“ FORMOSA," AT DRURY. LANE. and as gaudily peopled. The scenes of the resi

dence of Formosa are represented with a bright A controversy has, during the past month, moon and a well laid-out garden, the other sprung up (raged would be the emphatic word) being a resplendently gaseous interior In regarding the morality of Mr. Dion Boucicauli's the third act Formosa shows some reluctance to new experiment upon the public taste on the further the designs of the conspirators, and a DRURY Lane boards-a drama of the Bromp. powerful situation occurs when she throws off ton demi-monde, under the singular title of the associations of a "gay" life, and implores " Formosa." This pretentious production, with her parents who have tracked her to her haunt) a general flash-in-the-pan sort of effect about it, to permit her to return to the paths of virtue. is, however, so skilfully set off with dramatic | The fourth act represents the storming of the colouring, light, and shade, that it keeps the atten- sponging-house where Tom Burroughs has been tion awake, and in the most lively state, during incarcerated for the debts he has contracted the whole of four long, but nevertheless amus. through the machinations of his infamous pluning acts. Almost every scene is brilliant and derers at play, and his rescue time enough to redolent with vivacity; but then it is the life of perinit his taking his place in the match. The a thoroughly corrupt “society" contrasted with Oxford crew come in victorious. Tom Burthat of respectability and humbly-conditioned roughs marries Nelly, whose convict-father shows people, the latter being always "indifferent signs of atonement for his past misdeeds; and honest." The piece commences with a repre- the villains, Compton Kerr and Major Jorum, sentation of the Old Swan Boat-house, on the are banded over to the police, to answer at Bowbanks of the Thames, near Oxford, where the street for the forgeries they have perpetrated. crew of the “dark blue” are being coached by The controversy which we spoke of as having Sam Boker, a retired prize-fighter. Sam and been provoked by “ Formosa” raises the quesMrs. Boker have a daughter, Jenny, from whom tion whether the drawing-room of a licentious (in the belief that she has been leading a re- character and a courtezan is not too immoral a putable life in town) they have received presents scene to be transferred to the stage; whether, in from time to time as the fruits of her industry. fact, such a character ought to be paraded, with It soon transpires, however, that Jenny has been all the alluring ways of an accomplished actress, the celebrated courtezan whose names have been before the eyes of play-goers? It is common variously Lady Arthur Pierrepoint, and “ For- enough on the French stage for this sort of mosa".

-a flash name given to her by her pe- thing to be done; but it is managed with much culiar male friends. Her recognition in “hum. art, or finesse, by Parisian comedians; whereas ble life” by two fast men, named Compton Kerr English actors are sometimes coarse and vulgar and Major Jorum, places the repentant bar- in their delineations of the characters that remaid in a very painful position. With the know- quire to have the deformities of their moral ledge they possess they can influence Jenny nature glossed over by means of the touch of Boker to resume her old station in the demi- some good fairy's silver wand. Again, French monde at Brompton and Fulham, Formosa's actors dress well — especially the ladies. We old quarters. Influenced partly by jealousy, recur to the question of the morality (or the Jenny consents to become their accomplice in immorality) of Mr. Boucicault's new drama, and luring to destruction Tom Burroughs, a young on this point we shall be exceedingly brief, as it man of large means and good family, who is an is a topic which we feel we ought to approach Oxford graduate and the “stroke" in the im- with reserve, lebt we inflict on our readers an pending University boat-race.

