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tained at comparatively a very early age; and it is more to be wondered at that perfection can be attained after, than before the age of twenty, by persons who have been early initiated in the business of the stage. After that period, art alone will improve the performer; and art is but a miserable substitute for nature. It sets bad examples to junior candidates, corrupts the national taste, and prepares the public mind for pantomime and gorgeous pageantry, instead of leading it to the admiration of chaste exhibitions of the legitimate drama. Pantomimic representations and displays of tinsel magnificence will never take a firm hold of public approbation, while good tragedies and comedies are supported by performers of ade-, quate abilities; which lose their influence on the national taste only when they are badly represented. A good play badly acted, is far worse than a pantomime or "Alex ander the Great," well performed; which they may easily be by very indifferent performers. But it is at any time more agreeable to see a pantomime well performed, than to witness the murder of a good -tragedy.

For such reasons as these we always receive with pleasure the announcement of a youthful débutante, and we candidly confess that, in every enterprize that honours human nature, we expect more natural talent from youth than from age. But any further disquisition on this subject would lead us far beyond our limits; and, with cheerfulness and entire devotion, we hasten to pay our homage to the first female tragedian of the English stage.

MISS FRANCES HARRIET KELLY was born on the 30th of June, 1805, in South Audley Street, Grosvenor Square, London. She is of middle stature, extremely well formed, and her features are intelligent and femenine. Her father, Captain Kelly, is a gentleman of a very old and respectable family in the West of Ireland. He joined the 96th regiment during the American war, and was an intimate friend of the late Earl of Guildford; by whose lamented death he sustained an ir reparable loss. Miss, Kelly has a mother living, who invariably ac

companies her in her theatrical pursuits. She is an only daughter, and has five brothers, one of whom is two years older than herself; the others are all very young. From her earliest age she evinced a strong predilection for the stage, even before she saw a theatre or a

performer. Her father disliking the profession resisted her inclination, considering it childish and romantic; but, finding her immoveably attached to the pursuit, he procured through the kind offices of Lady C. Lindsay an introduction to Mr. George Colman, and Mr. Harris: who, after hearing her read (being only thirteen years of age) a portion of the character of Belvidera, pronounced her to possess a powerful, clear, and melodious voice, with many other requisites for eminence in the profession. Miss Kelly received the principal part of her education at Mrs. Philips's school Tenterden Street, Hanover Square. After her appearance on the stage at Cheltenham and Brighton, and previous to her going to Dublin, she received some professional instruction from Mr. Macready, and since her return he has been kind enough to give her much useful information. In the month of June, 1819, she made her first ap pearance at Cheltenham, under the protection of Lady Faulkner, and performed the characters of Amelia Wildenheim; Amanthis, in the Child of Nature; Belvidera, &c. After playing for six nights there she was sent to Paris, under the protection of an old and intimate friend of her father, who superintended her education with parental kindness, and afforded her every opportunity of mixing in the first circles of that gay city. Shortly after her return from France, in May the following year, she visited Cheltenham for six nights, playing Portia, Belvidera, and Ella Rosenberg. From this place she went to Brighton, at her own expense, where she remained for four months playing Juliet, Belvidera, Evadne, Alicia, and the range of first characters. On the 18th of January, 1821, she appeared on the Dublin stage, where she was highly appreciated, and became a great favourite in the character of Juliet ; and afterwards performed Belvidera,

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Jane Shore, Desdemona, Monimia, Isidora in Mirandola (with Mr. Young), Portia, Mrs. Haller, Mrs. Beverley, Mrs. Oakley, &c. &c.

