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it was, how
nature are not yet blunted by the stern Kerim, Mr. Fisher, Hassan, Mr. Cooke, experience of after life!
Slaves, Messrs. WEBB, Evans, This brings me to record a remarkable
CHATTERLEY, and disastrous event in theatrical annals,
Anna, Mrs. BLAND. and one which in a great measure sug
The DANCE by gested the present communication.
It Mesds. Green, TWAMLEY, Davis, H. was my fortune to be present at the last
and F. DENNET. performances ever given on the boards of Old Drury-and which took place on
Chorus of Circassians, Tartars, &c. . Thursday evening the 23rd of February, By Messrs. Danby, Cook, Evans, Caul1809—when was acted for the first, and field, Bond, Dibble, Jones, as it proved, the last time, a new opera
Mesds. Stokes, Chatterley, Menage, composed by Bishop, called the “Circas Maddocks, Wells, Butler. sian Bride.” The next night this magni
The New Scenes designed by ficent theatre was a pile of burning ruins.
Mr. GREENWOOD, The awful grandeur of the conflagration And executed by him, Mr. Banks, and defies description, but to enlarge upon
Assistants. a circumstance so comparatively recent
The Dresses and Decorations, by would be purely gratuitous ;
Mr. JOHNSTON, ever, an event which might be truly said, and executed by him, Mr. Banks and "10 eclipse the harmless gaiety of na
Mr. UNDERWOOD. tions,"—for the metropolis then presented The Female Dresses designed and ex. the unprecedented spectacle of the na
ecuted by Miss Rein. tional drama without a home, the two Books of the Songs to be had in the sister theatres both prostrate in the dust!
Theatre. Annexed is a copy of the play-bill, To which will be added the Farce of which at this distance of time, may per
FORTUNE’S FROLIC. haps be valued as an interesting relic, illustrative of dramatic history. J. H. Robin Roughbead, Mr. MATHEWS,
Rattle, Mr. PALMER, Nancy Miss Lacy,
Margery, Mrs. SPARKS,
Dolly, Mrs. HARLOWE.
Places for the Boxes to be taken of Mr. Theatre Royal, Drury-lane. SPRING, at the Box-Office, Russel-street. This present THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23,
No money to be returned. 1809.
Vivant Rex et Regina! (Lowndes and Hobbs,
Printers, Marquis.couri, Drury-lane.) Their Majesties Servants will perform a New Opera, in Three Acts, called the CIRCASSIAN BRIDE. “ Elia."—Why should J. H. pop on
me with his mention of Elia, just as I With New Scenery, Dresses, and Decor
was about to write “ an article?" Write! ations. -it's impossible. I have turned to “
“ My The OVERTURE and Music entirely new, First Play”-I cannot get it out my
composed by Mr. Bishop, head: the reader must take the consequence CIRCASSIANS.
of my inability, and of the fault of J. H., Alexis, Mr. BRAHAM,
and read what I shall never approach to, Rhindax, Mr. DE CAMP,
in writing, were I to “grind my quill
MY FIRST PLAY
At the north end of Cross-court there
yet stands a portal, of some architectural Ben Blunt, Mr. BANNISTER, pretensions, though reduced to humble Tom Taffrel, Mr. SMITH,
use, serving at present for an entrance Rachael, Mrs. Mountain.
to a printing-otfice. This old door-way, TARTARS
if you are young, reader, you may not Usberg, (the Khan,) Mr. J. Smity, know was the identical pit entrance to Barak, Mr. MATHEWS,
Old Drury-Garrick's Drury--all of it VOL. II.-92.
that is left. I never pass it without shak. anglicized, into something like verse tete. ing some forty years from off my shoul- By an imposing manner, and the help of ders, recurring to the evening when I these distorted syllables, he climbed (but passed through it to see my first play. that was little) to the highest parochial The afternoon had been wet, and the con- honours which St. Andrew's bas to bestow. dition of our going (the elder folks and He is dead, and thus much I thought myself) was, that the rain should cease. due to his memory, both for my first orWith what a beating heart did I watch ders (little wondrous talismans Kslight from the window the puddles, from the keys, and insignificant to outward sight, stillness of which I was taught to prog- but opening to me more than Arabian nosticate the desired cessation! I seem paradises !) and moreover, that by his to remember the last spurt, and the glee testamentary beneficence I came into poswith which I ran to announce it.