A young girl essay on the pruriency of the manners of the named Nelly, in love with Tom, has been British Theatre. Our opinion on “Formosa" brought up by old Dr. Doremus, a Fellow of is this : If such a character, and its surroundings St. Jobn's College, as his daughter; but and followings, are objectionable objects on the she is claimed by a released convict, named Bob stage, we say then, that at least nothing is said Saunders, who proves, by a written document, or even done throughout the play which is that she is his daughter, and thus a love-affair actually prurient or offensive. There are far between her and Tom is broken off. In the better old acting plays (even Shakespeare's

) Becond act, the gang of sharpers, with Formosa more reasonably to be objected to on the score to assist them, are seen hastening the ruin of of pruriency than “ Formosa.”. We recall to Tom, who now occupies chambers in the Albany, mind the “Beaux Stratagem,” one of the is fleeced at cards by the Major and the tribe of wittiest of the old comedies, as an instance of “rooks” in his employ, and is enthralled by the an immoral play. The licentious scenes beblandishments of the courtezan, who occupies a tween Archer and Mrs. Sullen are a blot on the showy villa at Fulham, most gaudily furnished entire comedy. To cite other examples of in

decorous plays, there is the screen-scone of There is little to record of the last month's the “ School for Scandal,” which is, at any contributions to novelty at the other summer rate, suggestively indecent. Again, even Shake theatres. At speare's comedy of “ All's Well that Ends Well”

THE GAIETY, is objectionable in the character of Mariana. A protest may be justifiably raised against a new drama, by Mr. Gilbert, entitled " An Old Falstaff": scenes in the “Merry Wives of Wind. Score," has had a short run, but has been withsor” and “Henry IV.,” which are (some of drawn, and Mr. Robertson's more substantial them) coarse in the extreme; but are, neverthe- play of " Dreams" reproduced. less, acted. The comedy of “Measure for Measure" is intolerably obscene; but it is a

A revival of Handel's serenade of “ Acis and play that has always kept the stage-on account, Galatea, with all its beautiful music and lovely doubtless, of the wondrous wit and splendour pastoral scenery, has been eminently attractive of language Shakespeare has so prodigally at the thrown away upon an unworthy subject. “Čym

PRINCESS'S THEATRE, beline” also contains a highly objectionable boudoir-scene which is always acted, although Messrs. Vernon, Rigby, Montem Smith, Herr Mr. Macready once undertook the task of Formes, Miss Cole

, and Miss Somers adequately editing an edition of " Shakespeare's Plays,"

» singing the classical and melodious music of the with all objectionable matter suppressed or opera. Another new drama, by Mr. Boucicault, modified. We do not, then, hold with those is promised, with which the enterprising manager critics who, while they strain at Formosa,

of the Princess's, Mr. George Vining, intends swallow “La Traviata” and “Don Giovanni?" inaugurating his autumn and winter season. We repeat, there are far less moral stock-plays Mr. and Mrs. Charles Mathews will re-appear in the library of Drury Lane than Mr. Bouci in the new piece announced to be produced in cault's sbowy, but superficial play of the “Rail. the course of the present month. road to Ruin." It is in other respects than its morale that we look upon this piece as an im.

A new farce, called "Sea Gulls," was properfect work as a drama. Its anomalies are

duced at astounding ; but criticism on them occurs on

THE ROYALTY, calm reflection rather than at the time of hearing on the 10th ult., which has had a run, chiefly on when one is carried away by the verve and glitter of the dialogue, which is interrupted by account of the rattling way in which Mr. Philip the constant bursts of laughter and cheering, smart character of Valentine Ratileby,

Day (whilom an amateur actor) performed the with which every fresh"point" is received. The acting on all sides was suitable to the piece. Mrs. Billington, as Mrs. Boker, showed herself bas kept the fashionable little Dean-street Theatre

Miss Oliver is an admirable manageress, who the honest woman and truly British matron the author intended to be represented. Mr. John open for a succession of long seasons, meeting Rouse, as Sam Boker, acted the retired pugi- always with liberal support from her patrons,

E. H, M. list with much humour; Miss Katherine Rod friends, and the public. gers's stylishly-played Formosa, and Mr. David Fisher's carefully-acted Major Jorun, cardsharper and forger, deservedly obtained much applause. Mr. Brittain Wright appears well

BEAUTY. . able to assume the voice and behaviour of the “ Artful Dodger”-style of ruffian, and was there

Beautiful faces, they that wear fore successful in the part of Bob Saunders,

The light of a pleasant spirit there, the convict-father, returned home on ticket-of

It matters little if dark or fair. leave. Miss Dalton appeared to advantage as the quiet, modest, and honest Nelly, the "un.

