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will ever remain amongst the proudest and mightiest works of civilized man. True, all is not gold that glitters, and with the pure ore of Shakspeare, and the brilliant sparkling gems of Congreve and Sheridan, are mixed up the tinsel of Reynolds and the brass of Morton; but they are easily separated by those who are not afflicted with a total mental blindness, and to those who are, the one is just as good as the other.
But, independently of the stage, what ample scope for study and observation does the audience afford to any one who takes the trouble to observe his
species! What a field for the painter, the physiognomist, and the caricaturist! What faces are to be seen-how rich and broad is their expression when those who own them once get fairly interested in the business of the scene, and become unconscious of all else beside. A countryman's, for instance, when a comic song is sung, or a juggling trick played, how he sits, his head jerked forward like a crane’s, as if to get it as near the scene of action as possible, his shoulders up to his ears, his distended mouth dividing his face into two portions, and his eyes as convex as a lobster's; then when the affair reaches the climax, the monstrous twistings and contortions of his visage, and the convulsions of his body rolling to and fro under an uncontrollable
storm of laughter, are more amusing than any thing on the boards. Again, where is there a more charming picture than that of a fine girl watching, with intense interest, the escapes or sufferings of the hero or heroine of the piece; her graceful neck inclined forward, her small delicate hand unconsciously grasping the front of the box, her sweet lips slightly parted, and her beaming eyes fixed with tender earnestness on what is passing before them. This the artist may copy, but he cannot go on and pencil down the various shades of sorrow and joy, anxiety and hope, that fit tremulously over her beautiful face. In this world of cold and ceremonious observance it is a treat to see such a girl; she is unsophisticated ; and the chances are, that her understanding is better, and her feelings warmer and purer than those who evince more coldness and circumspection. Then there are the coquettes, with their pretty, and the fops with their ridiculous affectation; the solemn gravity of many at a joke, and the merriment of some at a murder ; while others are troubled with the most strange and unfortunate peculiarities. There is one individual in the habit of attending the Park, that is afflicted with a hissing Natty Bumpo laugh, which is heard both loudly and distinctly: this places the owner somewhat in the
predicament of the fiends in Paradise Lost, who, when desirous of giving applause, found they could only send forth hisses. Whenever any thing very laughable takes place, or an actor plays exceeding well, and the house is in a roar, a loud venomous hiss is heard, and the people all turn indignantly around towards the place from whence the sound proceeds; but the involuntary culprit is never suspected, for he appears, and really is, enjoying himself as much as any of them.
But, of all the persons who come to a theatre, the inost to be dreaded and avoided are those that are possessed with a talking demon; such as Ophelia characterizes as being “as good as a chorus." Though a curse to all, they generally bring their particular victim along with them-some simple friend—to whom, during the progress of the play, they detail the whole history of the plot—what has been done in the last scene, and what is to be done in the next—what the several characters have just said, and what they are going to say-remarks on the author-off-hand criticisms on the actors, accompanied with short biographical notices of both, together with a running commentary on different parts of the audience, and their own private opinion on affairs in general--and all this miscellaneous
gabble conveyed in that most abhorrent of all sounds, a quick buzzing uninterrupted whisper. Any man who wishes to hear the play, and can sit patiently beside one of those annoyances, has more meekness than Moses, more patience than Job, more forbearance than Socrates, and no nerves at all.
A VOYAGE TO EUROPE.
WASHINGTON IRVING crossed the Atlantic, and wrote a beautiful piece thereupon, entitled “The Voyage,” which delighted every one.
The natural consequences ensued.
All the gentlemen who crossed the Atlantic afterwards, concluded to do as Washington Irving had done, and delight every one likewise, so that in the course of a short time there was no scarcity of marine narratives; and the dwellers in great cities, on both sides, had very particular information afforded them of the perils of such as "went down to the sea in ships” during the summer months. These adventurous men and predestined authors kept a regular diary of the days on which they ate lamb, and the days on which they ate chicken, and the days on which the
pecuniary concerns of the captain were benefited by the disorganized state of their system, and they subsisted on rice-water and hope : they severally