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it is not the appalling sum total that I regard. It is the mizzling insignificant items, the heart-breaking fractions, the endless subdivisions of misery, that provoke me. It is as if one were condemned to be blown up with a mass of gunpowder, and at the same time to feel the separate explosion of every grain. Few of those pestilential vehicles called long coaches infest our roads at present; but when I was a young traveller they were frequent, especially on the northern stages. Their external semblance was that of a hearse, and their inward accommodations might vie with those of a slaveship. An incontinent vestal might have rehearsed her living inhumation in one of them. They carried ten in'side 1 Authors, children, and dandies, were only counted as fractions; and Daniel Lambert himself would only have been considered as an unit. Their pace was intolerably slow; their * ...; their drivers thirsty ; and ale-houses innumerable. It is difficult to conceive what a variety of distress they sometimes contained. I remember a journey in one of them, I think it was between Lancaster and Manchester, perhaps the dullest road in England, which beat the miseries of human life hollow. It was during the high fever of trade, and just after the summer holidays. I was then a minim, and copunted as nobody. Three youths, returnin “unwillingly to school,” with all their consolatory store of half-eaten apples and gingerbread, and with looks that indicated a woeful neglect of regimen during the vacation, composed one passenger. The landlady of the Swan inn, in bulk a Falstaff, and clothed hike the Grave-digger, ditto (bearing a brandy-bottle, which, with most importunate civility, she proffered to the company, in spite of repeated and sincere refusals); a consumptive gentleman, who supo his lack of natural dimension y a huge box-coat ; a sick lady, with her son (who by the way was very disagreeably affected by the motion of the carriage), her sister, and a lap-dog; a strong ministerialist of eighteen stone ; and an equally violent, and almost equally bulky, partizan of opposition; (neither of these worthies were perfectly sober, and their vociferation was such as to drown every other sound, except the

complaints of the sick lady, and the occasional yelping of the lap-dog ;) a very smart, yet innocent-looking young woman, who was sadly pestered with the coarse gallantry of a . middle-aged manufacturer of cotton; there was also a very prim and selfcomplacent young gentleman, who seemed to value himself much on his acute sense of the disagreeable, and not less on a peculiar delicate mode of swearing, mincing and clipping his oaths till they were almost softened into nonsense Such were the intestines: the roof and box were proportionably loaded. There was some little danger of breaking down, and no little fear of it. Every jolt produced a scream from the sick lady, a yelp from the lap-dog, an oath from the young gentleman, and a nauseous jest, or a vulgar proffer of service to the females, from the cotton-manufacturer. Against this chaos of discords we had to balance the momentary interruption of the political jangle, and a shriek in exchange for the customary groans of the landlady's. Scenes of this kind are particularly distressing to children; confinement and the wantoffresh airare themselves sufficiently painful to them, and they seldom possess the faculty of deriving amusement from inconveniences. But all the troubles of our progress were nothing to the intolerable stopping. All conversation, even that of the politicians, ceased instantly. Sigh answered sigh, and groans were heard in all the notes of the gamut. The

very horses seemed to sympathize

with the feelings of the passengers, by various imarticulate sounds exE. not, indeed, impatience to e gone, but uneasiness at staying. It was a hopeless condition. Every face was a glass, in which one might erceive the lengthening of one's own. 'or the last stage, a dozing silence prevailed, which made me almost wish for noise again. Anything to

drown the rumble of the wheels, and

the perpetual and unavailing crack of the whip, which was applied unmercifully, and, as it were, mechanically, without the smallest acceleration. I am not sure whether these machines have not been put down by the legislature. Would that the same august body would exercise their authority upon long speech

as well as on long coaches, and be as careful of the national time as of the bones of his Majesty's locomotive subjects. Oh ! that the value of brevity were understood within the walls of St. Stephen's I never cast an eye on the close-printed columns of a paper, without being transported by imagination into the Speaker's chair. (I had rather be transported to Botany Bay.) How anxiously must that model of enforced patience keep watch for some irregularity, and with what joy must he seize the opportunity of crying Order. How sweet to his ears must be the sound of his own voice, thus coupled with the sense of authority. A long debate is, to me, like a long story, of which I know the conclusion before it is begun. To read or listen to it is as tedious as to play

a game which you are sure of losing, or to fight for your life when you know that, in case of defeat or victory, it is alike forfeited. The catastrophe of every discussion may be so clearly foreseen, and the very arguments, and almost the very metaphors of each member, so easily anticipated, that it is a cruel oppres– sion to force a man to thread the intricate mazes of eloquence, in order to arrive at a point to which a hop, step, and jump, may carry him. TI proposed to speak briefly of brevity, and, lo! I have produced a long discourse upon length. I intended to show that lovely things are brief, and

..I have digressed into an exposition

of the unloveliness of lengthiness.

