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And should I own myself, his tender heart
Old Man. How now? who's there?
Edg. (advancing R. H. of Gloucester). A charity for poor Tom. Play fair and defy the foul fiend. O gods! and must I still pursue this trade, Trifling beneath such loads of misery ?
Old Man. 'Tis poor mad Tom.
Glo. In the late storm I such a fellow saw,
Old Man. Here, my lord.
Glo. Get thee now away; if for my sake
Old Man. Alack, my lord, he's mad.
Glo. 'Tis the times' plague, when madmen lead the blind ; Do as I bid thee.
Old Man. I'll bring him the best 'parel that I have, Come on 't what will.
Glo. Sirrah, naked fellow.
Edg. Poor Tom 's a-cold; I cannot fool it longer; [Aside. And yet I must.—Bless thy sweet eyes, they bleed ; Believe 't, poor Tom ev'n weeps his blind to see 'em.
Glo. Knows't thou the way to Dover ?
Edg. Both stile and gate, horseway and footpath.
Glo. Here, take this purse; that I am wretched
Edg. Ay, master.
A mistresses command. Weare this ; spare speech;
Edm. Yours in the rankes of death.
Gon. My most deare Glos'ter.
Then came the days of the Siddons. Shakespeare was appreciated then. We have all heard our fathers or grandfathers talk of John Philip Kemble, and how great he was in Hamlet and Coriolanus. Remembering, as we do, the reading that was appreciated in the desk, and the oratory that was popular in the pulpit, in our boyhood's days, we doubt if John Kemble would be greatly approved at the present time. John Philip Kemble was esteemed a great actor, a scholar, and a gentleman.
Young was the great tragedian of our early days. Edmund Kean was a fine impersonator of certain characters; but Young's reading, elocution, dress, and deportment, was much more finished and refined. Charles Kemble, in light comedy, was clever; he dressed as well as the Charles Mathews
Glo. There is a cliff, whose high and bending head
Edg. Give me thy arm ? poor Tom shall guide thee.
Enter Kent in his own character, and CORDELIA, L. H.
of the present day; but he could never forget that he was a handsome man, and a favourite with the ladies. When his daughter Fanny played Belvidera, in Venice Preserved, he took the part of Pierre. Pierre had never been such a gay gallant soldier before. He played the character well though. Young had often performed it; and when he came to the line Curse on this weakness,
[Weeps. the refined and elegant Young used (we can't find a better expression) to grub the tear out with his knuckle. Try the action, reader, and you will feel its appropriateness. Charles Kemble, at the same passage, drew out a cambric handkerchief, and with an appropriate flourish, like the soldier in the song who leant upon his sword, "he wiped away a tear."
The several actions were characteristic of the two men.
We will admit that John Philip Kemble was a great actor, attaching our own meaning to that word. The characters of a scholar and a gentleman we cannot award him, at present. He, like Nahum Tate, had heard that a man called Shakespeare had made a thing called the Tempest, and he compiled a play out of it. It is called
AS COMPILED, BY
AND FIRST ACTED AT THE
THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY LANE,
OCTOBER 13th, 1789.
We have extracted a scene or two:
Act V. Scene 1.- A Wood.
Enter PROSPERÒ and MIRANDA.
Pros. You beg in vain ; I cannot pardon him,
Mir. Then let Heav'n punish him.
Pros. I by deferring justice should incense
Mir. Yet I have heard you say the pow'rs above
Pros. I cannot force Gonzalo, or my brother,
Pros. Then, spirit, fetch me here my savage slave.
Pros. Art thou then prone to mischief, wilt thou be Thyself the executioner?
Ariel. Think better of thy airy minister,
Pros. But to what purpose was thy diligence ?
Ariel. When I was chidden by my mighty lord