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able was a Mrs. Webb, who enacted the part to the no small entertainment of an overflowing audience, for her own benefit, at the Haymarket Theatre. The excessive corpulence of Mr. Stephen Kemble also obtained for him the applause of a liberal and discerning public. Of the Falstaffs who at present occupy the stage, in the persons of Fawcett, Dowton, Bartley, and Charles Kemble, the former, perhaps, is the most equal in his performance, and the gross sensuality of the character loses nothing in his hands; Dowton is exceedingly rich in the delineation of the ludicrous features of the character: Bartley's voice and figure are well suited to the part, and, added to the honest and hearty good humour by which he is distinguished, render him a very efficient representative of the merry and mirth-exciting knight; and Charles Kemble's personation of the character is marked by a number of clever points, and displays in several of the scenes much talent and discrimination.
FATHER AND SON.
One evening Tom Sheridan, sitting with his father over a bottle, was complaining of the emptiness of his pocket. The Right Hon. Manager jocularly told him to go on the highway. “I have tried that already," said he," but without success. -“ Aye! how?" said his father..
Why,” resumed he, “ I stopped a caravan full of passengers, who assured me that they had not a farthing, as they all belonged to Drury. Lane Theatre, and could not get a penny of their salary.”
This play, written jointly by Jonson, Chapman, and Marston, in the Reign of James I.) containing some cutting sarcasms on the Scots, was the cause of the imprisonment of all three, and it was reported that they were to be pilloried, and deprived of their ears and noses. The throne was therefore supplicated, and, after strong intercession being made, they were liberated, when Jonson gave a feast in celebration thereof, in the midst of which his aged mother drank to him, and produced a paper of potent poison, which she declared, if the sentence had been passed, she would have infused in her son Ben's drink; and added, more like a Roman matron, then an English old woman, that she designed to have drank it first!
THE BOTTLE CONJUROR.
In the year 1749, the facetious Duke of Montague played off upon the good people of our Metropolis, a hoax so remarkable, that it has ever since been referred to, as a proof of human credulity. This Nobleman being in company with some friends, the conversation turned on public curiosity, when the Duke said that it went so far, that if a person advertised that he would creep into a quart bottle, he would procure an audience. Some of the company could not believe this possible; a wager was the result, and the Duke, in order to decide it, caused the following advertisement to be put in all the papers.
“ At the New Theatre in the Hay-Market, on Monday next, the 16th instant, to be seen, a person who performs the several most surprising things following, viz. first, he takes a common walking-cane from any of the spectators, and thereon plays the music of every instrument now in use, and likewise sings to surprising perfection. Secondly, he presents you with a common wine bottle, which any of the spectators may first examine; this bottle is placed on a table in the middle of the stage, and he (without any equivocation) goes into it in sight of all the spectators, and sings in it; during his stay in the bottle any person may handle it, and see plainly that it does not exceed a common tavern bottle.
Those on the stage or in the boxes may come in masked habits (if agreeable to them); and the performer (if desired) will inform them who they are.
Stage 7s. 6d., boxes 5s., pit 3s., gallery 2s. To begin at half an hour after six o'clock.
Tickets to be had at the Theatre. The performance continues about two hours and a half.
N. B. If any gentleman or lady, after the above performance, (either singly or in company, in or out of mask,) are desirous of seeing a representation of any deceased person, such as husband or wife, sister or brother, or any intimate friend of either sex, (upon making a gratuity to the performer) shall be gratified by seeing and conversing with them for some minutes, as if alive ; likewise, (if desired) he will tell you the most secret thoughts in your past life; and give you a full view of persons who have injured you, whether dead or alive.
For those gentlemen and ladies who are desirous of seeing this last part, there is a private room provided.
These performances have been seen by most of the crowned heads of Asia, Africa, and Europe, and never appeared public any where but once ; but will wait at any of their houses, and perform as above, for five pounds each time.
* There will be a proper guard to keep the house in due decorum.
The following advertisement was also published at the same time, which one would have thought sufficient to prevent the other having
“ Lately arrived from Italy. Signor Capisello Jumpedo, a surprising dwarf, no taller than a common tavern tobacco pipe; who can perform many wonderful equilibres on the slack or tight rope: likewise he'll transforin his body in above ten thousand different shapes, and postures; and after he has diverted the spectators two hours and a half, he will open his mouth wide and jump down his own throat. He being the most wonderfullest wonder of wonders as ever the world wondered at, would be willing to join in performance with that wonderful musician on Monday next, in the Haymarket.
He is to be spoke with at the Black Raven, in Golden Lane, every day, from seven to twelve, and from twelve all day long."
The bait, however, took even better than could be expected. The play-house was crowded with Dukes, Duchesses, Lords, Ladies, and all ranks and degrees to witness the bottle conjuror. Of the result, we quote the following account from the journals of the times.
“ Last night (viz. Monday the 16th,) the much expected drama of “ The Bottle Conjurer," at the New Theatre in the Haymarket, ended in the tragi-comical manner following. Curiosity had drawn together prodigious numbers. About seven, the Theatre being lighted up, without so much as a single fiddle to keep the audience in good humour, many grew impatient. Immedi