Lest I should utterly belie my title,

I will even conclude here.
TOM THUM B The GREAt.

BEAUTIES OF THE LIVING DRAMATISTS.
No. IV.

LA BELLE ASSEMBLEE, BY SIR L– S-.

From sentimental clod-poles” to sentimental jack-tars,t the transition was, perhaps, somewhat too easy. The progress of the student may be best assisted by striking contrasts, and by the strong opposition of the characteristics of the subjects submitted to his consideration. As the show-man of this dramatic gallery, and commentator on its contents, I ought to have reflected on this in the outset of my undertaking, and adopted some plan for the arrangement of the specimens. Variety is the soul of pleasure; and even they who follow me more for amusement than instruction, would, most likely, have been better pleased at abrupt leaps from “grave to gay, from lively to severe,” than tamely sliding down from one object to another. If confession, and repentance of my error, will avail me aught with my kind company, I do confess and repent; and will endeavour to atone by now leading them abruptly from the contemplation of the charms of melodramatic ruffians, and rantingbarons,t to the softer and less palpable beauties of the gentle Sir L–S—.

Sir L–’s Pegasus is not that unruly beast that would set rivers

flowing out of rocks by a kick of its hoof. I’ll warrant him to amble across the breakfast-table in the boudoir of a St. James's beauty, and never crack the tea-pot. He is the quietest steed in the whole dramatic stud ; and if Tattersall had the selling of him, he would, undoubtedly, and might truly, say in his recommendation, “He is so tame that a lady might ride him.” The scenes now to be taken in review are specimens of the genteelest, most inoffensive style of comedy since the days of the insipid Hugh Kelly. Thalia, instead of a merry, laughing, romping, mischievous nymph, is here a well-behaved, mincing, simpering young lady. But if she possess not the blood and muscle of the Muse of Congreve and Sheridan, neither does she snivel and blubber like the comic inspirer of the author of Virtue's Harvest Home ; smelling all the time of the fumier. She is a thorough boarding-school miss, and would do credit to the best establishment in all Chelsea. She never speaks one word higher than another, nor utters an uncivil or a severe expression, nor indulges in satire or invective, nor ill-naturedly

* See Virtue's Harvest Home, No. 1, of The Beauties of the Living Dramatists.

+ See Britain's Glory, No. 2.

: See The River-Rock, No. 3.

exposes other people's vices and follies; but bows and curtsies, and is polite to all the world, as a wellbred young lady ought to be. She holds up her mirror to the human

the smoke-dried shrubs of Grosvenor-square; and the results of her observations and reflections are such faithful transcripts of that most interesting of all the modifications of

nature of the Opera and the evening

life, called fashionable life, as are ex“At home,” and meditates among

hibited in the following scenes from

LA BELLE ASSEMBLEE,
A genteel Comedy,” in five Acts, by Sir L- S-.
CHARACTERs.
The Duke of DAF for IL.t
The MARQUIs of Bloom FAIR.
The EARL of Sweet BERRY.
LoRD NARcissus HYAcINTH.
LoRD Eve RBLoo M DAisy MoRE.
Colon EL FitzMYRTLE.
JessAMy, the Earl of Sweetberry's Valet.

Count Ess of Sweet BERRY.
LADY CEcIL1A Rosell LY.
LADY AMARILLA Rose LILY.
LADY JULIA TUBERose.
Florett A, Lady Sweetberry's lady's maid.

...Act I. Scene I.:-The Countess of Sweetberry's Boudoir tastefully decorated. Enter JessAMY and Florett A, meeting ; they bow and curtsey.

Floretta. Bless me, Jessamy, what brings you into my lady's boudoir P Jessamy. Permit me to inquire what brings you here, Mrs. Floretta? §