session of the only landed property which We went with orders, which my god. I could ever call my own-situate near father F. had sent us. He kept the oil the road-way village of pleasant Puckshop (now Davies's) at the corner of Fea- eridge, in Hertfordshire. When I jourtherstone-building, in Holborn. F. was nied down to take possession, and a tall grave person, lofty in speech, and planted foot on my own ground, the had pretensions above his rank. He as- stately habits of the donor descended sociated in those days with John Palmer, upon me, and I strode (shall I confess the comedian, whose gait and bearing he the vanity ?) with larger paces over my seemed to copy; if John (which is quite allotment of three quarters of an acre, as likely) did not rather borrow somewhat with its commodious mansion in the midst of his manner from my godfather. He with the feeling of an English freebolder, was also known to, and visited by, She- that all betwixt sky and centre was my ridan. It was to his house in Holborn, own. The estate has passed into more that young Brinsley brought his first wife prudent hands, and nothing but an agraon her elopement with him from a board- rian can restore it. ing school at Bath-the beautiful Maria In those days were pit orders. Beshrew Linley. My parents were present (over a the uncomfortable manager who abolished quadrille table) when he arrived in the them !-witle one of these we went. I evening with his harmonious charge.- remember the waiting at the door-Dot From either of these connections, it may that which is left-but between that and be inferred that my godfather could com an inner door in shelter, when shall I mand an order for the then Drury-lane be such an expectant again ;-with the theatre at pleasure-and, indeed, a pretty cry of nonpareils, an indispensable playliberal issue of those cheap billets, in house accompaniment in those days. As Brinsley's easy autograph, I have heard near as I can recollect, the fashionable him say was the sole remuneration which pronunciation of the theatrical fruiteresses he had received for many years' nightly then was, “Chase some oranges, chase illumination of the orchestra, and various some numparels, chase a bill of the play;" avenues of that theatre--and he was con- -chase pro chuse. But when we got in, tent that it sbould be so. The honour of and I beheld the green curtain that veiled Sheridan's familiarity—or supposed fami- a heaven to my imagination, which was liarity--was better to my godfather than soon to be disclosed the breathless antimoney.
cipations I endured ! I had seen someF. was the most gentlemanly of oilmen; thing like it in the plate prefixed to “Troilus grandiloquent, yet courteous. His de- and Cressida," in Rowe's “Shakspeare"livery of the commonest matters of fact the tent scene with Diomede—and a sight was Ciceronian. He had two Latin words of that plate can always bring back in a almost constantly in his mouth, (how odd measure the feeling of that evening.sounds Latin from an oilman's lips !) The boxes at that time, full of well-dressed which my better knowledge since, has women of quality, projected over the pit; enabled me to correct. In strict pronun- and the pilasters reaching down were ciation they should have been sounded adorned with a glistering substance (I vice versd—but in those young years they know not what) under glass (as it seemed) impressed me with more awe than they resembling - a homely fancy - but I would now do, read aright from Seneca judged it to be sugar-candy-yet, to my or Varro-in his own peculiar pronun- raised imagination, divested of its bome ciation, monosyllabically elaborated, or lier qualities, it appeared a glorified candy!
-The orchestra lights at length arose, The clownery and pantaloonery of these those “ fair Auroras !". Once the bell pantomimes have clean passed out of my sounded. It was to ring out yet once head. I believe, I no more laughed at again-and, incapable of the anticipation, them, than at the same age I should have I reposed my shut eyes in a sort of re- been disposed to laugh at the grotesque signation upon the maternal lap. lt rang Gothic heads (seeming to me then replete the second time. The curtain drew up- with devout meaning) that gape, and grin, I was not past six years old and the in stone around the inside of the old play was Artaxerxes !
round church (my church) of the TemI had dabbled a little in the Universal plars. History--the ancient part of it—and here I saw these plays in the season 1781-2, was the court of Persia. It was being when I was from six to seven years old. admitted to a sight of the past. I took After the intervention of six or no proper interest in the action going on, other years (for at school all play-going for I understood not its import—but I was inhibíted) I again entered the doors heard the word Darius, and I was in the of a theatre. That old Artaxerxes evenmidst of Daniel
. All feeling was absorbed ing had never done ringing in my fancy. in vision. Gorgeous vests, gardens, pa- I expected the same feelings to come again laces, princesses, passed before me. I with the same occasion. But we differ knew not players. “I was in Persepolis from ourselves less at sixty and sixteen, for the time; and the burning idol of than the latter does from six. In that intheir devotion almost converted me into terval what had I not lost! At the first a worshipper. I was awe-struck, and period I knew nothing, understood nobelieved those significations to be some- thing, discriminated nothing. I felt all, thing more than elemental fires. It was loved all, wondered allall enchantment and a dream. No such
Was nourished, I could not tell how. pleasure has since visited me but in dreams.-Harlequin's Invasion followed; I had left the temple a devotee, and was where, I remember, the transformation of returned a rationalist. The same things the magistrates into reverend beldams were there materially; but the emblem, seemed to me a piece of grave historic the reference, was gone -The green curjustice, and the tailor carrying his own tain was no longer a veil, drawn between head to be as sober a verity as the legend two worlds, the unfolding of which was to of St. Denys.
