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by the title the Fatal Curiosity of Young Wilmot, is evident from the whole scene between him and Randal, wherein he arranges the pian of his intended interview with his parents; which arrangement Mr. Harris erroneously attributes to his conference with Charlotte. The principle of curiosity is openly avowed and warmly sustained by Young Wilmot, and humbly reprehended by Randal. - The cornment 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 request 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 tảe 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 Éditor thought it bis duty to remove, as far as he was able, the blemishes 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 one or two touches of remorse and tenderness. Agues 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 wbich 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 known by the name of Frankland's Annals. The author places this tragical event in the aunals 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 were 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 apprehended, and as a pýrate 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 inurder some officers, got aboard of an English ship, came safe to Loncon, where his Majesty and some skill made him servant to a chyrurgion, and suddev preferment to the East Indies; 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 Londo:), 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 morcer, 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 husbaud shald 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, he 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 bis 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 with 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, wbich instantly try did, covering the corpse under the cloaths till épportunity to convey it out of the way. .“ The early morning hastens 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 youth, she knew him ; and were all resolved this morning to meet there and be merry.
« 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 bloed, 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
this scene; and being overcome with horror and amaze of this de luge of destruction, she sank down and died, the fatal end of that fainily.
" 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 neighLour of repute and a-kin to that family. " The same seuse inakes me silent also.”
The historical fact, immediately preceding this dreadful uarra. tive, 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 accommoilated the story to his purpose, with great art. From the reality of the incident, he also calls it a TRUE tragedy. A TRUE tragedij, indeed it is, in all senses of the word; and such a tragedy as I thought demanded a revival, and the further cotice of the public.
THEATRICAL INTELLIGENCE. · The negociation between Mr. Sheridan and Mr. Jones is broken off. and it is now said that Mr. T. Sheridan 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 chance lor 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 THEATRES. Theatre Royal, Richmond.--Opened on Monday July 25, with Inkle and Yarico, and Plot and Counterplot. Trudge hy Mr. Russell, Sir Christopher Curry, Mr. Chapman, and Yarico, by Mrs. Dihdin. 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 forward 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 heep frequently repeated.
A Mr. Barnes from the Exeter theatre appeared in the character of • Stephano' in the Tempest, which he represented in a truly respectable style, and a Miss Simpsou from Newcastle upon Tyne in the part of Edmund in the Blind Boy' and received great applause, i King Lear' has been brought forward for tbe purpose of introduce ing Mi. Harley in Lear, who displayed great judgment and discrimiration in pourtraying the hoary monarch, indeed we have seldom witnessed a more chaste performance of the part. We have also heen nightly gratified by the performances of Mr. Richer. A Mrs. Garrick made ber debut in " Oscar and Malvina' aud acquitted herself to the satisfactiou of the audience. Mrs. Young (late Miss Bigys) from the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, is the present novelty, she made her entrée on Monday, June 20, in Mrs. Haller in the Stranger,' and in the same play a Mr. Loveday from Newcastle performed the character of Peter and was warınly received; he is a very respectable comic performer. The Irish Widow was the farce of the eveuing, in which Mrs. Young was all we could wish in Widow Brady, On the Wednesday following that Lady perforined Juliana in the Honey Moon, in a most excellent style; and a Miss Grayson from Newcastle was much applauded in Violante. Yours
Theatre, BRIGHTON.- Mr. Brunton, senior, having retired from the management, the theatre is this season, under the care of Mr. J. Brunton and Mr. Field of Covent Garden, who have collected a good company, and the stage performances are well regulated. The four Miss Adams's are engaged for the season, and among the priuci. pal performers are Messrs. Brunton, Murray, Pealey, Andrews, Miss Boyce, Mrs. J Brunton, Mr. Bologna, junior, &c. A new circus has been built in opposition to the theatre, but the managers having refused to licence it for stage performances, it is reported that the proprietor means to give concerts, and to bring down Catalani for a few nights.
Theatre, WORTHING.–Trotter has commenced his season with every prospect of success. Powell from Drury Lane, Cory from Covent Garden, Messrs. Jones, Owens, Hardy, Gibbon, Stanley, Davis ; Mrs. Trotter, Mrs. Bew, Miss Johnstone, Mrs Owens, Mrs. Davis, Mrs. Zerbin, and Miss Bristow, Miss C. Bristow, Miss Beanfield, and Miss Norton from Covent Garden, constitute his company. Miss Norton has just finished her engagement.
Theatre-Royal, GLASGOW.–This theatre was opened on Wednesday the 29th ult. for the first time under the management of Mr. Beaumont, whose exertions to please seem indefatigable. He has already procured the largest company, at the same time, containing the greatest number of celebrated performers that ever visited this city. In addition to a great many respectable provincial actors, the following from London bave already appeared, viz. Mrs. Glover, Mrs. Powell, Mr. Raymond, Mr. Talbot, Mr. Holland, Mr. Wewitzer, Mr. R. Jones, aud Oxberry, &c. and in the course of the season the following are expected, Mr. Elliston, Mr. Bannister, Mr. Emery, Mr. Incledon, Mr. and Mrs. H. Sid. dons, Miss Lyons, and Mrs. Edwin.
Mr. Lewis's tragedy of Adelgitha, is the only new piece yet brought forward, which gives strong proofs of Mr. Beaumont's Jiberality. It has been got ip in a style of splendour superior to any thing ever seen in Scotland. The scenery is elegant and beautiful, and the dresses and decoratiosn, executed in the most tasteful and splendid manner.
On Monday the uth instant, Mrs. Glover, took the Irheel of
To groan beneath the iron pow'r of France.
Theatre, SUNDERLAND. --Opened on Friday, July 1st, for seven nights, to give Mr. Emery an opportunity of displaying his talents, before the inhabitants of his native town, the characters personated were Farmer Ashfield, Tyke, Stephen Harrowb", Giles Woodbine; Frank Oailand, Zekiel Homespun, Hawbuck, John Lump, The Miser, Sam, Joey, Sheapface, and Captain Bertram, to unbound. ed approbation, and fashionably crouded houses –His bepelit was under the patronage of the officers of the Herefordshire and East York regiments; the company is not so good a one as last season, therefore, he was not well supported --It consists of Messi's. Faulka ner, (manager), Bland, Darley, Wright, Thompson, Aldridge, Master T. Pitt, Elliott, Master Elliott, Mann, Adcock, Leonard, Holines, Diddear, Mi's Pitt, Mrs. Darley, Mrs. Bland, Mrs. Elliott, Miss King, Miss Campion, Mrs. Hughes, Mrs. Did lear, &c. Emery bas sioce gone to Durham, North Shields, &c. for a furtber display of his abilities, and attends the Assize week at Newcastle. Messrs. Inciedon, Blanchard, and Dwyer, are at present at Newcastle, whose united talents on the night I was present, in Love in a Village, and Midnight Huur, did not draw 2016 together! Oh! Newcastle, fie !!.--As is also Bannister, who are expected, on finishing there, to come for a few nights to Sunderland. July, 13, 1808.