* Attached to the manuscript of LABELLE AssembléE are a few notes and memorandums in the author's hand-writing. From these, it appears that the piece was presented a few years ago, to the Theatre Royal, C–G–, under the title of NARcIssus AND AMARILLA, and in the form of a Romantic Drama, in Three Acts. Being rather deficient in plot, incident, situation, character and dialogue, and its success, as a Romantic Drama, doubtful, the author was recommended to cut it down into a two-act farce. Having proceeded on this recommendation, he then presented it as Who's for the Opera! a Force, in Two Acts. Being now found wanting in the liveliness, spirit, and bustle, necessary to the success of that species of composition, it was rejected, first, by the beforementioned house, as “unlikely to assist the interests of that Theatre;” next by the H– M– as “not promising any beneficial result to that concern;” and, lastly, by D— L– as “not appearing to the judgment of the sole manager, uncontrolled director, and self-accountable lessee of that most important, extensive, and national establishment, to promise sufficient opportunities for the display of the talents of the servants under his command, or such beneficial results, in a pecuniary point of view, as the gigantic nature of the undertaking he has been called to govern warrants him in looking forward to.” An intelligent friend next advised the re-extension of the work into a three-act Opera. In less than a year this change was effected ; and as the MARRIAGE IN HIGH-LIFE, a Comic Opera, in Three Acts, it was again rejected by all the Theatres above named; and, also, by the manager of the E– O— as “not likely to succeed on his boards, and he being capable of writing almost as good an Opera himself.” The author now did what he ought to have done in the first instance: he obeyed the dictates of his own genius; and instead of reducing his three-act Opera into a one-act Interlude (as another intelligent friend counselled him to do) he boldly stretched it out into a five-act Comedy; and it is to that resolution we are indebted for the unrivalled work before us.

+ Say what you will of Sir L 's dramatis persona, it must be allowed that they have always pretty names—sweetly pretty.

: By the notes already alluded to, it appears that the Author had been long undecided about which scene he should open his play with. Indeed it does not greatly matter, as they have no very intimate connexion one with the other, nor is there such a continuity of interest in the piece, as to render the transposition of the entire acts, or even the omission of an act or two, of any consequence. Perhaps his decision to open the piece in the way he has done is judicious, not only because the scene, where it is, can do neither good nor harm, but, for the more important reason, that a beginning, some way or other, is absolutely necessary.

Ś This is genteel Comedy indeed! Jessamy and Floretta are the beau ideal of servants. JFloretta. I come for my lady's reticule. (She takes it from a toilette-table, which is covered with flowers and foreign essences.) Jessamy. And I for my lord's snuff-box. (He takes it from a beautiful chiffonniere.) Floretta. I imagine that Colonel Fitzmyrtle will not lead Lady Amarilla Roselily to the hymeneal altar. Jessamy. i. Floretta, I cannot say; nor should I think it proper to interfere in the affairs of the family. But did not the Colonel secretly charge you with a letter to Lady Amarilla P Floretta. The Colonel is too much of a i. to do anything so improper; and, had he attempted it, I would not have assisted him in such a clandestine proceeding. Jessamy. #.". question, Floretta; and to convince me that you forgive me the suspicion, deign to allow me to press my lips to your cheek. Floretta. (Blushing deeply.)” That is a liberty I never permit; but you may take my hand, Jessamy. Jessamy. {. her hand respectfully to his lips.) Au revoir, Floretta. Floretta. Votre serviteur, Jessamy. [Ereunt severally. He bowing, she curtseying.

Scene II—The Earl of Sweetberry's Library, elegantly fitted up.
Enter Lord Sweet BERRY and Colonel FitzMYRTLE.

Lord Sweet. It is with infinite regret, my dear Colonel, I repeat that I cannot listen to your proposals.t

Colonel. Yet allow me, my dear Lord, the pleasure of once more recapitulating them. I do not presume to offer myself a candidate for the fair hand o your Lordship's elder daughter, the elegant and accomplished Lady Cecilia Roselily; .." hope you do not consider me as unworthy the honour of leading to the hymeneal altar her not less charming sister, the lovely and amiable Lady Amarilla.

Lord Sweet. Who waits?

Enter a Servant in a splendid Livery. Lord Sweet. Chairs. (Servant places chairs, and erit.) Pray be seated, Colcmel. (They sit.) I should consider your alliance with my family an honour, my dear Fitzmyrtle; but you know Colonel. My fortune, I own, is not large; but I am of an ancient family, my rank in the army is not despicable, and I have expectations of a baronetcy — Lord Sweet. By the possibility of succession to your uncle Sir Egerton Gayblossom ; but Sir Egerton has a son, and your elder brother Colonel. Is now with his regiment; my cousin, Mortimer Gayblossom, is about to join him; they may both unfortunately fall bravely in Spain, and then Lord Sweet. Your suit would still be unavailing, as I have promised the hand you sigh for to Lord Narcissus Hyacinth. (They rise.) Colonel. Then pardon, my dear Lord; a promise is sacred, and to press the conversation further would be impolite. I will instantly order my valet to pack my portmanteau; I will set off for Paris, and, in that gay vortex of pleasure, endeavour to banish the recollection of the lovely Lady Amarilla for ever. I.ord Sweet. I approve your project, Colonel. But come; will you return to the dining-room, where * gentlemen are still engaged over Cham

This it is to live in fashionable families. They are better bred than the lords and ladies

in certain plays I could name. It will presently be seen that their discretion (a rare qua

lity among servants) is quite equal to their breeding. * How is the actress to accomplish this? Never mind; they'll arrange that at re

hearsal. + This scene possesses no particular interest, nor are the characters introduced by it very

distinctly marked, or distinguished one from the other; but both his Lordship and the

Colonel are eminently polite and well-behaved, and the scene, on the whole, is genteel.