Beautiful hands are they that do beknown” daughter of the ruffian Saunders.

The work of the noble, good and true,
Tom Burroughs, the chief of the Oxford crew, Busy for them the long day through.
is played in a gentlemanlike manner by Mr.
J.B. Howard, and his amiable sister, Edith, is in

Beautiful feet are they that go good keeping with Miss Macdonald. Viewing Swiftly to lighten another's woo, the ensemble of the new drama, without criti- Through summer's heat, or the winter's snow. cising its shortcomings as a work of art, we arrive at a general impression that it is a very

Beautiful children, if rich or poor, lively and attractive piece, well calculated to Who walk the pathways sweet and pure, draw large audiences, E, H, MALCOLM.

That lead to the mansions strong and sure.


On a bright particular afternoon, in the month descending smile. She was a most imposing of November, 1855, I met on the Avenue des creature, -in freshness of complexion, in physical Champs Elysées, in Paris, my young friend development, and, above all, in amplitude and Herbert J

magnificence of attire, a full-blown rose of a After many desolate days of wind and rain woman, aged, I should say, about forty. and fallen leaves, tha city bad thrown off her wet Don't


know that turn-ont ?" said rags, so to speak, and arrayed herself in the Herbert, as the sballop with its lovely freight gorgeous apparel of one of the most golden and floated on in the current. perfect Sundays of the season. All the world” "I am not so fortunate," I replied. was out of doors. The Boulevards, the Bois de “Good gracious! miserable man! Where do Boulogne, the bridges over the Seine, all the you live? In what obscure society have you public promenades and gardens, swarmed with buried yourself? Not to know Madam Waldojoyous multitudes. The Cham ps Elysées, and borough's Carriage !”' the long avenue leading up to the Barrière de This was spoken in a tone of humorous l'Etoile, appeared one mighty river, an Amazon extravagance which piqued my curiosity: Beof many-coloured human life. The finest July hind the ostentatious deference with which he weather had not produced such a superb display; had raised his hat to the sky, beneath the for now the people of fashion, who had passed respectful awe with which he spoke the lady's the summer at their country-seats, or in Switzer- name, I detected irony and a spirit of mischief. land, or among the Pyrenees, reappeared in “Who is Madam Waldoborough? and what their showy equipages. The tide, which had about hor carriage ?” been flowing to the Bois de Boulogne ever since “Who is Madam Waldoborough ?" echoed two o'clock, had turned, and was pouring back Herbert, with mock astouishment; "that an into Paris. For miles, up and down, on either American, six months in Paris, should ask that side of the city-wall, extended the glittering train question! An American woman, and a woman of vehicles. The three broad, open gateways of of fortune, sir ; and, which is more, as pretty a the Barrière proved insufficient channels; and piece of flesh as any in Messina or elsewhere; far as you could see, along the Avenue de one that occupies a position, go to! and receives l'Impératrice, stood three seemingly endless on Thursday evenings, go to! and that hath rows of carriages, closely crowded, unable to ambassadors at her table, and everything handadvance, waiting for the Barrière de l'Etoile some about her! And as for her carriage," he to discharge its surplus living waters. Detach- continued, coming down from his Dogberrian ments of the mounted city guard, and long strain of eloquence, " it is the very identical lines of police, regulated the flow; while at the carria which I didn't ride in once !" Barrière an extra force of custom-house officers “How was that ?” fulfilled the necessary formality of casting an “I'll tell you ; for it was a curious adventure, eye of inspection into each vehicle as it passed, and as it was a very useful lesson to me, so you to see that nothing was smuggled.

