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lent clapping on his first appearance, he suddenly took fright, and hiding his head inthe prompter's lap, sobbed out, that “the gentlemen and ladies where going to whip him:" a new rocking-horse, and a pound of caraways and comfits were offered by the manager to induce him to tread back his steps, but in vain.
It is with great concern we announce to the public that Miss Little (the young Melpomene) was prevented appearing at the Edinburgh theatre in the character of Lady Macbell, by sudden indisposition. We understand her complaint is the chin-cough, which threatens to deprive the stage of one of its brightest ornaments.”
ROYAL CIRCUS. WE in our account of the fire at the Royal Circus, requested, from undoubted authority, to correct the following errors. It was Mr. Jones and not Mr. Cross who escaped with so much difficulty in his shirt. The premises were unforlunately only insured for £.3000. The conjecture relative to fire-works was extremely erroneous, they being always manufactured at the house of Mr. Macloud, fire-work maker in the Borough, and never kept on the premises above half an hour previous to their being used. No rehearsal on that evening took place.
AQUATIC THEATRE, SADLER'S WELLS.
The allurements of the aquatic theatre have been greatly aug. mented by the production of a new pantomime, called Harlequin and Æsop, or Wisdom versus Wealth, which may be styled the quintessence of goodness, since it is compiled from the best pantomimes of Mr. C. Dibdin, Junr. The aquatic theatre is a stream which we cannot always describe in the words of the poet, << without o’erflowing full."
LAURENT'S LOYAL THEATRE OF MIRTH, LYCEUM, STRAND. The rare and excellent talents of Mr Laurent in “ dumb shew," his powers in exciting the passions, now rivetting the anxious spectator to the magic interest of the scene, and now convulsing him with irresistible laughter, are things too long and publicly known to need our eulogium to recommend them. His skill and genius in the production of ballets and pantomimes have frequently been displayed with effect both at Astley's and the Royal Circus. What a man can do for others, is not likely to be worse done when undertaken for himself. tacle of Florenze, or the Castle of Toledo, and the pantomime called The Clown,
temperor of China, amply prove the truth of it. Mr. Laurent is indeed a host in himself. In his admirable pantomime of Neptune, or the Hood-cutter Har-, lequin, he plays nine characters! Independent of his other merits which so richly entitle him to success, that of doing all in his power to alleviate the distressed situation of the Circus company, cannot fail to have its weight in securing it. The house which is justly called the theatre of mirth, is commodious and well illuminated.
Theatre Royal GLASGOW.-After being closed one month, this theatre was re-opened, August 26, with the tragedy of Douglas, Young Norval by Mr. Henry Johnston. This gentleman was engaged for six nights, but had only performed three, when we received the melancholy news that His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester had entered
“ That undiscover'd country, from whose bourn
“ No traveller returns And upon the receipt of this intelligence, our dramatic entertainments were suspended for eight days. The remainder of his engagement Mr. Johnston has since fulfilled. With his abilities as an actor, the readers of the Monthly Mirror are in general well acquainted. I may, however, remark, that his success here was by no means commensurate to his exertions, the curtain being sometimes drawn up to twelve, fifteen, and twenty pound houses : but out of respect to him as an individual, his benefit was well attended; the receipts amounted to £.190. On this occasion, (in the character of Sylvester Daggerwood) he gave imitations of Messrs. Cooke and Kemble.
Dim as our company was before, it has been still more «c shorn of its beams" several principal performers having left it. We have not now an individual, male or female, who can sustain, in any department of the drama, a first rate character even decently, low comedy escepted. Our manager in reality looks as if designed
“ To hatch a new Saturnian age of lead.” At a late representation of Hamlet, the most austere could not keep their gravity : in the funeral scene Hamlet made his appearance, wrapped in a deep green coloured plaid or cloak, and the grave-diggers capered about on a carpet, the first one I ever saw spread at grave-making! Add to this, David Mountfort, our prompter, (whose sesquipedality of belly is proverbial)
“ Bearing the golden yoke of sovereignty.” Laertes spoke home; and raised the laugh against him when he exclaimed Oh thou vile king.” Indeed nothing can be more obvious than that David is
" Unfit for state and majesty." In fine, the whole representation, to the shame of the manager, was a rare treat to the lovers of fun! Hamlet, the noblest offspring of the poet's genius,
was equally risible this evening, as would have been the celebrated caricature of The Tailors, or a Tragedy for warm Weather !