6

pagne and pine-apples,” or emigrate to the drawing-room and sip coffee with the ladies? Colonel. I fly to the drawing-room, my Lord ; but call it not emigration, for wherever the ladies are, there is my native home. Lord Sweet. Elegantly said, Colonel. I grieve that I cannot call you son-in-law, for—shall I confess it?—you are a charming man. After you, Colonel. (Bowing.) Colonel. Pardon me, my Lord. (Bowing.) Lord Street. I cannot think of preceding you. (Bowing.) Colonel. Your Lordship does me too much honour. (Ereunt, bowing.)

Scene III.-The drawing-room at Lord Sweetberry's, most superbly furnished, and elegantly ornamented. In various parts are vases and tripods bearing jlowers. On one side a grand piano, by Broadwood; on the other, a most beautiful harp, by Erard. Scattered about on different pieces of ornamental jurniture, are Chinese puzzles, Latour's rondos, Ackermann's fashions, and the “Sleeping Beauty,” bound in rose-coloured satin. At the back of the Scene THE Countess of Sweet BERRY, the MAnquis of Bloom FAIR, LADY Julia TUBERose, and the DUKE of DAFF opil, are engaged at five-guinea whist. Other card-tables occupied by beauty and jashion. LADY AMARILLA, Lond NARcissus HYAcINTh, LADY Cecilia, and Load EveRBloom DAIs YMoRE, looking on. Countess of Sweet. Well, my dear Marquis, do you never mean to play aim P Marquis. Bless me!—Eh!—Pardon, my lady, I was distrait. What are. trumps? Lady Julia. Diamonds, I believe. Duke. Spades, I think. Countess. No, Clubs—eh Pt Lord Narcissus. May I speak?—Hearts.--Lady Julia dealt. Lady Julia. So I did. Positively I forgot. Lord Narcissus. Can Lady Julia forget, hearts? : All. (exclaim together.) Sweet! pretty delicate! Did you hear what. Lord Narcissus said P Marquis. The game, the game; you forget we are at whist. - (LonDNARcissus and LADY AMARILLA coming forward.) Lord Narcissus. Indeed, Lady Amarilla, I am not surprised at the Colonel's having lot his heart to you; for who could behold so much loveliness and not love ; Lady Amarilla. (Tapping him on the arm with an India fan.) Be quiet, you fascinating creature, do.

* This allusion is skilfully introduced. The tone of the dialogue sufficiently guarantees the fidelity of the author's representations of fashionable life; but a wary dramatist has more than one string to his bow. Sir L– gives us a “boudoir tastefully decorated,” “beautiful chiffonnieres,” a “library elegantly fitted up;" and, as if this were not enough to convince us that we are breathing the air of Portland-place or Grosvenor-square, he marches up with a reinforcement of Champagne and pine-apples. He is not the man to spoil a ship (the figure I use will, I fear, cut but a sorry figure beside the genteel phrases of La Belle Assemblée) for want of a ha'p'orth of tar.

+ This is, indeed, a masterly touch. Making a whole party at whist forget the trump colour is an admirable trait of observation. The absence of mind, whether real or af. fected, implied by it, stamps indelibly the impress of fashion on the players. The stupid vulgar who play for sixpences, though they often succeed tolerably well in aping their betters, must not hope to rival them in points like this.

: Sir L-'s wit is not of that kind which knocks you down at a blow. It does not resemble the hearty, double-fisted hits of Congreve's, nor the small-sword thrust of Sheridan's; it neither makes you laugh, like Kenny's, nor does it make you cry, like Morton's. Indeed I scarcely know how to characterise it otherwise than by negatives—it is difficult to define—it is sui generis. Yet let metry what I can do with it. Its most striking characteristic is the quiet and subdued tone—but hold !—the thing is done to my hand. In the next speech it is described to a tittle. We there have the united opinion of all the characters that it is sweet and pretty. And so it is.

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