may take warning by my experience, and, if ever Just below the Barrière, as I was moving she invites you to ride with her, as she did me, with the stream of pedestrians, I met Herbert. beware! beware ! her flashing eyes, her floating He turned and took my arm. As he did so, hair! do not accept, or, before accepting, take noticed that he llfted his bran-new Parisian hat | Lago's advice, and put money in your purse: towards heaven, saluting with a lofty flourish one put money in your purse! I'll tell you why. of the carriages that passed the gate. It was a “But, in the first place, I must explain how dashy barouche, drawn by a glossy-black span, came to be without money in mine, so soon after and occupied by two ladies and a lapdog;. A arriving in Paris, where so much of the article driver on the box, and a footman perched behind, is necessary. My woes all arise from vanity. both in livery,-long coats, white gloves, and That is the rock, that is the quicksand, that is gold bands on their hats, --completed the the malestrom. 'I presume you don't know any. establishment. The ladies sat facing each other, body else who is afflicted with that complaint ? and their mingled, effervescing, skirts and if you do, I'll but teach you how to tell my flounces filled the cup of the vehicle quite to story, and that will cure him; or, at least, it over-foaming, like a Rochelle powder, nearly ought to. drowning the brave spaniel, whose sturdy little ** You see, in crossing over to Liverpool in the nose was elevated, for air, just above the surge. steamer, I became acquainted with a charming

Both ladies recognized my friend, and she who young lady, who proved to be a second cousin sat, or rather reclined, (for such a luxurious, of my father's. She belongs to the aristocratic languishing attitude can hardly be called a sitting branch of our family. Every family tree has an posture), fairy-like in the hinder part of the aristocratic branch, or bough, or_littlc twig at shell, bestowed on him a very gracious, con- I least, I believe. She was a Todworth; and

having always heard my other relations mention / sense of the mighty importance of their mission with immense pride and respect the Todworths, to the world, which strikes a beholder with awe. as if it was one of the solid satisfactions of life to I was made to feel very inferior in their presence. be able to speak of my uncle Todworth,' or 'my We dined at a private table, and these ministers cousins the Todworths,' I was prepared to of state waited upon us. They brought us the appreciate my extreme good fortune. She was morning paper on a silver salver ; they presented a bride, setting out on her wedding tour. I it as if it had been a mission from a king to a She had married a sallow, bilious, perfumed, very king. Whenever we went out or came in, there disagreeable fellow, except that he too was an stood two of those magnates, in white waistaristocrat, and a millionaire besides, which made coats and white gloves, to open the folding doors him very agreeable; at least, I thought so. for us, with stately mien. You would have said That was before I rode in Madam Waldo- it was the Lord High Chamberlain and his borough’s carriage; since which era in my life I deputy, and that I was at least Minister have slightly changed my habits of thinking on Plenipotentiary to the Court of St. James. I these subjects.

tried to receive these overpowering attentions Well, the fair bride was most gratifyingly with an air of casy indifference, like one who had affable, and cousined me to my heart's content. been all his life accustomed to that sort of thing, Her husband was no less friendly; they not only you know; but I was oppressed with a terrible petted me, but I think they really liked me; and sense of being out of my place, I couldn't help by the time we reached London I was on as feeling that these serene and lofty highnesses affectionately familiar terms with them as a knew perfectly well that I was a green Yankee younger brother could have been. If I had boy, with less than fifty pounds in my pocket; been a Todworth they couldn't have made more and I fancied that, behind the mask of gravity of me. They insisted ou my going to the same each imperturbable countenance wore, there was hotel with them, and taking a room adjoining always lurking a smile of contempt. their suite. This was a happiness to which I “But this was not the worst of it. I suffered had but one objection, my limited pecuniary from another cause. If noblemen were my resources. My family are neither aristocrats nor attendants, I must expect to maintain noblemen. millionaires; and economy required that I should All that ceremony and deportment must go into place myself in humble and inexpensive lodgings the bill. With this view of the case, I could for the two or three weeks I was to spend in not look at their white kids without feeling sick London, But vanity ! vanity! I was actually at heart; white waistcoats became a terror ; ashamed, sir, to do the honest and true thing, the sight of an august neckcloth, bowing its afraid of disgracing my branch of the family in solemn attentions to me, depressed my very the eyes of the Todworth branch, and of losing soul. The folding-doors, on golden hinges the fine friends I had made, by confessing my turning -- figuratively, at least, if not literally, poverty: The bride, I confess, was a delightful like those of Milton's heaven-grated as horcompanion ; but I know other ladies just as rible discords op my secret ear as the gates of interesting, although they do not happen to be Milton's other place. It was my gold that Todworths. For her sake, personally, I should helped to make those hinges. And this I ennever have thought of committing the folly; dured merely for the sake of enjoying the society, and still less, I assure you, for that piece of not of my dear newly-found cousins, but of two perfumed and yellow-complexioned politeness, phantoms, intangible, unsatisfactory, unreal, her husband. It was pride, sir, pride that ruined that hovered over their heads —the phantom of me. They went to Cox's hotel, in Jermyn- wealth and the still more empty phantom of

