« السابقةمتابعة »
which need not to bave existed. All his excel- | trial scene was superior to him and all men. lencies were perfectly concomitant with propriety Yet it may be proper here to say, that in many in dress. Had he studied appearance, his Lear of his characters Henderson's superiority may might have been venerable ; although his Ham- be disputed; but that his performance of Fallet could not be the mould of form, it might staff is as much above all competition, as the easily have been the gloss of fashion ;' but he character ilself transcends all that was ever never looked even to the linings of the suit he thought comic in man. The cause of this prewore, and once boasted that he had played, I eminence was purely mental; he understood it think, ten characters consecutively in the same belter in its diversity of powers; his imagination coat. His conceplions were grand, and beauti- was congenial; the images seemed coined in the ful, and just; but they were often baffled by his brain of the actor; they sparkled in his eye, execution of them. When Henderson's Lear before the tongue supplied them with language. was first discovered, he looked like Falstaff I saw him act the character in the Second Part sitting as Henry the Fourth; and when Lear of Henry IV. where it is more metaphysical, speaks in his sleep, and fancying himself on the and consequently less powerful. He could not point of gaining the battle, exclaims, •Charge, supply the want of active dilemmas, such as ebarge upon the flank,' the lones were exactly exhilirale the Falstaff of the First Part, but it those with which Falstaff encourages Hal in the
was equally perfect in conception and execution. combat with Percy, and excited a tilter from I have borne with many invasions on this pe$0 unsuitable a recollection. He bad, indeed, culiar domain of Henderson. It has in truth made Falstaff bis own, and the jolly knight been an ungracious task to most of his successeemed rather too kindly to have returned the sors; they seem all to have doubted their right compliment; for that vast soul of humour more
of possession; to bave considered themselves or less informed all his other characters. He tenants only upon sufferance; and thus it was would somelimes delight to shew, without lan- with King, and Palmer, and Stephen Kemble, guage, the rapid and opposite emolions, as they and Ryder, and a whole chapter of fat knights, rise and chase each other in the mind. A
who have roared and chuckled at the slightest masterly effort of this kind was Falstaff's reading possible expense of thought; and, laughing much the letter from Mrs. Ford in the presence of the themselves in their turns, perhaps, 'set on some 'foolish carrion,' Mrs. Quickly. First you saw quantity of barren spectators to laugh too.'— that he had “his bellyful of ford,' her messenger Peace to all such !" eren was an object of detestation.
Henderson died 25th November, 1785, when over the beginning of the lelter, and pished at he had not completed his thirty-ninth year. its apologies. He lurned again to the messenger to see how her air was in unison with the
MACKLIN. language of her mistress. The cudgel of Ford then seemed to fall on his shoulders, and he Macklin made the part of Shylock peculiarly shrunk from the enterprise. He read a sentence his own, as he was the first actor who ever reor two of the letter, a spark of lechery twinkled presented that inimitably fine character in a in his eye, which turned for confirmation of bis serious and effective manner; previous 10 bis bopes upon love's ambassadress; and thus the assumption of it, it was usual to degrade the images of suffering and desire, of alarm and Jew of Venice into a mere buffoon. Macklin enjoyment, succeeded one another, until at last performed a variety of characters with infinite the oil of incontinency in him seltled above the success, but his Shylock alone connects him with walers of the Thames, and the divinity of odd Shakspeare. The following extract from KirkDumbers delermined him to risk the third ad- | man's Life of Macklin, will illustrate the merit venture.'