On Saturday last the Young Roscius also made his appearance here to a crowded audience, in the character of Young Norval. According to report he is to perform twelve nights ; I shall therefore have an opportunity to “ tent him to the quick," and next month will transmit you my opinion how much he has been improved, if any, by the ordeal of metropolitan criticism.
I am, &c. Glasgow, 17th September, 1805.
MERCUTIO. Theatre Royal Norwich.-Your correspondent W. C. has at length, after much cogitation, deigned to write what he, in his wisdom, calls a few brief remarks on my letter for April last:—for this condescension I feel myself highly indebted to him; but still more particularly when I find that his brief remarks were merely intended to display the brilliancy of his wit and humour, in an ingenious attempt to point out errors in the composition of that letter; and be assured I should have bowed with the most profound submission to his superior learning and judgment, had I not, in this instance, found in him a strange and unhappy knack of perverting instead of improving the sense, which I humbly hope to make apparent to you.
To the point,-After asserting “that Bowles wants pathos ;” and for proof, that “ Shakspeare's soul-inspiring language, fine rapid climax, and sudden transitions from passion to passion, issue from his lips without effect;" the truth of the position is, I apprehend, in no way affected by saying—" that his most successful parts are Cato, Julius Cæsar, and Henry V.” because the two latter are Shakspeare's plays; for, though there is more strength and uniformity in these pieces, they are certainly inferior in many of those respects which so eminently distinguish our immortal bard, and express none of the tender nor violent pas. sions, nor will they bear any comparison with Lear, Richard, Othello, Shylock, Romeo, or Hamlet. Out of which I have seen your correspondent's great actor but in three ; and in these three (the only parts in the drama for a great actor to establish his reputation) he failed most completely; he was even below mediocrity: never, in my time, have they been so miserably mangled on these boards. In what I wrote, I wrote from recollection, and still believe I asserted nothing but truth.
If once be not sufficient, W. C. would do well to fix the number of the times a performer must appear in a character before any one is permitted to give an opinion of his acting.
There may not be much sagacity in the remark, that from Bowles's inanimas tion and clumsiness, grave and sententious parts suit him better than light and airy, yet it would be well if the common sense of the public was not so frequently shocked by his appearance in such parts.
Faulkner had appeared with success in respectable theatres; we stood in need of a good tragedian, and a fair trial should have been afforded him.
I can conceive no inconsistency in what has been said of Bennet, and am surprised at your correspondent's ignorance, in not knowing that there is a wide difference between understanding what a man is about, and being able to put it
in practice. Had W. C. ever been at a puppet-shew, he would not have been at a loss to comprehend the meaning of wiry strul, as applied 10 Bennet.
There is nothing unusual in comparing two actors in the same cast of characters, but there is much impropriety in comparing two men as similar, who are so totally unlike as Jackson and Noble: Jackson croaked like a raven, was bent like a bow, and his style of playing might be said to be omewhat like Quick's. Noble's voice is clear and distinet, iris linbs pliant and agile, and his style resembling no actor's with whom I ain acquainted.
W. C.'s remarks on Mr. Hindes must be particularised before they can be answered. Norwich, Sept. 10, 1805.
VERITAS. Theatre Royal RichMOND.---This town has had its share of good performers during the season. Munden was our first visitor; Mrs. Litchfield, who came to pass the summer here with her family, was solicited to play a few nights. Her characters were, Mrs. Haller, Roxana, The Country Girl, Lady Townley, Mrs. Sullen, Lady Teazle, the Irish Widow, &c. on her benefit | night, which was attended by all the fashion in the neighbourhood, she perform, ed Juliana in the Honey Moon; Mr. Farley and Mrs. Dibdin on that night appeared in Rolanı!o and Volante ; and in Valentineand the Princess Eglantine in Valentine and Orson. Mrs. Jordan favoured Mr. Lacy, Junr. with her performance of Violante in the Wonder, for his benefit; and Mr. Bannister is now playing some of his favourite characters.
