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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 bad been from a mixed and stormy audience. for a long time to see and approve the represen- The curtain rose, and the performers who lation 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 subordinale in the play, and was al-Bassanio entered in the third scene, there was ways personaled by a very low comedian. Mac- an awful silence, a pin might have been beard 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 bis sec how he intended to act the part. He merely entrance. He had 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 allilude, disclose his manner of personaling the reelings at this juncture, when not a band moved cruel Israelite. The actors declared that Mack-lo encourage him. Notwithstanding all this, lin would spoil the performance; and Quin be 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 of the stage for his arrogance and presumplion. Antonio. Still not a whisper could be beard Nay, even the manager himself expostulated in the house. Antonio enters, and the Jew with him, as to the propriely of having The declares the cause of his antipathy against the Merchant of Venice represented in opposition to merchant. Macklin bad no sooner delivered the judgment of so eminent a person as lord this speech, than 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 his masterly delinealion of the character, continued firm, and The Merchant of Venice the admiring and delighted spectators testified was announced for representation on the 14th their approbation of the actor's astonishing of February. It was cast in the following meril, 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 repeated 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
Mr. Berry. well as spoke, the character of Shylock, much Morochius .
Mr. Cashell. Lorenzo.
better than any other person. In the level Prince of Arrogan
Mr. Turbutt. scenes, his 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 deporlment, marked the character Nerissa
strongly. In his malevolence, there was a Jessica
Mrs. Woodınan. forcible and lerrifying ferocity. During the
interview with 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 disapprobation, some lo support the actor, and admirable. In the dumb action of the trial a great number appeared merely lo gratify scene he was amazingly descriptive; and, their curiosity. Before the curtain rose, the through the whole, displayed such unequalled manager appeared in the green-room in great merit, as justly enlilled 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 to 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 exit, 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- flitled 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 bands, and imploring read with interest : “Mr. Kemble, as to his looks, the paternal blessing, was above praise. person, might be said to be majestic by effort in the play scene bis wildly expressed affection rather than habit; he could become so in a towards Ophelia, and his anxious scrutiny of moment. His ordinary gait was careless, his the King, combined with the assumed follies look rather kind than penetraling. He did of fatuily, deadened the spectator's perception nol, except professionally, strive to be con
that the whole was a fiction, and cheated him sidered the noble creature that he was. Per-inlo 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 Gertrade were finely tempered by the affeccharacteristic of Kemble. He was of that make lion he still bore her as a son; but the attitude and stature, which may be said to be graceful, or dumnb dismay in which he stood on the reDoł majestic. His countenance had not ibat appearance of the Ghost, would have justified commanding air which strikes wilh awe: a Partridge's criticism in Tom Jones, who could sweetness of expression was the prevailing cha- find nothing wonderful in Garrick's terror at racter. You would have been easily convinced seeing a spirii. 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. I lhe fair Ophelia ?” was given in a tone of such have sufficiently, I hope, guarded this applica-heart-rending pathos that every eye in the aution to Mr. Kemble in private life. On the dience became involuntarily dimmed wilh lears. stage, he barst upon you with a dignity unseen The soliloquy, “ To be or not 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 bighest possible finish. We now proceed to give a slight sketch of “When Mr. Kemble first appeared (says his 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 humbler expectation of giving our readers order, mourning sword and buckles, with deep pleasure, by exciting their recollection of past rulles : 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 entitled before or since. The calm, contemplative pa- 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 his mouth clothed with all the 'rich- truly magnificent being, Aushed with victory, ness and harmony of eloquence. His scene happy in the present, and full of hope for the with the 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 gegerating into rant, he was impressive in the negligence of the tartan, lhe ample plumage of highest degree. While the spectre continued the bonnet, the warlike semblance of the brightly before him, his eye was fixed in eager inquiry, bossed shield, all conspired to produce a pic
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.
