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beings like Desdemona, she is unequalled in this country. We have never seen her Imogen in Cymbeline, but have heard it highly spoken of; and a woman that can do justice to such characters as Desdemona and Imogen, ought not to care about excelling in any thing else.
Her Ophelia is beautiful, and she performs even Lady Macbeth better than a host of others—with more propriety than Mrs. Sloman, (who by the way, does it very badly,) though perhaps not so effectively; yet she can no more make it what it ought to be, than her husband can do justice to the “ worthy thane of Cawdor.” She has not strength and energy for tragedy-she can portray tenderness, but not agony-grief, but not despair. In comedy she is happier, but still not quite at home, and appears to us constitutionally unfitted for it; her temperament is too melancholy to enter into the irrepressible buoyancy of comedy; and though, having an abundance of common sense, a thing a good deal in request upon the boards, she does all she undertakes very well, yet her gaiety, like Clara Fisher's efforts in the pathetic, is only put on ;-it does not come from or go directly to the heart, both of them appear warring against their nature. Mrs. Hilson cannot assume the dashing airs and affectation of a lady of quality, or the pertness and volubility of a chambermaid, but in such parts as Mary in John Bull, as Lady Amaranth in Wild Oats, and hundreds of a similar cast—in the Emily Worthingtons and Julia Faulkners of the drama, she is far, very far superior to any actress on this side of the Atlantic. Her heroines do not smack of the stage; the loud protestation and exaggerated action are not there : on the contrary, the quiet grace in every movement, and the sweet and simple earnestness with which the sentiments are delivered, render such personations perfect, and leave her without a rival in this class of character. We never saw what we could call a wrong conception on the part of Mrs. Hilson; and she has always given more pleasure and less dissatisfaction than any one who ever appeared in such a number of characters. There is one thing, for which indeed she ought not to be praised, because it is no more than the performance of a simple duty, but which at least deserves mention in consequence of the flagrant neglect of others, and that is, she always takes the trouble of committing her part to memory, and gives the words of the author instead of thrusting forward foolish impertinencies on the spur of the moment.
This popular actress—for popular she undoubtedly is, though why she became so, passes our comprehension-has attained considerable celebrity in a class of characters hitherto very inefficiently represented on this side of the Atlantic, namely, the fashionable ladies of genteel comedy. That Miss Kelly's admirers may be in the right and we in the wrong, is very possible, but we do not think so; and there is more plain dealing than presumption in saying this, because every one, whatever deference or humility he may profess, will secretly prefer his individual opinion to that of the rest of the world. Miss Kelly may play a dashing, dissipated woman or a vixen to admiration, but she does not play a lady. Do females in high life perambulate their drawing-rooms in the fashion that Miss Kelly does the stage ? or when they cannot have exactly their own way, do they traverse their apartments with the Bobadil strides with which she tramples over the shrinking boards? We always thought that whatever might be said of the morals of fashionable females, their manners were more polished and fascinating than those of any other of heaven's creatures. Is it so with those of this lady? Her warmest admirers will probably hesitate to answer in the affirmative ?—That Miss Kelly frequently conceives correctly and executes forcibly, no one will deny; and there is a heedless gaiety and unceasing flow of animal spirits about her representations which carry her triumphantly over many faults and difficulties. But, in general, her portraitures are exaggerated and overdone ; instead of a delicately finished picture, you see a broad caricature—the colours are laid on with a trowel instead of a pencil--and a perpetual striving after effect is the predominating trait in all.
Of Miss Kelly’s Beatrice, though it be heresy to say so, we do not think highly. The spirit which pervades it belongs more to the character of the shrewish Catharine than the lively Beatrice ; and the gross violation of the text and meaning of the author—and that author Shakspeare--at the conclusion of the scene where she desires Benedict to “kill Claudio"-gives him her hand to kissgiggles, and bids him kiss it again-runs to the
side wing and gallops back, telling him to “kiss it again, and to be sure and " kill Claudio-dead”all which proceedings and language Shakspeare never dreamt of, is an awful and sacrilegious piece of business; and the thunders of applause which it generally brings down, indicate that the house contains a great number of very discriminating people.
But whatever diversity of opinion may exist concerning this lady's acting, we should think there could be none about what, out of courtesy we suppose, must be called her singing. She doubtless receives great applause at the conclusion, and with some reason, for we dare
all are thankful that it is well over ; but unfortunately some of the citizens, transported beyond the bounds of sober discretion at their emancipation, are so uproariously grateful, that it is mistaken for an encore ;-the lady re-enters—curtsies gracefully, and poor Mr. De Luce, as in duty bound, gives the ominous tap which preludes another infliction upon the horrorstricken, bewildered, rash, but well-meaning audience. Then may be heard a rush-an opening of box doors
and gentlemen are seen precipitating themselves with heedless violence into the lobbies to speak with a friend, buy oranges, absorb spirituous liquids, or any thing else, for the space of ten minutes. There is a pithy proverb which inti