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abundance of Dialogue, the plot is from a Tale of Florian’s, which, as a narrative, is beautifully simple and impressive, but in adapting it to the Stage, the author has been obliged to look to other sources for materials, and thus, “mixed with baser matter,” much of the original interest, and pathos bas escaped. The Comic scenes of Mug, whimsical as they are in the contrivance, and comic in the effect, can only be considered as so much intrusive buffoonery, suddenly interrupting the interest which the distress of the African family has excited. When their history is resumed, sympathy is again to be awakened, the interim, having dissipated all our emotions. This may be said of all serio comic pieces, but the defect, unavoidable in a Drama so constructed, has seldom been felt more powerfully tban in this instauce. The story will not well bear to be broken, especially by means so violent. The following, taken from the newspaper, seems to be a pretty correct sketch of the fable.
Act 1st.-Selico is about to be married to Berissa, when the Mandingoes invade Bondon. Madiboo in a shooting excursion sees a party of the enemy, but supposing them to be stragglers, he resolves not to give any alarm till the nuptials of his brother shall be celebrated. In the mean time the town is attacked, and as the priest is uniting the hands of the lovers, intelligence is brought that half the city is already in flames, and the invaders sparing peither sex nor age, are rapidly advancing to the temple. The ceremony is of course stopped-the Mandingoes destroy Tatteconda, and exter, minate its inhabitants.
Act 2.-Torribal and Madiboo escape with Darina, and conceal her in a hut.Madiboo leaves this asylum to seek provisions for bis mother-he meets Selico, who relates to him that a nongst the slain he found the headless and mangled bodies of Berissa and her father. Madiboo persuades him to seek sustenance for his mother, and soon after his departure, falls in with Mug, who has become secretary of state to the conqueror, and obtains from him a basket of provisions. With these, he returns to the hut, where he finds Selico, whose search has been unsuccessful. The three brothers consult on the means of providing for their mother. Selico proposes to be taken to the Mandingo camp, and sold to the English slave merchants, who have arrived to purcbase prisoners. Torribal and Madiboo wish to have it decided by lots, but he overrules them, and sets off with the latter.
Act 3.-On his arrival he finds that his sale can only produce a sufficiency to support his mother for a few days, and hearing a very large reward offered for the apprehension of some unknown person who had on the preceding night procured access to the favourite captive of the King, he determines that his brother shall give him up as the delinquent. This is done, and Madiboo obtains the reward. He is for his alleged crime sentenced to be burned with the female prisoner he is supposed to have visited. The culprits are led to stakes opposite each other, and in his fellow-sufferer he discovers his Berissa. Her father now rushes in, and proves to have been her clandestine visitor. Darina also appears with Torribal and Madiboo; and the King touched with the constancy and filial affection of the lovers, pardons and gives them to each other.
The story being ready for his purpose, and so finely wrought by the Inventor that nothing was necessary to be added, Mr. Colman has employed his chief labour upon the Dialogue, which is highly ornamented, and in the most vigorous stile of the author; but the labour is mis-applied, for the characters required the utmost simplicity of diction, and when a morsel of bread is all the famished mother requires, her hard hearted children feed her with nothing but cramped words, studied antitheses, and a bundle of high flown metaphors. This is a great fault in a play like the present. There are always sufficient opportunities for a writer, gifted like Mr. Colman, to shew that he is a poet; but when the object is to reach the heart, he should not travel to it by a circuitous route.
For the reasons we have stated, the effect of this Drama is not very powerful The first Act possesses every thing that is necessary; and the Contest of affection between the three Brothers in the second, is exquisitely touching. The third Act is a botch. It is an Act of mere declamation prolonged till patience itself begins to cry out ; and the subject, thus amply discussed, is now become $0 stale as to pull both on the ear and on the mind. The lovesick, Selico, distracted for the supposed loss of his half-married wife, heart-broken on accouut of affictions which overwhelm his family, and in momentary expectation of death, becomes all at once a subtle disputant, and declamatory bully; while poor Demba Sego Jallo very patiently supplies him from his throne with the materials of his argument. By the bye this King of the Mandingoes, who had been previously represented as a bloodstained usurper, and savage monster, blacker even than Bonaparte, (blacker he certainly is in complexion but we did not intend a pun) turus out to be a most amiable character; brave, polished, forbearing, acute, and really magnanimous. The Denouement is flat and common.
The comic division of the play rests entirely with Henry Augustus Mug, who is a sort of Trudge, more farcical, but less amusing. There are boundaries even to extravagance, and when Mr. Colman planned the introduction of a Cockney into Tatteconda, and made him a Secretary of state, we have no doubt he was astonished at his own temerity. That a King like Dembu Sego Jallo should give him such an appointment does not add much to the probability. Some of the incidents in the last act have been dramatized iņ Il Bun. docani; probably from the same original.
The performers distinguished themselves greatly. The Brothers were well represented by You:g, Farley, and Fawcett. The latter played admirably, and was doubtless, the great support of the piece. He displayed infinite skill, and in the affecting scenes no Tragedian could have worked upon the feelings more powerfully. Liston is himself alone ; his humour never fails; and we have no doubt his Mug, if not the author's, will long be a source of theatrical attraction.
The music is by Kelly; but there is nothing striking in it. The following song, a sort of parody on the popular ballad of Won't you come to the Bower was sung by Liston with prodigious effect. By trade I am a turner, and Mug it is my name, To buy a lot of Ivory, to Africa I came; I met a trading Blackamoor, a woolly old humbug, He coax'd me up his land, and made a slave of Mr. Mug. Crying won't you, won't you, won't you, come Mr. Mug?
