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taste, and the vitiation of the minds of the higher orders, and their absolutely calling for equestrian mummery as a Supplement to the Drama, I can bear ample testimony to, having letters in my possession from no less than five Duchesses, eighteen Countesses, six Bishops' wives, and a great majority of the Ladies of the lower House, insisting upon the introduction of Horses." Under these circumstances, and so sanctioned, he declared his determination to persevere, and concluded a most animated speech by proposing the health of Mr. S. who rose amidst the most rap turous acclamations. The particulars of this address neither our limits, nor indeed our talents, allow us to detail, the wing of genius has sometimes such a rapid flight; at one moment skimming the surface like the swallow, and darting with inconceivable quickness at the minutest objects; at another, soaring like the eagle, and drinking intelligence from the fountain of brightness; that labouring attention toils after it in vain. Suffice it to say, that he proved to demonstration, that the public taste was perverted, but that no blame on that account was attached to the Patentees, who could not avoid producing what the public called for-the depravation proceeded not from the deficiency or the size of the Theatres, but from the degeneracy of the day, from the vice and debasement and dissipation which grew with the increase of wealth, and so vitiated the minds of the higher orders, that they had no relish for more refined amusements. It was under this impression that Tobin's charming play of The Honey moon had been so long kept back from the degenerate public, and the production of an ingenious female writer recently taken out of the hands of the Acting Manager. After passing some observations on the nature and propriety of dramatic monopolies, he sat down amidst a thunder of applause. At this moment a deputation arrived from the Lyceum, re

questing

VOL. XV.

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questing permission for the Proprietors and Performers to walk round the table, to prove that they had not, by an alleged but unfounded report of the desertion of their Theatre, been reduced to a state of great debility by starvation. This interesting procession was immediately admitted, on the motion of Mr. Parker ; and we are happy to say, that, from the plumpness of the Company, they appear to have lived, during the whole season, under a regimen of very good houses. They all received half a glass of wine and a pinch of snuff apiece from the hands of Mr. Kemble, the Chairman, who congratulated them in very handsome terms on their good looks, and their recent escape from damnation in their animated defence of The Americans, against whom the public had nearly voted a non-intercourse bill. Mr. Astley, senior, was greatly amused at the admirable imitation, by Mr. Mathews, of the Tailor riding to Brentford; and Mrs. Bland gave universal satisfaction in the song of the Horse and his Rider. The President now retired, and the Chair was taken by Mr. Makeen; nor did the Company disperse till a late hour in the morning. There was a good deal of talk respecting the formation of a Club for the perpetuation of Horse exhibitions at the regular Theatres, and some resolutions were proposed ; but the plan has not yet assumed a tangible shape: as soon as it does, the particulars shall be communicated.

COMMON SENSE VERSUS MUMMERY.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE MORNING CHRONICLE.
[May 16.]

SIR,

ΤΗ HE maiden modesty and sweet compliance with which Mr. Kemble, High Priest of Shakspeare, &c. &c. &c. yields to the Equitation of his colleague.

Mr.

Mr. Harris, should not have extorted a single serious remark-such coquetting only deserves a cracker to be tied to its tail; but Mr. Sheridan's opinion must always have weight, and, if unfounded, as I sincerely think, and hope to prove it, must be proportionably .mischievous.

His first position is, that the public taste is vitiated with respect to dramatic amusement, and that this proceeds from the vice and debasement and dissipation growing from the increase of wealth, which have destroyed all relish in the minds of the higher orders for more refined amusements, and induced them to call for these equestrian gambols. The latter part of this assertion is utterly groundless-the public never called for such exhibitions; they frequented the Theatre during the last and the preceding seasons, and neither expected nor demanded such disgusting mummery.→→→ As to the former part of the charge, of disrelish in the minds of the higher orders towards more refined amusements, I cannot believe it by any means true in the unqualified extent attributed to it. At the representation of an affecting tragedy, when I look from the stage towards the audience, I see my fair countrywomen, of all classes, paying the sweet and accustomed tribute of their pity to the sorrows of Constance, and the dignified resignation of Katharine. I can neither trace vice nor dissipation, nor that har dened levity, which, only to be gratified by pageantry, would betray the usual symptoms of ennui at the performance of an interesting play: instead of that, all is attention and sympathy-nor will Mrs. Siddons, at least, join in this general charge of debasement, while she can call up that tear in the eye of loveliness, which only dims its lustre for a moment, to render it more lastingly interesting.

Mr. Sheridan next proceeds to say, that for this alleged depravation the Patentees are not in fault."

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I, OB

I, on the contrary, contend, that whatever deprava. tion exists arises entirely out of the monopoly, which, limiting the number of Theatres to two, has rendered it the interest of those Patentees to enlarge the dis mensions of the houses to such a preposterous degree, as to subvert every good consequence that can be produced by a well-regulated and properly-sized Theatre. It is notorious, that, except in the pit and dress-boxes, there is no possibility of either seeing or hearing.-The monopolists, with their exclusive privileges, are perfectly indifferent as to the accommodation of the au dience, who, from the want of other places of dramatic amusement, are constrained to frequent these areas for the exhibition of processions and pageantry. Hence arises, not the preference for, but the toleration of, such mummery by the public. No longer able to distinguish the features, or to discriminate the tones, of the actor's voice, they have gradually been tempted into the endurance of melo-drames and such trumpery, which, by music and gesticulation, convey those ideas to the mind, which, in Garrick's time, were communicated by the fire of his eye, the variable inflections of his voice, and the magic of his countenance. Suppose that such a man could again delight and improve the public, and silence the croaking and the bellowing, and the solemn foppery, and measured strut, and affected pronunciation, that now infest the boards, would not his enchanting powers, be utterly lost on three-fourths of the audience, from the single circumstance of their distance from the stage? And yet we bear from Mr. Sheridan, that the size of the Theatres has nothing to do with the mummery and disgraceful horsemanship which now contaminate the Theatre!

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1 shall, at a future opportunity, trouble you with further remarks on this subject: your columns now are too full of those debatings, which, after a war of words for seven successive days, have left the most im

portant

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portant question that was ever discussed at the mercy of a Minister, who, in prosecution of his own plans; has brought the existence of the English people into jeopardy, and placed it upon the desperate hazard of the event of war. If Buonaparte be subdued, and if, being subdued, his system of exclusion be disconti nued, and if, being discontinued, the continent is again thrown open to us, then our commerce will revive, and the depreciation of our currency be arrested: if not, we shall be consoled by the escape of our Pilot from impeachment into the upper House, where he can, undisturbed, like the leech after it has done the duties of exhaustion, purge away his political delinquencies in the pickle of a Peerage.

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IN SA

D1 SIR JOHN SINCLAIR ON THE CURRENCYE

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[From the same, May 17.] 31. TRCA 1 SPECIMENS of excellence in parliamentary speaking come so rapidly upon us, we have hardly time to recover from the vigour and excursive imagination of

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Fuller,

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