of that performance more forcibly than anything * "I will not (said Mr. Kemble once to me) of our own. speak of Henderson's Falstaff: every person can
"In the year 1741, Macklin resolved to resay how rich and voluptuous it was; but I will vive The Merchant of Venice, by Shakspeare, say, that bis Shylock was the grealest effort I in opposition to the Jew of Venice, altered from ever witnessed on the stage.' I remember it in the same author by lord Lansdowne. The its principal scenes, and I have no doubt whal- play was put in rehearsal, and Macklin sluck ever that it fully meriled so high a praise; but close to Shakspeare's text, and studied the part I respectfully insinuale, that Macklin in the of Shylock with great diligence. He saw from
the beginning, that such a character, if properly the feelings of poor Shylock at this precise supported, afforded a wide scope for the display juncture. Macklin knew that he was right, of his abilities; but he had a great deal to en- but he could not be sure of a kind reception counter and surmount. The public had been from a mixed and stormy audience. for a long time lo see and approve the represen- The curtain rose, and the performers who tation of the Jew of Venice, in which the part opened the play were received with the usual of Shylock, instead of being the principal, was marks of favour. But when Shylock and the most subordinate in the play, and was al- Bassanio entered in the third scene, there was ways personated by a very low comedian. Mac- an awful silence, a pin might have been heard klin, however, persevered. During the rehearsals if dropt upon the stage. Macklin was much he did not let any person, not even the players, affected by this coolness of the audience on his see how he intended to act the part. He merely entrance. He bad been a favourite for several repeated the lines of the character, and did not years, and his appearance was generally hailed by so much as one single look, tone, gesture, or with loud plaudits. Conceive then Macklin's attitude, disclose his manner of personaling the reelings at this juncture, when not a band moved cruel Israelite. The actors declared that Mack- 10 encourage him. Notwithstanding all this, lin would spoil the performance; and Quin he approached with Bassanio, who solicils a went so far as to say that he would be hissed loan of three thousand ducals on the credit of off the stage for his arrogance and presumption. Antonio. Still not a wbisper could be heard Nay, even the manager himself expostulated in the house. Antonio enlers, and the Jew with him, as to the propriety of having the declares the cause of his antipathy against the Merchant of Venice represented in opposition to merchant. Macklin had no sooner delivered the judgment of so eminent a person as lord this speech, tban the audience suddenly burst Lansdowne; still Macklin, supported through into a thunder of applause, and as he proceeded out by his sound sense and acule discrimination, with bis masterly delineation of the character, continued firm, and The Merchant of Venice the admiring and delighted specialors testified was announced for representation on the 14th their approbation of the actor's astonishing of February. It was cast in the following merit, by still louder and louder plaudits and
acclamations to the end of the play. Never
was a dramatic triumph more complete. The Antonio
performance was repealed again and again with Bassanio
unbounded approbation. In short, it ran nineGratiano
Mr. Mills. Shylock.
teen nights successively, the last of which was Launcelot
approprialed for Macklin's benefit. Gobbo
Mr. Johnson. Macklin, there can be no doubt, looked, as Salerio
well as spoke, the character of Shylock, much Morochius
Mr. Cashell. Lorenzo.
belter than any other person. In the level Prince of Arrogan
Mr. Turbutt. scenes, bis voice was most happily suited to Duke of Venice
Mr. Winstone. that sententious gloominess of expression the Jubal. .
author intended; which, with a sullen solemSalarino.
Mr. Redout. Portia
nity of deportment, marked the character
Mrs. Clive. Nerissa
strongly. In his malevolence, there was a Jessica
Mrs. Woodman. forcible and terrifying ferocity. During the
interview wilh Tubal, in the third act, he was On the first night of the revival, the house at once malevolent and then infuriate, and then was crowded in every part. Some came from malevolent again ; the transilions were strictly molives of pleasure, some lo express their natural, and the variation of his countenance disapprobalion, some to support the actor, and admirable. In the dumb action of the trial a great number appeared merely to gratify scene he was amazingly descriptive; and, their curiosity. Before the curtain rose, the through the wbole, displayed such unequalled manager appeared in the green-room in great merit, as justly entitled him to the comprehendistress. The actors were anticipating the sive though concise compliment paid him by reception that awaited them, and were making Pope, who sat in the stage-box on the third malicious remarks upon the headstrong con- night of the representation, and emphatically duct of Macklin. It is impossible lo describe exclaimed
• This is the Jew,
and his voice, in the fine abjuration“ · Angels That Shakspeare drew."
and ministers of grace defend us!" sinking into The Jew of Venice made his final exil, and a hushed irresolute tone, betrayed the amazeThe Merchant of Venice has held quiet posses- ment of the speaker. When he heard the tale sion of the stage ever since.
of his father's murder, a sudden hectic of anger Macklin died in July, 1797, being then con- filled over his pale cheek, but it was succeeded siderably upwards of a hundred years old. by intense sorrow, as he ejaculated “Alas!
poor ghost.” The devotedness with which he J. P. KEMBLE.
promised revenge appeared lo rise naturally
out of the circumstances; but the way in which The following passage from Boaden's Life of he sunk on his knees as the phantom vanished, this truly great and most excellent man, will be asking by his clasped hands, and imploring read with interest : “Mr. Kemble, as to bis looks, the paternal blessing, was above praise. person, might be said to be majestic by effort in the play scene his wildly expressed affection rather than habil; he could become so in a lowards Ophelia, and his anxious scrutiny of moment. His ordinary gait was careless, his the King, combined with the assumed follies look rather bird than penetraling. He did of fatuity, deadened the spectator's perception Dot, except professionally, strive to be con
that the whole was a fiction, and cheated him sidered the noble creature that he was. Per- into a belief that real events were passing behaps the discrimination of Tacitus as to the fore him. In the closet scene, bis upbraidings appearance of Agricola, was more than slightly of Gertrude were finely tempered by the asseccharacteristic of Kemble. He was of that make lion he still bore her as a son; but the attitude and stature, which may be said lo be graceful, of dumb dismay in which he stood on the rebol majestic. His countenance had not that appearance of the Ghost, would have justified commanding air which strikes with awe: a Partridge's criticism in Tom Jones, who could sweetness of expression was the prevailing cha- find nothing wonderlul in Garrick's terror at racter. You would have been easily convinced seeing a spirit. In the last act, when apprised that he was a good man, and you would have of Ophelia's death, his exclamation “What, been willing to believe him a great one. 1 the fair Opbelia ?” was given in a tone of such have sufliciently, I hope, guarded this applica-heart-rending pathos that every eye in the aulion to Mr. Kemble in private life. On the dience became involuntarily dimmed with lears. stage, he burst upon you with a dignity unseen The soliloquy, “ To be or pot to be," and the but in his person and gesture; and embodied advice to the players, were given with approall that imagination, perhaps alone, has sug- priate effect; and indeed every portion of the gested of ancient manners."