. She returned to England in June, and played for a month at Birming ham, Nottingham, and Derby; after which, in March, 1822, Mr. Harris again engaged her for the Dublin stage, to support Mr. Young; where, in addition to her former characters, she performed Alexina, Galanthe, Amy Robsart (in a drama entitled Kenilworth), fourteen successive nights to crowded houses, Bertha in the Point of Honour, Imoinda in Oroonoko, and Minna in the Pirate. She continued there until the Theatre closed in June; when she visited Drogheda, Limerick, Galway, Ennis, and Cork; a theatrical tour that occupied her for four months; and, before she left the last-mentioned place she was engaged for Covent Garden. In Ireland Miss Kelly was patronized by the principal families, and it does not appear to be true, as inviduously stated in the London Papers, that her great talents were either coldly received or unappreciated by our more mercurial neighbours. It is no part of their character to be cold in their admiration, avaricious of their applause, or impervious to the charms of female excellence-let us be at least as generous as they and impute just motives; it was owing to the distresses of that ill-fated Island, and the consequent want of ability, that the Irish resigned to this more favoured metropolis the glorious and delightful task of duly rewarding TRAN


On the 14th of November last, Miss Kelly made her successful début in the character of Juliet, at the Theatre Royal Covent Garden, and was received with the most enthusiastic applause; she continues occasionally to repeat this fasinating character, and always with the same success. On a subsequent night she appeared as Margaret, in Mr. Shiel's new tragedy of the Huguenot, but the character is far too monotonous for a full display of her abilities; she, however, made the most of it, and was warmly applauded. On the 31st ult. she represented Rutland, in the Earl of Essex, a tragedy which nothing but such performers as Miss Kelly and Mr. Macready could have rendered tolerable. As these are the

only characters she has performed since her appearance in the metropolis, our observations will be necessarily limited; and the more so, as we intend to confine them to her representation of the character of Juliet, with which all our readers must be familiar.

From the moment of Miss Kelly's first appearance at Covent Garden Theatre, in the character of Juliet, she has been acknowledged the very first of our dramatic heroines. Her extreme youth-her previous obscurity-the declining state of the concern, which she was designed to recover and exalt-have all conspired with her professional powers to create an interest in her behalf, sufficient to sustain a successful.competition against all the established performers and glittering appendages of the rival theatre. Although Miss O'Neil may be thought to have been more successful in the declamatory passages, yet in those, where the feeling is subdued, the passion quick and vehement, the transition abrupt, or the situation overwhelming-in short where nature had more to do than art, Miss Kelly is her superior, and possesses head, and heart, and voice, to answer the full demands of the tragic muse.

In the balcony scene, where Romeo first sees Juliet in private, we discover in this accomplished actress a total abandonment of heart and soul to the tender passion with which she is absorbed, and a modesty alike unrestrained. by artful coquetry, or the wily heartlessless of prudery. Her words never precede the, emotions of her heart; they are, as they should be, the consequence and not the precursor of her emotion. The exquisite variety of her voice and motion at once evinces her profound knowledge of her immortal author, and her capability of personifying the variations of conflicting, or rapidly succeeding feelings. She

seems to be no imitator of the un

happy fair-she is Juliet herselfshe appears the sad victim of the passion she represents. When Ro

meo says

-Alack! there lies more peril in thine Than twenty of their swords. eye;. The wistful gaze of undissembled passion seems to arrest all her faculties. Her eyes, which in the latter

scenes seem to wander with a heavenly distraction, and seem to be every where and no where, are now immoveably fixed on those of Romeo, and drink the delicious poison of love. They seem not to rest upon, but to devour their object. The following passage always excites the host rapturous applause:

Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt sayAy';

And I will take thy word!

The rapid manner in which she utters the words "I know thou wilt say-Ay," implying a certainty of an affirmative answer, mingled with a half suspicion of its sincerity, is irresistible. It is what, in inferior performers, would be called a hit,

but in her it is an ebullition of the purest and deepest nature. In the following passage she exhibits the purest taste:

Rom. Lady, by yonder blessed moon,


Jul. O swear not by the moon,

Before Romeo has finished his sentence, the moment he has uttered the word" moon," her tenderness takes instant alarm, she waits not to hear the words "I vow," her sensibility and ardent passion prove them to be redundant; she exclaims "O swear not by the moon with hurried speech and a tremulous feeling, that prove her knowledge that nature needs no oaths to bind her, and, when they are thought necessary, they are as easily broken as made. When Juliet utters

