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James Henry LEIGH HUNT.
"The first quality in a Companion is Truth."
SIR WILLIAM TEMPLE.
PRINTED FOR HUNT AND CLARKE,
YORK STREET, COVENT GARDEN.
DEC 21 1887
LONDON: PRINTED BY C. H. REYNELL, BROAD STREET, GOLDEN SQUARE.
Life of Sir William Davenant, with Specimens of his Poetry
No. I.-WEDNESDAY, JAN. 9, 1828.
'Something alone yet not alone, to be wished, and only to be found, in a friend."-SIR W. TEMPLE.
[This article is not upon the Pantomimes now playing at the two houses, but upon the general spirit of the entertainment so called, and its proper appreciation.]
He that says he does not like a Pantomime, either says what he does not think, or is not so wise as he fancies himself. He should grow young again, and get wiser. "The child," as the poet says, "is father to the man ;" and in this instance, he has, a very degenerate offspring. Yes: John Tomkins, aged 35, and not liking pantomimes, is a very unpromising little boy. Consider, Tomkins, you have still a serious regard for pudding, and are ambitious of being thought clever. Well, there is the Clown who will sympathize with you in dumplings; and not to see into the cleverness of Harlequin's quips and metamorphoses, is to want a perception which other little boys have by nature. Not to like pantomimes, is not to like animal spirits; it is not to like motion; not to like love; not to like a jest upon dulness and formality; not to smoke one's uncle; not to like, or see, a thump in the face; not to laugh; not to fancy; not to like a holiday; not to know the pleasure of sitting up at Christmas; not to sympathize with one's children; not to remember that we have been children ourselves; nor that we shall grow old, and be as gouty as Pantaloon, if we are not as wise and as active as they.
Not wishing to be dry on so pleasant a subject, we shall waive the learning that is in us on the origin of these popular entertainments. It will be sufficient to observe, that among the Italians, from whom we borrowed them, they consisted of a run of jokes