bring back past ages, to present“ a royal The next play to which I was taken ghost,"—but a certain quantity of green was the “ Lady of the Manor," of which, baize, which was to separate the audience with the exception of some scenery, very for a given time from certain of their felfaint traces are left in my memory. It low-men who were to come forward and was followed by a pantomime, called pretend those parts. The lights—the or“ Lun's Ghost" -a satiric touch, I appre- chestra lights-came up a clumsy ma. hend, upon Rich, not long since dead, chinery. The first ring, and the second but to my apprehension (100 sincere for ring, was now but a trick of the prompter's satire). “Lun" was as remote a piece of bell-which had been, like the note of the antiquity as “ Lud”-the father of a line cuckoo, a phantom of a voice, no hand of Harlequins—transmitting his dagger seen or guessed at which ministered to of lath (the wooden sceptre) through its warning. The actors were men and countless ages. I saw the primeval Mot- women painted. I thought the fault was ley come from his silent tomb in a ghastly in them; but it was in myself, and the vest of white patch-work, like the appa- alteration which those many centuries—of rition of a dead rainbow. So harlequins six short twelvemonths-had wrought in (thought I) look when they are dead. me. Perhaps it was fortunate for me that
My third play followed in quick suc- the play of the evening was but an indifcession. It was the “Way of the World.” ferent comedy, as it gave me time to crop I think I must have sat at it as grave as a some unreasonable expectations, which judge; for, I remember, the hysteric af- might have interfered with the genuine fectations of good lady Wishfort affected emotions with which I was soon after enme like some solemn tragic passion. abled to enter upon the first appearance “ Robinson Crusoe" followed ; in which to me of Mrs. Siddons in “ Isabella." Crusoe, man Friday, and the parrot, were Comparison and retrospection soon yielded as good and authentic as in the story - to the present attraction of the scene; and
the theatre became to me, upon a new from twelve o'clock till two in the afterstock, the most delightful of recreations. noon, on that day of the said month
whereon it shall be my lot to depart this After this robbery of “ ELIA," my co
life, every year and for ever; oiherwise science forces me to declare that I wish this gift of ten pounds per annum shall
determine and be void." every reader would save me from the shame of further temptation to transgress, to the extent above intended, the tolling of
This custom is annually observed, but not by ordering “ ELIA" into his collection: the bell being limited to two hours instead There is no volume in our language so full of six. It begins to toll at six o'clock and of beauty, truth, and feeling, as the volume continues till seven in the morning, when of “ ELIA." I am convinced that every six men, who toll the bell for church serperson who has not seen it, and may take the hint, will thank me for acquainting earl'Digby, with two large stone jars, which
vice, repair to the mansion of the present him with a work which he cannot look nto without pleasure, nor lay down with are there filled with some of his lordship's
strong beer, and, with a quantity of bread out regret. It is a delicious book.
and cheese, taken to the church by the
: tollers and equally divided amongst them, SHERBORNE BELLS.
together with a small remuneration in On this day it is a custom to exercise money paid by the churchwardens as a che largest bell of one of our country o'clock the bell is again tolled till one,
compensation for their labour. At twelve churches, in the manner described in the and in the evening divine service is perfollowing communication.
formed at the church, and a lecture suited Tolling Day.
to the occasion delivered from the pulpit; For the Every-Day Book. for which lecture or sermon the vicar is The 23d of September has obtained in paid thirty pounds, provided by the will Sherborne, Dorset, the name of “tolling- of the above donor. day," in commemoration of the death of
R. T. John Lord Digby, baron Digby of Sherborne, and earl of Bristol, in the year
Bow BELLS. MDCXCYWI. and in conformity with the
Who has not heard of “ Bow Bells ?"* following wish expressed in a codicil an- Who that has heard them does not feel an nexed :o his lordship's will.
interest in their sounds, or in the recol. “ Item, I give and bequeath out of my lection of them? The editor is preparsaid estate to the parish church, :he yearly ing an article on “Bow Bells," and for zum of ten pounds, to be paid by my suc- that purpose particularly desires comcessors, lords of the said manor for the munications. Accounts relative to their ti!ne being, at and upon, or within forty present or former state, or any facts or days after, the feast days of St. Michael anecdotes respecting them at any time, the archangel, and of the annunciation of our blessed lady St. Mary the virgin, by as soon as possible.