Who dares do more is none,"
actor never had a rival. His person, always with which he drew back from the prying ejes tu
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
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
"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,
* In the deep bosom"
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
"....... The Tower?
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,
we notice one passage by way of illustration. The
and the whole intellect thrown into the sneer- | by rejecting the application to himsell or those
personated lago, a part in which he had no Cooke's acting throughout the last scenes was competitor. He had only lo coinbat the recolamazingly energetic; the horrors of the night lection of Henderson, and those who had seen preceding tbe battle, and the death of Richard, that noble tragedian, pronounced him bis legili were fearfully depicted.
male successor, wbile the younger part of the On the 10th November following, Cooke audience agreed that they had never seen lago performed Shylock for the first time before a until then. In the exhibition of every species London audience. Nothing can be conceived of hypocrisy, Cooke excelled all other players. more perfectly “The Jew that Shakspeare In lago he bas been accused of betraying so much drew," than the voice, face, manner, and ex- of the workings of cunning and deceit to the pression of this great actor. In the great scene audience, that it appears wonderful how Olbello i of the lbird act, he was greeted with shouts of could be deceived by him: but it must be reapplause. The gloomy satisfaction that seemed membered, first, that it was to the spectators, to accompany the recollection of the bond by and not to Othello, ibat he betrayed the workwhich he had Antonio "on the hip,” and the ings of his soul on his expressive countenance; "12 savage exultation of bis laugh when the full and secondly, that Olhello, seeing through the amount of bis enemy's loss is stated, were jaundiced medium of jealousy, is not capable de la frightfully impressive. The transitions were of discovering, even in the eager and obtrusive to made in a masterly manner, and the speech in suggestions of lago, any olber molive than bis which Shylock urges his own wrongs and vin- extreme love and honesty. Cooke's peculiaridicates bis tribe, formed a climax of as well ties of manner and voice were singularly adapted 4/5 wrought passion as can be conceived. In the to this part : while the quickness of bis action, lakes trial scene, the “ lodged bate” of the impene- and the strongly natural expression of feeling, la trable Israelite was kept constantly in view. which were as exclusively bis, identified him to The audience were surprised and delighted at with the character, and marked him as its true enten, the abruplness of his reply lo Portia's request representative. From the first scene of lago to be a that he would permit the bond to be torn. the last, his excellence was of the highest order: birin “When it is paid according to the tenor," he hastily replies, indicating a degree of apprehen- Othello, convinced of Desdemona's infidelity, Philize de sion lest she should tear it; and al the same kneels to seal his purpose of revenge by a vow. time, a malignant recognition of the penally lago kneels with him, and swears to assist in due. In fact, the whole of this scene ever was, the execution of his bloody purpose. in Cooke's hands, inimitable, and defies all rise, and Oibello says, competition. Cooke frequently threw beauties
"Within these three days let me hear thee say, into his performance which he did not find in his author. Those who have seen him in Shylock well remember the reverential bowing of Cooke used then to start; and the spectator his head, when, in Portia's speech exhorting might read plainly in bis expressive face, "Whal! him to mercy, she coines lo the line,
murder my friend and companion ?” he then
covered bis face with his hands, and gradually «It is an attribute of God himself;"
Jifting his head, when he wilhdrew his hands, and the rejecting shake of his head and waving his face and eyes were turned upwards ; he then
started again, as if remembering the oath he of his hand, when she says,
had just taken, and after a second meolal strug........We do pray for mercy,
gle, said, as if submilling to necessily, and the And that same prayer doth teach us all
obligation imposed on him by his yow, To render the deeds of mercy."
"My friend is dead." Shakspeare bere makes Portia, in ber zeal, quote the Lord's Prayer, and enforce its divine This unrivalled actor died at New York, ou precepts as applicable 10 Shylock; but the the 261h of September, 1812, in his 58th year; great actor, by his looks, and the movement of the victim of a long course of brutaliziog inhis head and band, gives a comment on the lesi, temperance, wbich alone prevenled him from
That Cassio's not alive,"