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The ONLY EDITION EXISTING WHICH IS FAITHFULLY MARKED
PUBLISHED FOR THE PROPRIETORs, By w. SIMPKIN AND
The very different sensations which every person must experience while reading this opera, and while seeing it performed, furnish one more striking proof of the actor's power to refute the old adage by producing something from nothing, and to impart animation and interest to scenes, in themselves devoid of both. He who sits coolly at home to peruse the piece, and exercise his judgment upon its value, meets with little to remind him that it proceeded from the pen of a richly-gifted individual, one of our finest romance-writers. Perceiving that the characters are but paltry copies of brilliant originals, that the language is weak, the incidents stolen, and the plot destitute of ingenuity, he feels inclined to doubt whether it can ever have contributed to the gratification of an audience; but he who has once been present at its performance, even if the effect of the comic portions has escaped his recollection, cannot possibly have forgotten the vivid impression which the concluding scene of pathos invariably produces. We never witnessed more intense interest or more powerful emotion awakened by any picture of misery in the higher walks of the Drama, than we have seen called forth by this simple picture of domestic distress: yet read it, and how perfectly frigid, common-place a piece of business the whole affair seems to be. The truth is, paradoxical as the assertion may appear, that the players often produce the finest effect when they have the scantiest materials to work with, and erect some of their most masterly structures upon the least solid and substantial foundations. We scarcely need pause to enumerate proofs of this.
“Rich and Poor” was written ere the author had attained his sixteenth year, and the recollection of this circumstance may serve to diminish our surprise at the glaring plagiarisms it displays, which committed by a practised author would be regarded with sterner sen