are earnestly solicited from every reader equal portions yearly and for ever, and to be employed and bestowed by the church
NATURALISTS' CALENDAR. wardens of the said parish for the time Mean Temperature 56 · 02. being, with the consent of the lord of the said manor for the time being, in
September 24. keeping in good repair the chancel, and towards the reparations of the
A Good TENANT. rest of the said church, yearly and for in the “ Gentleman's Magazine,” for ever; provided that my successors, the September, 1775, Mr. Clayton, a wealthy lord or lords of the said manor for the farmer of Berkshire, is related to have :ime being, shall have and enjoy a con- died at the extraordinary age of a hunvenient pew, or seat, in the said chancel dred and fifteen years, and retained his for himself and famiiy for ever; and pro- faculties to the last; he is further remarkvided that the said churchwardens for the able, for having rented one farm ninety time being, shall cause the largest bell in years. An occupancy of so great durathe tower of the said church, to be tolled tion, by one individual, is perhaps ursix full hours, that is to say, from five to equalled in the history of landlord and mine of the clock in the forenoon, and tenant.
Did he think there was room?' He NATURALISTS' CALENDAR.
was sure of it. • Did he belong to the Mean Temperature . 55. 40. inn?' 'No,' he was from London. In
fact, he was a young gentleman from
town, who had been stopping some time September 25.
at the White-horse hotel, and who wished
to employ his spare time (when he was SEA SIDE SPORTS.
not riding out on a blood-horse) in serv. There is an exhilarating effect in the ing the house, and relieving the perplexisea-air and coast scenery, which inland ties of his fellow-travellers. No one but views or atmosphere, however fine, fail a Londoner would volunteer his assistto communicate.
ance in this way.
Amiable land of On the 25th of September, 1825, a Cockayne, happy in itself, and in making gentleman and lady came out of one of others happy?'Blest exuberance of selfthe hotels near the Steyne, and after satisfaction, that overflows upon others ! taking a fair start, set off running round Delightful impertinence, that is forward the Steyne. They both ran very swiftly, to oblige them!” but the young lady bounded forward with the agility of the chamois and the fleet. ness of the deer, and returned to the spot
It is here both in place and season, from whence they started a considerable to quote a passage of remarkably fine distance before the gentleman. She ap
thought :peared much pleased with her victory.
“ There is something in being near the There were but few persons on the sea, like the confines of eternity. It is a Steyne at the time, but those who were
new element, a pure abstraction. The there, expressed their admiration at the mind loves to hover on that which is endswiftness of this second Atalanta.*
less, and for ever the same. People wonder at a steam-boat, the invention of man,
managed by man, that makes its liquid BRIGHTON.
path like an iron railway through the sea In Mr. Hazlitt's “ Notes of a Journey - I wonder at the sea itself
, that vast lethrough France and Italy,” he mentions viathan, rolled round the earth, smiling the place from whence he sailed for the in its sleep, waked into fury, fathomless, continent :
boundless, a huge world of water-drops, “ Brighton stands facing the sea, on
-Whence is it, whither goes it, is it of the bare cliffs, with glazed windows to eternity or of nothing? Strange ponderreflect the glaring sun, and black pitchy
ous riddle, that we can neither penetrate bricks shining like the scales of fishes. nor grasp in our comprehension, ebbing The town is however gay with the influx and flowing like human life, and swallowof London visiters--happy as the con.
ing it up in thy remorseless womb,—what scious abode of its sovereign! Every art thou? What is there in common bething here appears in motion-coming or
tween thy life and ours, who gaze at thee? going. People at a watering-place may Blind, deaf and old, thou seest not, hearbe compared to the flies of a summer; or
est not, understandest not; neither do to fashionable dresses, or suits of clothes,
we understand, who behold and listen walking about the streets.
to thee! Great as thou art, unconscious idea you gain is, of finery and motion of thy greatness, unwieldy, enormous, The road between London and Brighton, preposterous twin-birth of matter, rest in presents some very charming scenery;
ihy dark, unfathomed cave of mystery, Reigate is a prettier English country. Still is it given to the mind of man to
mocking human pride and weakness. town than is to be found anywhere-out of England ! As we entered Brighton in wonder at thee, to confess its ignoranco,
and to stand in awe of thy stupendous the evening, a Frenchman was playing and singing to a guitar.—The genius of might and majesty, and of its own being, the south had come out to meet us."
that can question thine !"* When Mr. Hazlitt arrived at Brighton, it was in the full season.
In Mr. Hazlitt's “ Journey through “A lad offered 10 conduct us to an inn. France and Italy," there are thoughts
* Brighton paper.
* Mı. Harlie's Journey.