« السابقةمتابعة »
son; Eustace, Mr. Carles. Agnes, Mrs. St. Leger ; Charlotte, Mrs. Bellainy; Maria, (with a song) Mrs. Mathews. CHEATS OF SCAPIN, (never acted here) with Alterations and Additions from the old farce of Trick upon Trick, or the Vintner in the Suds. Scapin, Mr. Mathews. Plot and Counterplot, [altered to the Agreeable Surprize on account of Mr. Liston's iudisposition).
14. Tale of Mystery— Escapes, (1st time here). Count Armand, Mr. Taylor ; Antonio, Mr. Treby, Daniel, Mr. Grove; Michelii, Mr. Fawcett. Constantia, Mrs. Taylor; Angelina, Mrs. Mathews; Marcellina, Miss De Camp. Ib.
15. Battle of Hexham-Seeing is Believing—Love Laughs at Locksmiths.
16. Surrender of Calais. John de Vienne, Mr. Thompson. Julia, Mrs. Bellamy. Cheats of Scapin.
Hunter of the Alps-Review-Escapes. 19. Five Miles off-Mogul Tale-Plot and Counterplot. 20. Mountaineers, Octavian, Mr. May. Mrs. Wiggins-Tom Thumb.
Poor Gentleman. Lieut. Worthington, Mr. Thompson; Corporal Foss, Mr. Grove. Plot and Counterplot.
22. Heir at Law-Escepes.,
25. Dramatist. Floriville, Mr. Farley. Blind Boy, (1st time here). Edmund, (for this night only) Mus. C. Kemble. Rodolph, Mr. Thompson; Stanislaus, Mr. Carles; Starrow, Mr. Treby. Elvina, Mrs. Mathews. lb.
26. Revenge. Alonzo, Mr. Palmer, jun. Carlos, Mr. Carles ; Zanga, Mr. Young. Leonora, Mrs. Bellamy; Isabella, Mro. St. Leger. Ghost-Cheats of Scapin.
27. Catch him who can-Plot and Counterplot-Tom Thumb.
The Summer Theatre has hitherto afforded little novelty. Mrs. Bellamy, the wife of the favourite singer at Covent Garden, appeared iu Mrs. Haller, and has since played several other characters. Her figure, thogub petite, is pleasing, but her powers are limited, and her claim to a superior situatiou on the London boards very disputable. We remember her as Miss Grist at Covent Garden, where she was the original Edward, in Every one has his Fault.
PLOT AND COUNTERPLOT—is a farce from the French, by Mr. Charles Kemble. It varies but little from the translation acted at Covent Garden, but has more bustle, and is better written. As in other Spanish plots there are two cavaliers, two servants, a chambermaid, a mistress, and duenna, and a rich old father. The old gentleman is a painter, and a monk in the neighbouring convent, VOL. IV.
where it is supposed Cervantes died, proposes to afford him an op. portunity of taking the likeness of that genius, no portrait of him having appeared during his life ; for this purpose the corpse of Cervantes is to be brought to his house in the night. The rival lovers, are apprizer of this arrangement and immediately form the same resolution. The two valets are to represent the dead poet, and are successively introduced to the artist. The chief humour of the farce rests on the incident, and nothing in the contrivance can be more ingenious, or more irresistably ludicrous in effect. The terror of the supposed dead men, their surprise at finding each other shrouded for the same purpose, and the final discovery of the Plot and Counterplot are all in the best style and spirit of farce, and excite incessant peals of laughter and applause. The piece is inimitably supported by the comic talents of Fawcett and Liston. On the Arst nigbt it was stated that Mr. Putnam intended for one of the lovers was indisposed, and that Mr. C. Kenible, who was interested in the success of the piece, would undertake his character. Mr. Kemble must have been infinitely gratified both by his reception as an actor, and his success as the author of the farce. Mr. Farley took the character on the following evening. • Of Mr. Glover who played Frederick in the Wonder we can say nothing in praise; and of Mr. May, though he displayed some talent in Rover (respectiug his Octavian we must be silent) it cannot be disguised that his MAY is fallen into the sear, the yellow leaf, and therefore we do not think he will meet here with that " which should accompany old age,” viz. troops of friends ?
