variegated in a state of inebriety, whose inscenery, or to move a tear hy a pa- sults they were forced to resist. thetic, bat often exaggerated, tale The necessity, too, of letting the of sentimental sorrow. These com
hour at which the play begins be positions, therefore, however suc- regulated by the habits of the cessfully performed on the stage, greater number of those who reside are seldom read with pleasure in the in this over-grown capital, prevents closet ; nor is this the only inconve- the national theatres being places of nience occasioned by the preposte convenient resort to the higher rous size of your theatres; in the ranks, who consequently frequent vast multitudes which they contain them but rarely; and, as when they vice finds a never failing shelter ; do so, they either dispense with and while robberies are nightly dinner altogether, or take that meal committed on the persons of the at a much earlier part of the day spectators, these nominal places of than usual, for attending the theatre rational amusement are made the materially interferes with all their common rendezvous of wanton- other arrangements. Now, if inness and profligacy. The lobbies, stead of two great play-houses you tea rooms, passages and stair-cases, had a small one in every district, as well as the rows of the upper
most of the inconveniences which boxes, are filled with the most aban- I have enumerated would be avoided. doned women, who neither in their I cannot drop the subject without dress nor manner seem to attempt saying, that going to a play in disguising the profession which they this town is accompanied by so come thither to exercise. It is many sacrifices that, to use our therefore impossible for a modest French phrase, le jeu ne vaut par uncontaminated female to
la chandelle, and those dramatic an evening at Covent-garden or amusements which, in every other Drury-lane, without seeing or hear- capital of Europe afford a daily ing much that is offensive to the resource to the rich and idle, can eye and ear of modesty; I think scarcely be counted among the you will allow that we manage pleasures of London. these things much better in France, and that nothing can be more deco
I remain ever yours, rous than the conduct of all classes
De VERMONT, at our larger theatres.
EPISTLES BY MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS.
* It is an incontrovertible fact, that Mary could not be prevailed upon to divorce Darnley.
t I have always believed, and I have made Mary speak according to this belief, that, whatever was the conduct of the Queen of Scotland towards the King, she loved him with faithful, though ill requited tenderness; and the very circumstances, on which Dr. Robertson seems to build bis conviction of her aversion from and indifference to her husband, are to me proofs of her continued and unhappy attachment to him. I subjoin what he says, page 385 of his Ist Volume.
“ Meanwhile Mary fixed lier residence at Craig-millar. Such a retirement, perhaps, suited the present temper of her mind, and induced her to prefer it before her own palace of Holyrood. Her aversion for the King grew every day more confirmed, and was become altogether incurable; a deep melancholy succeeded to that gaiety of spirits wbich was natural to her; the rashness and levity of her own choice, and the King's ingratitude and obstinacy, filled her with shame and despair; and a variety of passions preyed at once on a mind, all of whose sensations were exquisite, and all its emotions strong, and often extorted from her the last wish of the unfortunate--that life itself would come to an end."
With all due deference to Dr. Robertson's talents and learning, I canvot ad. mit that deep melancholy is ever a proof of aversion, though it is frequently an evidence of hopeless love, and of conscious injury aud ill-requited tenderness in the heart of woman-and where were rashuess and levity in Mary's choice? It was a choice which the truest political wisdom would have suggested, had her heart (according to the opinion of Mr. Chalmers) been silent in Daruley's favor, for his right to the throne of England after the death of Elizabeth was equal to her own. Hatred and its concomitant, indignation (where hatred proceeds from a sense of injury), usually lead to buoyancy and restlessness of mind and spirit, and are rather stimulants to a public life, and a life of pleasure and amusement ; but it is the marking characteristic of unfortunate, despairing, disappointed love, to seek retirement, to loaih scenes of activity and cheerfulness, and, above all, to feel and 10 express the fond and touching wish of the wretched-to find a rcfuge from intolerable misery in the arms of death.
Yet ill my actions with these words agree,
my breast with emulation swell;
* An historical fact,
Eur. Mag. May, 1823.
But I on friendship lean without alarm,
Lines from Marr to DARNLEY.-January, 1567.
Epistle from MARY to her UNCLES.-Dated Kirk in the Field, Feb. 1567.
Ye soothing friends to whom your Mary's breast
* If my view of the subject be a just one, Mary was quite as eager to pardon Darnley as he could be anxious to be pardoned.