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"Do not swear at all;" she falls on the balcony, and is absorbed in that fulness of affliction, that denotes her heart to be entirely Romeo's, without requiring a pledge in return, relying on her own innocent and ample love to detain, as well as to win, his affections. This passage is always received with unanimous and reiterated applause. Indeed the whole of the balcony scene is an example of the most finished acting; so much so, that it is more easy to imagine her really in love, than to believe any actress could so naturally affect a passion which she does not feel, and which she never perhaps has felt. When she pronounces the words

"Well do not swear." her eyes, her countenance, her every feature, seem to claim forgiveness

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for having required of him to swear to the fidelity of his attachment; while she seems, at the same time, to inhale the soft and enchanting intoxication of love. Her "sweet love adieu," and her "good night, good night, were still more enchanting, more enthusiastic, more lovely, more infatuating, In pronouncing these syren exclamations, her very soul almost appeared in view. It seemed to come forward and converse in her countenance ; and so it did, so far as feeling can embody the invisible, and inconceiv

able nature of the mind.

Her interview with the Nurse in

the second act is exquisitely performed, and the mere reader of the play can have but a very inadequate idea of the beauty of this scene her eagerness to meet the Nurse, whom she fondly hails as the harbinger of joyful news, and her exclamation

"O heaven! she comes."

fills every heart with participating expectation; while joy, mingled with fear and apprehension, is strongly pourtrayed in her countenance. Though joy would seem to be predominant, yet she dreads to become acquainted with the fearful tidings. In the third act, where the Nurse returns and leads her to suppose that Romeo has been slain, we never saw, indeed we never conceived even in idea, so exquisite an image of enraged innocence; when she cries out

"What devil art thou that doest torment me thus."

The furies seemed seated on her brow; every feature was pregnant with rage, but yet it was rage without a sting. She soon expiated, however, the crime of becoming an infuriate; and presented us with the finest picture of repentance and selfreproach that imagination can conceive.

After having bewailed the death of Tybalt, the banishment of Romeo, and inveighed with severity against her lover, she answers her Nurse's invectives against Romeo with the most impassioned energy. The passage commences

Blistered be thy tongue, Her transition from the highest eulogy on her lover to a just and tender recollection, how ill that eulogy agreed with her previous upbraidings, is exquisitely natural;

she is overwhelmed with the mingled emotions of tenderness, of love, and of self-condemnation. The line, Oh! what a wretch was I to 'chide

him so.

is the most excellent and most applauded passage of her whole performance.

In the garden scene in the third act, where she endeavours to convince Romeo that it is not yet day, in order to detain him, she surpasses all her predecessors. He who could. hear her without emotion repeat the following words, when Romeo is in the very act of parting from her, must have drank the milk of tigers in his infancy.

O heaven! I have an ill-divining soul: Methinks I see thee, now thou'rt

parting from me, As one dead in the bottom of a tomb; Either my eye-sight fails; or thou look'st pale.

We have no space to do justice to this exquisite tragedian; her whole performance of Juliet is excellent. The swallowing of the draught is in the first style of acting; and the terror of the catastrophe is exhibited in all its plenitude.

Miss Kelly's chief excellence evidently consists in the delineation of the deeper and intenser passions. If we mistake not, however, her natural manners ate of a more gay and playful character than those of Miss O'Neil, and consequently we think her more likely to succeed in comedy than her predecessor. Her action is natural and unembarrassed; every movement seems to arise from the impulse of the moment, though her attitude is not perhaps always so imposing as Miss O'Neil's. The cause seems to be, that Miss O'Neil threw more of her own mind and intellectual conception of character into her action, and consequently was partly guided by her feelings, and partly by her reason; but Miss Kelly seems not to reason at all. She is the mere creature of the influences by which she is acted upon. She would seem never to have considered how she ought to act in any particular sitution, but permits herself to be carried away instinctively by the influence, which the situation exerts over her at the moment. What she loses, therefore, in dignity she gains

