Sidor som bilder

Nan Brand, once assaild with Melpomene's fury, Was d—n'd, with her piece, by an horse-laughing

jury: While West on dramatical stream safely glides, Depicting an Edmund, surnam'd Ironsides : To whom add a Chambers, whose pen aptly blends True merits dramatic in School for her Friends. (a)



to father the whole production of another, and stand forth to the world with such a barefaced untruth, is a mode of action which could not even have been expected from the thoughtless dramatist of whom I have spoken.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Furtivis nudata coloribus.

Horace. The crow when stript of her borrowed plumes excites laughter.

[ocr errors]

(a) It is melancholy to observe how some persons wilfully endeavour to force themselves into publicity, without possessing an attribute that can entitle them to merit that praise which they are so assiduously bent upon obtaining. Miss Hannah Brand, the very able mistress of a lady's seminary, not only con


With Castle of Wolmer comes tame Doctor Houlton, Whose Muse rode, alas! but a poor ragged colton : And Kenny, true man of the world, tunes his mind; False Alarms he'll despise, when he's Raising the


Friends Hulston and Smith jointly court approbation; While versatile Allingham loves Transformation :

ceived herself capable of writing for the stage, but actually came forward as the performer of the heroine in her own piece, which was a tragedy entitled Uniades. On the night of représentation the writer of this note was present, and never were the wearers of the buskin greeted with such incessant peals of laughter : the tragedy was rendered into broad farce, which the solemn de meanour of our heroine, who did not expect the transmogrification, 'tended to increase throughout each 'successive act. Let the reader, however, judge for himself as to matters as they stood after perusal of the following fact. The late Mr. R. Paliner, who performed the part of the tyrant ravisher, instead of ordering old Packer in the following words, “ Rise up'Oriades," literally exclaimed, to the prostrate actor, " Rise up old Ragged A."

To Mesdames West and Chambers much praise is due for their endeavours to increase the theatrical budget : their style is

For Frolics of Fortune, like Promise of Marriage, He deems All a Farce, doom'd to Fatal Miscar

riage. (6)

correct, and language pure ; nor do we find any of those hyperbolical fights for which female writers, and particularly for the stage, are frequently censured with becoming justice.

(6) Having witnessed the first night's representation of The Castle of Wolmer, I have only to acquaint its author that he had better—" Sleep in Peace.Kenny possessés some requisites for broad farce, but he is not sufficiently skilful in the concealment of his plagiaries. This gentleman is, I believe, an heirloom to Covent Garden theatre, receiving an annual stipend for bis dramatic efforts; I would therefore advise the managers not to grapple at too much, but permit him to write less and think more.

Hulston and Smith rank nearly upon a par : we know their names as caterers for the theatre, and little more is necessary; their productions certainly will not outlive their memories. Mr. Allingham has not proved himself an indolent purveyor for the dramatic corps; in some instances we have

; witnessed flashes from the fancy of this gentleman, but, like most of the moderns, he appreciates the acquirement of fame by the quantum which a writer can produce. Add to these the name of Mr. Lawler, who brought forward a piece called Sharp and


George Brewer, with frowns of the world looking


Too oft hath experienc'd his Day of Banyan.
Recorded, Charles Kemble must stand, as translator,
And Skeffy, of Melo Drames noted dictator :
Nor slight we friend Farley, possessing attraction,
In planning his Ballets, horrific, of Action. (c)

Flat, the conclusive word of which title is, in every respect, applicable to the nature of the dramatic effort in question.

(c) Mr. George Brewer has more than once attempted scenic. compositions, and in his efforts to produce humour, he soars above mediocrity ; but the literary fame of this personage is better appreciated by consulting his labours as an essayist in the style of Goldsmith, in which department he has a very happy flow of delivery. The younger Kemble is only known in the light of a translator; he is well acquainted with the arcana of stage-trick, and in pursuing this humble line may benefit himself and his employers, without setting his fame on the hazard of the die. As for Mr. John Philip, the tragedian of the same name, he once entered the flowery pastures of poesy, and produced a volume of miscellaneous metrical scraps, of which it will be sufficient to state, that the author is himself so

But these flights of warm fancy with fame to endow,
Creating ʼmongst playwrights a terrible row;
Shall chronicle Bishop, whose Feast of Oronzo
Stabs sense as Pizarro is kill'd by Alonzo;
Since never was scribe yet so non compos mentis,
And ranking of Bathos more sterling apprentice:(d)

truly ashamed, that he has, at a vast expense, repurchased and destroyed nearly all the copies that were ushered forth to the public. The performances of Mr. Skeffington, like his person, are of the tinsel order; he plunders scraps from all the old French and Italian compositions, and of this amalgama, or patch-work, fürbishes up a something of the butterfly breed, which lives for a day and then is heard no more. Farley, without attempting what he would be unable to achieve, is satisfied with the honest endeavour of benefiting himself and his employers, by producing a species of spectacle, which, if, from its nature, placed without the pale of criticism, is nevertheless eagerly sought for by the public; and, therefore, whatsoever may be the writer's opinion, as to what is strictly due to the legitimate stage, this gentleman, obedient only to the taste of the times, acts accordingly; and in his vocation, it is but justice to add, no individual has ever yet surpassed him.

(d) The personage above mentioned was butler in a gentlemau's family, and having lost his wits like many other writers,


« FöregåendeFortsätt »