Theatre Royal EDINBURGH.---The theatre opened for the summer season the end of July. Miss Duncan was the only exotic engaged, a young lady certainly of great parts, but as certainly no novelty in a theatre shc had quitted but a few months beforė. Rock, having come down to Scotland, was admitted to play for the season. The remainder of the coinpany consisted precisely of those I characterised in my letter of March last.
Lady Teazle was Miss Duncan's opening part. Taking it for granted the suthor intends this for the character of a fine lady, I cannot bestow unqualified praise upon Miss Di's performance. A certain dignity of deportment and action, blended with ease, grace, and vivacity, joined to beauty, seem to me the essential requisites of the character, and in some of them this young lady is certainly deficient. Her acting is less tainted with the shrugs, twistings, roll of the eye, snip-snap dialogue, and other rather obvious faults, formerly pointed out, but she is, upon the whole, less the rustic giri in fine cloaths since her residence in London, though I must own I did not so much relish some points of her Lady Teazle as formerly. The unaffected vivacity of manner, and sprightliness of action, (thos blended with girlishness) displayed in the earlier scenes, which always delighted in representation, seemned to me greatly repressed by a small degree of restraint, stiffness, and affectation. She appeared to feel her present elevation on the London boards, and to think, like Mr. Bayes, a capital actress should, in the country at least, always elevate and surprise. This vile fault struck me forcibly in her comic and ballad singing. Instead of the clear, distinct articulation, gay, unaffected manner, fascinating simplicity of expression, which formerly disBaguished this captivating melodist, I was disgusted to perceive Miss D. twist
ing her face into the ugly grimaces of an opera-singer, loading the simplest melodies with a profusion of cadences and cantabiles, as disgusting as unsuited to unsophisticated nature, still recognised in this country. Instead of distinct articulation, as before, she sung from the throat, like most of your singers I have witnessed south of the Tweed. These faults, however, engendered by affectation, time and her own good sense, of which I know she possesses a good share, will remove. Then I am confident my former predictions in her favour will be amply fulfilled. Her Romp was a very superior piece of acting. Her engagement was for twelve nights, at ten pounds each, and a benefit.*
Rock was generally well received ; his low Irishmen gave universal satisface tion. In other parts he was tolerable; if never attaining excellence, seldom falling below mediocrity. From a report, pretty generally circulated, of his being little brought out in London, there were not wanting those who declared him fallen off. Of this I could not observe any symptom. The plump roundness of his visage, joined to an indifferent figure, and a want of flexibility of feature, are physical destitutions he cannot remedy ; but the degree of expression of countenance he exhibits in spite of those defects, prove the strength of his natural powers. Were his study, or rather bis application, more incessant, he would make a better figure. He had no salary, nor other emolument but a free benefit.
The only dramatic novelty worth mentioning was the Honey Moon, the principal female character by Miss Duncan, who seemed to have bestowed much attention upon her part. Eyre was, in the Duke, more impressive than I expected. By the way, had I seen this performer in heavy comedy when I wrote you some months since, my opinion would have been more favourable of his merits. The piece I think superior to.any thing produced of late years. Dwyer, though in some parts superior to Young, does not enjoy the twentieth part of the tythe of his popularity. Turpin's attention is unremitted, and, as is always the case,
his success is in proportion. Of Berry I have spoken in the language of eulogium. In a country company his merit is incalculable. His figure is but paltry, and his features unprominent, but his grotesque old men merit all praise, After all, however, his merit is but secondary, as he never acts from himsell, and it is with me a fixed maxim, that a copyist in any of the fine arts can never reach excellence. Munden is his most general model, but--" I hate e'en Munden thus at second hand.”
* No one acquainted with my exertions in her favour can deem me unfriendly to this young lady, as I have not, in this communication, noticed her beauties, bat enlarged on defects. This very circumstance, however, is meant as an additional proof of friendly regard. In this instance,“ I am cruel only to be kind.” A young beautiful actress, on the London boards, never wants flatterers. Such are worse enemies to rising merit than the most rancorous calumniators. The. atrical excellence is progressive, requiring incessant application, not only to the art itself, but every branch of polite literature. The venom of the calumnia ter not so deadly to rising merit, as the adulation of the ignorant, the stupid, or interested. There are such in London.
D D-VOL. XX,