The FATAL CURIOSITY was revived for the sake of Mr. Young's Old Wilmot, which was marked by this actor's usual judgment in the part, hut whether the other parts were not adequately sustained, or from its not being tragedy weather, the audience shewed very little favour to the piece at the dropping of the curtain. This tragedy was first acted in 1732, at the little theatre, and was after wards revived by the late Mr. Colman, whose postscript to the printed play we think worthy of being transcribed. Mr. Kemble revived the tragedy a few seasons since at Drury Lane, himself playing Wilmot, and Mrs. Siddons Agnes ; hut thus strongly acted, it was played only three or four nights to thin audiences. Mr. Colman's Postscript is as follows:
Though the Fatal Curiosity of Lillo has received the applause of many sound critics, and been accounted worthy of the Grecian stage, and (what is, perhaps, still higher merit) worthy of Shakspear! yet the long exclusion of this drama from the theatre had in some measure obscured the fame of a tragedy, whose uncommon excellence challenged more celebrity. The late Mr. Harris, of Salisbury, has endeavoured, in his philological enquiries, to display the beauties, the terrible graces, of the piece, and to do justice to the memory of Lillo. His comment is in general just; yet he seems to have given a sketch of the fable from an imperfect recollection of circumstances, without the book before him. He appears to have conceived that the tragedy derived its title from the curiosity of Agnes to know the contents of the casket : but that Lillo meant to mark
by the title the Fatal Curiosity of Young Wilmot, is evident from the whole scene between him and Randal, wherein he arranges the plan of his intended interview with his parents; which arrangement Mr. Harris erroneously attributes to bis conference with Charlotte. The principle of curiosity is openly avowed and warmly sustained by Young Wilmot, and humbly reprehended by Randal.
The comment of Mr. Harris is, however, on the whole, most judicious and liberal. It coucludes with a note in these words :
“ li any one reads this tragedy, the author of these inquiries has a requesl or two to make, for which he hopes a candid reader will forgive him-One is, not to cavil at minute inaccuracies, but look to tie superior merit of the whole taken together-Another is, totally to expunge those wretched rhimes, which conclude many of the scenes; and which, 'tis probable, are not from Lillo, but from some other hand, willing to conform to an absurd fashion, then practised, but now laid aside, the fashion (I mean) of a ryming conclusion.”
Ph lological Inquiries, vol. i.p. 174. The present Editor thought it his duty to remove, as far as he was able, the bleinishes here noticed by Mr. Harris; and he therefore expunged the rhyming conclusions of acts and scenes, except in one instance, where he thought the couplet too beautiful to be displaced. Some minute inaccuracies of language he also hazarded an attempt to correct; and even in some measure to mitigate the horror of the catastrophe, by the omission of some expressions rather too savage, and by ove or two touches of remorse and tenderness. Agnes is most happily drawn after Lady Macbeth ; in whose character there is not perhaps a fiver trait, than her saying, during the murder of Duncan,
" Had he not resembled
“ My father as he slept, I had don't! The story on which this tragedy is founded is, I believe, at present no where extant, except in a folio volume, printed in the year 1681, and entitled The Annals of King James and King Charles the First. Both of happy memory. The period included in these annals is from the tenth of James, to the eighteenth of Charles. They are published anonymously, yet are generally koown by the name of Frankland's Annals. The author places this tragical event in the annals of the year 1618, and relates it in these words :
“ The miserable condition of sinful man in sundry examples of these present and of former times, should mind us hourly to beg of God preventing grace, lest we fall into temptations of sin and Satan ; such have been the calamities of ages past, at present are, and will be to come; histories of theft, rapine, murther, and such like.
“ One of wondrous note happened at Penryu in Cornwall, in September, a bloody and unexampled murther, by a father and mother upon their own son, and then upon themselves.
" He had been blessed with ample possessions, and fruitful issue, unhappy only in a younger son ; who taking liberty from his father's bounty, and with a crew
of like condition, that we re wearied on land they went roving to sea; and in a small vessel southward, took booty, from all whom they could master, and so increasing force and wealth, ventured on a Turks-man in the Streights; but by mischance their own powder fired themselves; and our gallant, trusting to his skilful swimming, got ashore upon Rhodes, with the best of his jewels about him, where offering some to sale to a Jew, who knew them
to be the governor's of Algier, he was appreherded, and as a pyrate sentenced to the gallies amongst other christians, whose miserable slavery made them all studious of treedom; and with wit and valour took opportunity and means to murder some officers, got aboard of an English ship, came safe to London, where his Majesty and some skill_made him servant to a chyrurgion, and suddev preferment to the Easi Irdies ; there by this meaus he get money, with which returi.ing back, he designed himself for his native county Cornwall; and in a small ship from Londoa, sailing to the west, was cast away upon the coast ; but bis excellent skill in swimming, and former fate to boot, brought him safe to shore; where since his fifteen years absence, his father's former fortunes much decaved, now retired him noi far off to a country habitation, in : 'ebt and danger.
