lence, and who turn up their good-for-nothing noses at the efforts of every author or actor who has not as yet

received the stamp of public approbation. It is really amusing at times to sit in a theatre and witness the behaviour of one of these gentry-to see the air of critical primness which he assumes on the entrance of a celebrated actor, or to observe the smile of supercilious pity which he casts upon some poor wretch beside him, who is thrown into ecstacies by a comic song, a bad joke, Barnes's wig coming off, or any other interesting incident which “ Six Oracle” esteems frivolous. And when two of them get together, the way in which they reflect each other's folly—the looks of deep significance that pass between them and the air of conscious superiority with which they survey the ordinary mortals around them, is as instructing and amusing as the play, let it be what it may.

In theatrical matters we must confess that our own taste is by no means particularly fastidious, but is capable of embracing all the different species (not individuals) of the dramatic family, even the tribe most vilified of all, known by the appellation of melo dramas; and though, certainly, this class owns many members too bad for human endurance, yet there are others capable of interesting and exciting the feelings in no common degree. Though

there are bad melo-dramas without number, yet a good melo-drama is not so bad a thing. It is a sort of skeleton tragedy, without the stateliness and poetry, where the murders are committed in simple prose, and the villanies carried on without the aid of blank verse.

It is the sketch and outline of a tragedy where actions are represented rather than characters delineated, and where every thing is broad and general, coarse and rough, but which when well enacted and kept within the moderate bounds of probability, sometimes excite the feelings to a pitch that prevents sleep during the more interesting scenes. Nay, so very unrefined is our taste, that we cannot join in the prevailing hue and cry against gaudy spectacles and splendid scenery, thinking them very good in their place, and even feeling an unbecoming interest in the “dresses and decorations," particularly of the ladies, for a well-dressed woman is at any time pleasanter to look upon than a dull play. There are, however, some things occasionally exhibited which there is no getting over, to wit, dogs, horses, elephants, and the brute creation in general-real fire and real water, wonderful ascensions from the stage to the gallery, impressive ceremonies of shooting deserters-jugglers, rope-dancers and little children these are unalloyed, unmitigated evils.

But though gaud and show, and spectacles and melo-dramas are pleasant enough occasionally and in their place, it is the interest and duty of every one who values sound rational dramatic representations to raise his voice against them when they are too frequently introduced, and assume an undue importance in the evening's entertainment. They are well enough as a dessert after more solid and substantial aliment, but if furnished as the principal intellectual food for the theatre-going public, the inevitable consequence will be depravity of taste, and attenuation of intellect. Let a good tragedy or comedy, which in itself contains enough poetry and passion, wit and sense for any reasonable man for one evening, be first enacted, and then let any popular nonsense most in vogue occasionally follow, by which arrangement all parties will be satisfied. Though the public cannot justly be charged with indifference in respect to Shakspeare, yet it is to be regretted that they certainly do display an apathy towards the genuine old comedies, (ah! they know not the treasures which they pass upheeded by !) yet this, in a great measure, arises from their not being familiar with their merits. Managers ought to endeavour to create a taste for the more correct appreciation of the genuine excellencies of the old dramatic authors. Let them not be discouraged by a few indifferent houses, but persevere. If they were to set apart a particular night in each week for the production of a sterling comedy, this would amount to between forty and fifty pieces of real merit in the course of the season-an immense acquisition. And if the newspapers and literary journals were to make a point of especially noticing and commenting on that evening's performance, there is little doubt that in a short time it would not only be creditable and profitable to the managers, but creditaand profitable to the public.


An indefinite number of years ago I boarded in the Bowery. Our accommodations were, in those days, looked upon as something superior; it being an established rule of the house for not more than six gentlemen to sleep in one room, which to me, who was a stranger to the customs of New York, appeared in the hot summer nights, a sufficiency. The boarders were principally young men, most of them clerks in drygood stores, and the conversation generally turned upon the quantity of sales they had severally effected in the course of the day, the particulars of which they narrated with an appearance of intense interest, bordering on enthusiasm. I was always of a speculative rather than a practical turn of mind, and I confess those counter and countinghouse reminiscences did not powerfully affect me, though I listened to them in a devotedly decorous manner.

One individual alone attracted my attention. He was a middle-aged man, about the mid

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