character received the highest possible finish. We now proceed to give a slight sketch of When Mr. Kemble first appeared (says bis performance in four of Shakspeare's cha- Boaden), he played the part in a modern court raciers, not so much in the hope of doing jus- dress of rich black velvet, with a star on the lice to his preeminent talents, as with the breast, the garter and pendant ribband of an bumbler especialion of giving our readers order, mourning sword and buckles, with deep pleasure, by exciting their recollection of past rullles : the hair in powder, which in the scenes enjoyments.
of feigned distraction flowed dishevelled in Hamlet introduced Mr. Kemble to a London front and over the shoulders.” audience, and it may well be doubted whether Macbeth, as represented by Kemble, was a the part was ever so ably represented, either character that to the very last seemed en:illed before or since. The calm, contemplative na- to our sympathies; his natural bias was to ture of the royal Dane, seemed to sit peculiarly virtue, overwhelming circumstances had plunged well upon him, and the noble poetry of the part him in guilt. He trod the blasted heath a came from bis mouth clothed with all the rich-truly magnificent being, Aushed with victory, Dess and harmony of eloquence. His scene happy in the present, and full of hope for the with tbe Ghost was all that the most critical future. His dress as a Scottish thane, shewed judgment could require; for without once de- his fine person to great advantage; the graceful kegerating into rant, he was impressive in the negligence of the tartan, the ample plumage of highest degree. While the spectre continued the bonnet, the warlike semblance of the brightly before him, bis eye was fixed in eager inquiry, bossed shield, all conspired to produce a pic
Who dares do more is none,"
lure, not classical indeed, but romantic in the Julius Cæsar, which most artists would leave highest degree. The appearance of the Weird tiresome and tedious, was in Kemble's hands a Sisters seemed to paralyse the triumphant source of exquisite delight to every auditor of chieftain, and their “ All hail,” with the de- laste. His address to the conspirators was ceitful prophesies that followed, took hold of the outpouring of a patriol's soul; and his rehis imagination and sunk into his brain with gretful glance at Cæsar as he passed into the fatal power.
at this moment, as Capitol, was a fine commentary on the text of Kemble represented the part, a virtuous and Shakspeare. When the dictator lay dead al his single-bearted soldier on the point of being feet, while he shook his ensanguined sword, seduced from his onward course into crooked and called on bis country's Gods, Liberty first, palhs of evil, and the feeling inspired was de- his figure dilated as he spoke, and bis voice cidedly compassion. In the scene where his seemed an echo from the glories of ancient fiend-like wife persuades him to assassinale bis Rome. His oration to the plebeians, was guest, the noble burst
what it always should be-clear, nervous, au
thoritative, patriotic. The tent scene, certainly I dare do all that may become a man,
one of the author's noblest efforls, was perbaps
the greatest triumph of the actor. The spirit was delivered with all the energy of truth, and of the death-despising Brutus appeared to he seemed for a moment to have broken from modulate his lones, alike incapable of passion the trammels of bis destiny. Immediately or prejudice, his calmness was as awful as his previous to the murder, when conscience pre- energy, and he stood in his integrity, like an sents the visionary dagger to appal him, his oak of the forest, which the storm may break, terrible ruminations were given in a tone of but cannot bend. Even this, however, was hurry and alarm, and with looks of dread and inferior to the concentrated grief which marked irresolution, admirably appropriate. The crime the exclamation “ Portia's dead!" it was the completed, you heard the voice of the assassin voice of nature whispered from the heart of a as he descended from the chamber of his victim, stoic. The way in which he relieved his drowsy and the effect of those few words was absolutely page from his instrument, was a delightful sublime; for they were enunciated in a bollow piece of domestic kindness. His deportment sepulchral tone, which bespoke all the horror, on beholding the shade of Cæsar, and his andespair, and punishment of a murderer. Pre- swer to the prophecy “ Thou shalt meet me at sently, moving mechanically, like a madman in Phillippi,” were inconceivably grand, as bis for."? breathless baste to escape from some undefined titude under deseat, and his constancy in death, evil, came Macbeth, staring with eyes that were in the highest degree affecting and digelar ? seemed starting from their sockets, on bisnified. bloody hands, and
“ unmannerly Coriolanus.-In this character Mr. Kemble breeched with gore.” At the banquet, when took his leave of the stage : it was a glorious Banquo's apparition rises, the frenzy of his performance. Forgetting all the infirmilies of amazement was adequate to its cause. He age (he was then sixty, and had been for years dashed down the untasted globet, and gazed as a martyr to the gout), he threw all his mighty if bell bad yawned at his feet. Nor can we | intellect into the lofty-minded Patrician, and all the omit to remark the melancholy beauty bestowed rushed upon the stage with the step and air, by Kemble on the closing scenes of Macbeth. and enthusiasm of youth. The same ardoproti Who that beard him deliver it, can ever forget supported bim through the whole play; bis the deep pathos of his manner, in the soliloquy bitter scorn of the plebeians bad never been beginning “My way of life is fallen into the given with such annihilating force, the Tribunes sear,” alas! how different from the “sound shrunk into nothingness before him; and al fury” of more recent performers.