Street; and I, simpletun as I was, went with social position. But all this, understand, was “them, for that was before I rode in Madam before I rode in Madame Waldoborough’s carWaldoborough's carriage.

riage. “Cox's, I fancy, is the crack hotel of London. *Well, I saw London in company with my Lady Byron boarded there; the author of aristocratic relatives, and paid a good deal more 'Childe Harold, himself used to stop there ; Tom for the show, and really profited less by it, than Moore wrote a few of his last songs and drank a if I had gone about the business in my own good many of his last bottles of wine there; my deliberate and humble way. Everything was, Lords Tom, Dick, and Harry,—the Duke of of course, done in the most lordly manner Dash, Sir Edward Splash, and Viscount Flash. known. Instead of walking to this place or These and other notables always honour Cox's that, or taking an omnibus or a cab, we rolled when they go to town. So we honoured Cox's. magnificiently in our carriage. I suppose the And a very quiet, orderly, well-kept tavern we happy bridegroom would willingly have defrayed found it. I think Mr. Cox must have a good all these expenses, if I had wished him to do so, housekeeper. He has been fortunate in securing but pride promped me to pay my share. So it a very excellent cook. I should judge that he happened that, during nine days in London, I had engaged some of the finest gentlemen in spent as much as would have lasted me as England to act as waiters. Their manners would many weeks, if I had beea as wise as I was vain do credit to any potentate in Europe: there is that is, if I had ridden in Madame Waldothat calm self-possession about them, that serious borough's carriage before I went to England. dignity of deportment, sustained by a secure “ When I saw how things were going, bank.


ruptcy staring me in the face, ruin yawning at “I nibbled my crackers, and they taste my feet, I was suddenly seized with an irresis- weeter than Cox's best dinners; I nibbled, and tible desire to go on to Paris. I had a French contemplated my late experiences ; nibbled, and fever of the most violent character. I declared was almost persuaded to be a Christian, that is, myseif sick of the soot and smoke and uproar to forswear thenceforth and forever all company of the great Bable-I even spoke slightingly of which I could not afford to keep, all appearances Cox's Hotel, as if I had been used to better which were not honest, all foolish pride, and silly things—and called for my bill. Heavens and ambition, and moral cowardice ; as I did after I earth, how I trembled ! Did ever a condemned | had ridden in a certain carriage I have mentioned, wretch feel as faint at the sight of the priest and which I am coming to now as fast as possible, coming to bid bim prepare for the gallows, as “I had lost nearly all my money and a good I did at the sight of one of those sublime func- share of my self-respect by the course I had tionaries bringing me my doom on a silver taken, and I could think of only one substantial salver? Every pore opened; a clammy perspi- advantage which I had gained. That was a note ration broke out all over me; I reached forth a of introduction from my lovely cousin to Madam shaking hand, and thanked his highness with a Waldoborough. That would be of inestimable ghastly smile.