“ His sister, he finds married to a mercer, a meaner match than her birth pronnised; to her at first appears a poor stranger, but in private reveals himself, and withal what jewels aud gold he had concealed in a bow-case about him; and concluded that the next day he intended to appear to his parents, and to keep his disguise till she and her husband should meet, and make their common joy compleat.
“Being come to his parents, his humble behaviour, suitable to his suit of cloaths, meited the old couple to so much compassion, as to give him covering from the cold season under their outward roof; and by degrees his travelling tales told with passion to the aged people, made him their guest, so long by the kitchen fire, that the husband took leave and went to bed, and soon after his true stories working compassion in the weaker vessel, she wept, and so did he; but compassionate of her tears, be comforted her with a piece of gold, which gave assurance that he deserved a lodging, to which she brought him, and being in bed showed her his girdled wealth, which he said was sufficient to relieve her husband's wants, to spare for himself; and being very weary, fell fast asleep.
“ The wife tempted witi the golden bait of what she had, and eager of enjoying all, awaked her husband with this news, and her contrivance what to do ; and though with horrid apprehension he oft refused, yet her puling fondness (Eve's inchantments) moved him to consent, and rise to be master of all; and both of them to murder the man, which instantly try did, covering the corpse
under the cloaths till opportunity to convey it out of the way.
“ The early morning hasters the sister to her father's house, where she with signs of joy, enquires for a sailor that should lodge there the last night; the parents slightly denied to have seen any such, until she told them that it was her brother, her lost brother, by that assured scar upon his arm cut with a sword in his youtli, she knew him ; and were all resoived this morning to meet there
“ The father bastily runs up, finds the mark, and with horrid regret of this monstrous murther of his own son, with the same knife cut his own throat.
“ The wife went up to consult with him, whers in a most strange manner beholding them both in blood, wild and aghast, with the instrument at hand, readily rips up her own beliy till the guts tumbled out.
“ The daughter, doubting the delay of their absence, searches for them all, whom she found out too soon, with the sad sight of
and be merry:
this scene; and being overcome with horror and amaze of this deluge of destruction, she sank down and died, the fatal end of that family.
" The truth of which was frequently known, and flew to court in this guise ; but the imprinted relation conceals their names, in favour to some neighbour of repute and a-kin to that family.
" The same sense makes me silent also."
The historical fact, immediately preceding this dreadful narrative, is the fate of Sir Walter Raleigh, which accounts for the author's having, in the original play, introduced the mention of him into the first scene of the tragedy. He has conducted the fable, and accommodated the story to his purpose, with great art. From the rearity of the incident, he also calls it a TRUE tragedy. A TRUE tragedy, indeed it is, in all senses of the word; and such a tragedy as I thought demanded a revival, and the further uotice of the public.
THEATRICAL INTELLIGENCE. · The negociation between Mr. Sheridan and Mr. Jones is broken off, and it is now said that Mr. T. Slieridan is to have the sole and sovereign direction of Drury Lane. Busy rumour has suggested another elevation from the theatrical boards to the peerage, by the marriage of the late chanceilor E. and Mrs. Siddons. We understand there is no foundation for this report, but an illustrions personage observed on its being mentioned to her, that if there should be many more such matrimonial engagements her drawing room would be converted into a green-room.
COUNTRY THEATR ES. Theatre Royal, RICHMOND.-Opened on Monday July 25, with Inkle and Yarico, and Plot and Counterpiot. Trudge hy Mr. Russell, Sir Christopher Curry, Mr. Chapman, and Yarico, by Mrs. Dibdin. The theatre is under the management of Mr, Russell, Mrs. Jordan is to play a few nights.
Theatre Royal, MANCHESTER.In consequence of the departure of the Antiparture, I have taken the opportunity of imparting to you without partiality the particulars of our theatre, indeed to give a description of all the novelties brought forward by our indefatigable manager would take up too large a portion of your highly esteemed work. -Tke historical tragedy of Julius Cæsar' was brought forwaril in a style of peculiar splendor, nor did we ever witness a more able representation of the piece.--Mark Antony by Mr. Barrymore, Brutus by Mr. Nuggit, and Cassius by Mr. Conway, were finely supported; in the quarrel, the two latter gentlemen evinced great powers, and were warmly applauded, nor would it be doing justice to omit mentioning the Portia of Mrs, Glover, and Calphurnia of Miss Taylor, who rendered their parts chaste, interesting and impressive. The opera of the Caravan, or the Driver and his Dog" has also been produced with new scenery, dresses, and decorations, and has heen frequently repeated.
A Mr. Barnes from the Exeter theatre appeared in the character of Stephano' iu the Tempest, which he represented in a truly respectable style, and a Miss Simpson from Newcastle upon Tyne in the