Corioli, he seemed like a youthful Mars bearBrutus.-- In the representation of this part, ing death and victory on his sword. When and indeed of all his Roman characters, this suing for the Consulship, the royalty of scora actor never had a rival. His person, always with which he drew back from the prying ejes tu grand and commanding, in the dress of a of the people, and the impatient enumeration Roman senator or warrior swelled into a ma- wbich be made of bis claims to preserment, jesty of port and demeanour that seemed too produced an electric effect. Even this was bigh for mere mortality. The garden scene in but the level part of the character ; tbe vehe
of the ocean"
mence of his indignation, when charged with Even those peculiarities, and habits, and tones treason, was terrible; and the borst of con- of voice, which at first startled and almost of
tempt, “There is a world elsewhere,” rolled fended, were converted by the force of bis abina
from bis lips like a thunder-peal. The scenes Jities iniu sources of pleasure. The effect pro-
"Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by the sun of York; Loeries
And all the clouds that lower'd upon our house" COOKE.
he was without molion, bis hands hanging at
ease ; at the beginning of the fourth, 三位可
The following account of Cooke's personal qualifications for the bistrionic art, is taken
* In the deep bosom" from Goëde, a German critic, and it seems to
he lifted the right hand a little, with a gently be correct and impartial : “Cooke does not possess the elegant figure of Kemble, but his sweeping motion, and then turning the palm
downwards, he continued countenance beams with expression. The Dost prominent features in the physiognomy of Cooke, are a long and somewhat booked nose, of uncommon breadth between the eyes, which and made a short pause, then sinking his band are fiery
, dark, and at times terribly expres- (the palm parallel with the earth ) and his voice
sive, with prominent lids, and flexible brows; at the same time, he finished the sentence by Licher a lofty and broad forehead, and the muscles the word
around the mouth pointedly marked. His
There was something absolutely terrible in his
ticularly the worst passions of our nature, is Henry's speech, and previous to the exclamas doporcs stronger. His voice, though sharp, is power
tion, fal and of great compass, a pre-eminence which
*I'll hear no more."
Ay, the Tower-the Tower !"
ingham, Oo the 31st of Oclober, 1800, Mr. Cooke, “I'm busy-Thou troublest me-I'm not i'th' vein." then in the forty-fifth year of his age, appeared Richard's scene in the fourth act with Stanly, kot the first time on the Covent Garden stage, Richard IIJ. and at once established his
beginning lime as a first-rate tragedian. “Never," he says,
Gloster..Well, my lord, what is the news with you?
Stanley..Richmond is on the seas, my lord. "was a reception more flattering, nor did I ever receive more encouraging, indulgent, and warm who can forget that ever heard Cooke throw approbation, that on that night, both through the his soul into the overwhelming burst of pasplay and at the conclusion. Mr. Kemble did sion at me the bonour of making one of the audience.”
Gloster. There let him sink, and be the seas on him! Mr. Cooke's figure and manner in many
White-liver'd runagate, what does he there?
Stanley.. I know not, mighty sovereign, but by guess. portions of his representation of the crafty Gloster..Well, as you guess? hrant, were eminently dignified and graceful, and bis superiority over other performers iu the
This last line, given in a manener so perconádent dissimulation, and the bitter sarcasm fectly contrasted with “ There let him sink," of the character, is acknowledged on all bands. yet with a transition as natural as it was rapid,
"....... The Tower?