in sweetness, artlessness, and nature There is no influence lost upon her for she responds to the lightest impulse; the highest excellence in dramatic representation. -Art and study only serve to counteract or suppress the divine enthusiasm of nature: the eyes no longer speak the eloquent language of love, no longer brighten with hope, or languish with despair. Every moment is marked with affectation, and every attitude is constrained and unnatural. The truth of these observations never, perhaps, has been more triumphantly illustrated than in the fair subject of the present memoir. We never saw the secret workings of indomitable love more powerfully displayed, or more ably sustained throughout. Her characteristic excellence seems to consist in giving expression to the different emotions, which naturally arise at the same instant from the opposite influences by which she is acted upon. A secret foreboding of her unhappy fate throws a browner shade over her happiest and most animated moments, so that even her joy seems mingled with melancholy musings. This is an excellence of difficult attainment, and Miss Kelly seems to have made it her particular study. She has studied it, however, only from her own feelings, or in real life: whenever human nature is acted upon by different influences, they excite that tumultuous crowd of emotions, which confine themselves not to the heart, but manifest their existence in the expression and agitation of the countenance. This strong tide of mingled emotions is not merely to be found in the action and expression of this lovely actress; she seems to have the same command over her voice that she has over her passions, affections, and sympathies,

In fine, what has been said of the character of Juliet, by an able modern critic, may be justly applied to Miss Kelly's performance." It is, indeed, one sweetness. It has nothing forward, ne of perfect truth and nothing coy, nothing affected or coquettish about it; it is a pure effusion of nature. It is as frank as it is modest. Its delicacy does not consist in coldness and reserve, but in combining warmth of imagination and tenderness of heart with the most voluptuous sensibility."


To the Memory of Captain Burgess, who was killed on board the Ardent,
On the 11th of August, 1797.

Whene'er we view the generous and the brave,
Sink to the dreary mansions of the grave,
Remembrance drops the sympathetic tear,
And with unfading laurels strews their bier:
Shall then the soft compassionating muse
To pay her grateful tribute here refuse?
Nor mourn another gallant spirit fled,
Another hero mingled with the dead?
Ah, no! for Burgess now she heaves the sigh;
His fate with pity claims her melting eye,
That fate she weeps with his lamenting crew,
Who priz'd his worth and all his virtues knew:
Firm to his duty 'till his latest breath,
He led them on to conquest or to death.
Within yon awful dome recording fame
Bids future ages hail the hero's name;
But still a nobler monument we find
Erected in a grateful people's mind.
Their sorrow for his loss a tribute pays,
How far beyond the breath of public praise?
No empty form, no pompous boast it knows,
But warm in every feeling bosom glows.
Nor can the muse with cold indifference tell,
In freedom's cause how many heroes fell;
"Now England's Navies are her noblest boast;
She mourns one English sailor should be lost.
In fancy too she hears the widow's cry,
She sees to Heaven the tear uplifted eye;
What hand she cries can minister relief?

What power can sooth the wretched orphan's grief?
If to their sorrows wealth could give repose.
A generous nation had relieved their woes.
But He alone, who bids the tempest cease,
And to the murmuring billows whispers peace,
Can to' affliction's wounds a balm impart,
To heal the anguish of a breaking heart.

Tho' conquest still Britannia's thunder guides,
And on the English banner proudly rides;
Yet must the victor midst his glory own,
Not without thorns he wears the laurel crown.
Ev'n for her foes old England's heroes feel;
For English bosoms have not hearts of steel.
Still more they mourn, when by stern fate decree d
Her bravest, noblest sons are doom'd to bleed.
Burgess they own, that conquest bought too dear,
That bids them shed for thee the bitter tear.
The woes, that wait on war's destroying hand,
Avert kind Heaven from this still favour'd land;
Oh! bid the raging storm of battle cease,
And to her fertile plains give lasting peace.

* In allusion to the monument in St. Paul's,

S..B. R

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