Won't you, won't you? &c.
My skin is lily white, and my colour here is new,
blue. The priest, who bought me from him, in a tender-hearted tone, Said come from that great blackguard's house, and walk into my own.
Crying won't you, won't you ? &c. Good lack! but to behold the vicissitudes of fate! I'm his black Mandingo Majesty's white Minister of State. For hours, in my lobby, my petitioners shall stay, And wish me at the Devil, when I hold my levee day; Crying won't you, won't you, won't you, won't you come Mr. Mug?
Won't you, won't you, &c*. On the 12th of August Miss A. DECAMP performed Edmund in the Blind Boy for the first time. She is a miniature of her sister, under whose able instruction she seems to have prepared herself for the Character, and acquitted herself extremely well.
Mr. GRIMALDI played Orson in the grand Melodrama from Co. vent Garden, produced for Mr. Farley's Benefit, when the house was crowded in every part.
FIRST COME FIRST SERVED; OR, THE BITER BIT-The principal effect of this little piece arises from the whimsical adventures of two rival Fortune Hunters, admirably supported by Farley and Liston, who in their endeavours to obtain the hand of a young Lady of fortune apply without informing each other to a loquacious, and humourous Country Hair Dresser for assistance. The Hair Dresser performed by Mathews, with his usual drollery and success, promises to aid each of them, with a determination to baffle both, and the tricks and schemes which he employs are full of comic humour. By his ingenuity the young lady is saved from their clutches, and married to her lover. Mrs. Davenport in the part of an amorous. old maid, devoted to the study of botany, was very happy ; with a very slight alteration, to produce a little more stage effect, we think this Farce would become a favourite with the Public. It is not as some of the newspapers stated, the production of Sir James Bland Burgess, but we believe of Sir John Carr. The former gentleman we understand has a Drama in preparation at this theatre; and as we have few better poets or more elegant writers we hope it will shortly be brought forward. The new Farce was very favourably received. The author is indebted for his principal incident to a French Piece called Le premier vener.
COUNTRY THEATRES. SUMMER EXCURSIONS OF THE LONDON ACTORS.---Elliston has been at Dublin, and Edinburgh; Cooke at Newcastle, and is about to proceed to Liverpool; Pope at Dublin; Jones at Manchester, Buxton, &c. Mr. and Mrs. H. Siddons at Liverpool and Glasgow; Mrs. Powell at Glasgow and Edinburgh; Mr. and Mrs. C. Kemble at Bristol, Brighton, and Lewes ; Miss Smith at Dublin and Liverpool; Mrs. H. Johnston at the latter place; Munden in Ireland and at Manchester; Incledon and Johnstone in Dublin; Bellamy and Mrs. Dickons at Dublin and Belfast ; Raymond, as acting manager, at Glasgow; Mrs. Litchfield is at Worthing; Kelly is with Catalani in Ireland.
* Mr. Colman received Eleven Hundred Pounds for this piece ! Vol. IV.
Mrs. Edwin, it is said, has quitted the Dublin stage, and is ett gayed in Scotland. The Margate Theatre is supported by Wilmot Wells (manager), De Camp, Wheatley, Lovegrove, Holliday, Ditcher, Miss Martyr, Miss Wheatley, Mrs. Taylor. Mrs. Ditcher, and the Miss Depnetts.
At Windsor the performers are Messrs. Putnam, Browne, Dalton, Sims, Mrs. Mudie, Mrs. Walley, and Mrs. Sims.
The Drury-laue Theatre is to be under the direction of Mr. T. Sheridan; Mr. Wroughton remains acting manager; and Mr. Graham will continue to give his advice and assistance with respect to the new pieces to be represented, and other theatrical arrange
Mr. Crisp has taken the Birmingham Theatre.
Half of the Brighton Theatre bas been purchased for something more than 5000 guineas by Sir Thomas Clarges.
The Earl of Guildford has been gratifying his visitors at Wroxton with the representation of Romeo and Juliet. He performed old Capulet himself. Mr. Kemble was the Friar Lawrence ; Mrs. Kemble the Nurse. The love-sick hero and heroine of the piece were performed by Master St. Leger and his sister. The whole was conducted with the regularity of a public theatre, and afforded much entertainment to the company.
THE LATE MRS. WARREN, SISTER TO THE COUNTESS
(From The Baltimore North American.) SIR-The following Hendecasyllabic Ode, not more distinguished for the pure and graceful latinity of its style, than the delicacy and beauty of the conceptions, was addressed to the late Mrs. Warren, then Miss Brunton *, by Francis Wroughton. It speaks more than volumes could in her praise; and will be read with fond regret, by every admirer of that accomplish'd actress, who, alas! is now no
E GRANTA EXITURAM.
* Died, at Alexandria, on Tuesday afternoon last, after a short but severe illness, Mrs. Ann Warren, the amiable consort of Mr. Warren, ope of the managers of the Philadelphia and Baltimore Theatres.- -Could the writer so command bis feelings upon the present melancholy occasion, as to enable him to enter into a detail of the excellencies of Mrs. Warren's theatrical character, it would be supérfluous, her celebrity having long since diffused itself over both her native, and this, her adopted, country
(New York Paper, July 6, 1808.).
Sen proferre Monimie dolores,
Mox divinior entitescis, altrix
O Bruntona, cito exitura rirgo,
But purer raptures lighten'd from thy face,
Nor was it thine th' heroic strain to roll,