value to me in Paris. It would give me access “A few figures told my fate. The convict to the best society, and secure to me, a stranger, who hears his death sentence may still hope for many privileges which could not otherwise be a reprieve; but figures are inexorable, figures obtained. Perhaps, after all,' thought I, as ! cannot lie. My bill at Cox's was in pounds, read over the flattering contents of the unsealed shillings and pence, amounting to just eleven note, “perbaps, after all, I shall find this worth dollars a day. Eleven times nine are ninety- quite as much as it has cost me. O, had I nine. It was so near & round hundred, it forseen that it was actually destined to procure seemed a bitter mockery not to say a hundred, me an invitation to ride out with Madam Waldoand have done with it, instead of scrupulously borough herself

, shouldn't I have been elated ? stopping to consider a single paltry dollar. I “I reached Paris, took a cheap lodging, was reminded of the boy whose father bragged and waited for the arrival of my uncle's goods of killing nine hundred and ninety-nine pigeons destined for the Great Exhibition-for to look at one shot. Somebody asked why he did'nt say after them (I could speak French, you know), a thousand. "Thunder!' says the boy, do you and to assist in having them properly placed, suppose my father would lie just for one

was the main business that bad brought me pidgeon ?'. 'I told the story, to show how coolly here. I also waited anxiously for my uncle and I received the bill, and paid it coined my and a fresh supply of funds. In the mean time heart and dropped my blood for drachmas

, I delivered my letters of introduction, and made rather than appear mean in the presence of my a few acquaintances. Twice I called at Madam relatives, although I knew that a portion of the Waldoborough’s hotel, but did not see her; she charge was for the bridal arrangements for was ot. So at least the servants said, but I which the bridegroom alone was responsible. suspect they lied; for, the second time I was

“ This drained my purse so nearly dry that told so, I noticed, o, the most splendid turnI had only just money enough left to take me out !-the some you just saw pass-waiting in to Paris,

and pay for a week's lodging or so in the carriage-way before her door, with the advance. They urged me to remain and go to driver on the box, and the footman holding Scotland with them, but I tore myself away, open the silver-handred and escutchioned panel and fled to France. I would not permit them that served as a door to the barouche, as if exto accompany me to the railway station, and see pecting some grand personage to get in. me off, for I was unwilling that they should “Some distinguished visitor, perhaps,' know I was going to economize by purchasing thought I; or, it may be, Madam Waldoa second-class ticket. From the life I had borough herself'; instead of being out, she is been leading at Cox's to a second-class passage just going out, and in five minutes the servants to Paris, was that step from the sublime to the lie will be a truth. Sure enough, before I left ridiculous which I did not wish to be seen taking the street (for i may as well confess that curiosity I think I'd have thrown myself into the Thames caused me to linger a little) my lady herself apbefore I would thus have exposed myself; for, peared in all her glory, and bounced into the as I tell you, I had not yet been honoured with barouche with a vigour that made it rock quite a seat in Madam Waldoborough's carriage. " It is certainly a grand thing to keep a butterffy, as you perceived. I recognized her

unromantically; for she is not frail, she is not grand company; but if ever I felt å sense of from a description I had received from my relief

, it was when I found myself free from my cousin the bride. She was accompanied by cousins, emancipated from the fearful bondage that meagre, smart little sprite of a French girl

, of keeping up such expensive appearances ; whom Madam always takes with herto talk when I found myself seated on the hard, cushion- French with, and to be waited upon by her, she less bench of the second-class car, and nibbled says; but rather, I believe, by way of contrast my crackers at my leisure, unoppressed by the to set off her own brilliant complexion and

im. awful presence of those grandces in white waist- perial proportions. It is Juno and Arachne, coats, and by the more awful presence of a The divine orbs of the goddess turned condemning conscience within myself,

haughtily upon me, but did not see me-looked

[ocr errors]
« ElőzőTovább »