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MR. KEMBLE’S FAREWELL ADDRESS,
ON TAKING LEAVE OF THE EDINBURGH STAGE.
As the worn war-horse, at the trumpet's sound, Erects his mane, and neighs, and paws the ground
*[These lines first appeared, April 5, 1817, in a weekly sheet, called “The Sale Room," conducted and published by Messrs Ballantyne and Co., at Edinburgh. In a note prefixed, Mr. James Ballantyne says,
• The character fixed upon, with happy propriety, for Kemble's closing scene, was Macbeth, in which he took his final leave of Scotland on the evening of Saturday, the 29th March, 1817. He had laboured under a severe cold for a few days before, but on this memorable night the physical annoyance yielded to the energy of his mind.— He was,' he said, in the green-room, immediately before the curtain rose, determined to leave behind him the most perfect specimen of his art which he had ever shown;' and his success was complete. At the moment of the tyrant's death the curtain fell by the universal acclamation of the audience. The applauses were vehement and prolonged; they ceased
were resumed — rose again were reiteratedand again were hushed. In a few minutes the curtain ascended, and Mr. Kemble came forward in the dress of Macbeth, (the audience by a consentaneous movement rising to receive him,) to deliver his farewell. ......“Mr. Kemble delivered these lines with exquisite beauty, and with an effect that was evidenced by the tears and sobs of many of the audience. His own emotions were very conspicuous. When his farewell was closed, he lingered long on the stage, as if unable to retire. The house again stood up, and cheered him with the waving of hats and long shouts of applause. At length, he finally retired, and, in so far as regards Scotland, the curtain dropped upon his professional life for ever.”]
Disdains the ease his generous lord assigns,
Here, then, adieu ! while yet some well-graced parts
O favour'd Land! renown'd for arts and arms, For manly talent, and for female charms, Could this full bosom prompt the sinking line, What servent benedictions now were thine! But my last part is play'd, my knell is rung, When e'en your praise falls faltering from my tongue; And all that you can hear, or I can tell, Is-Friends and Patrons, hail, and FARE YOU WELL.
SEARCH AFTER HAPPINESS;
THE QUEST OF SULTAUN SOLIMAUN.
WRITTEN IN 1817.
We Britons have the fear of shame before us, And, if not wise in mirth, at least must be decorous.
*[First published in “ The Sale Room, No. V.,” February 1, 1817.]
* The hint of the following tale is taken from La Camiscia Magica, a novel of Giam Battista Casti,
Whose ears received the same unvaried phrase,
III. This Solimaun, Serendib had in swayAnd where 's Serendib? may some critic say.Good lack, mine honest friend, consult the chart, Scare not my Pegasus before I start! If Rennell has it not, you'll find, mayhap, The isle laid down in Captain Sindbad's map,Famed mariner! whose merciless narrations Drove every friend and kinsman out of patience, Till, fain to find a guest who thought them shorter, He deign’d to tell them over to a porter The last edition see, by Long. and Co., Rees, Hurst, and Orme, our fathers in the Row.
[See the Arabian Nights' Entertainments.]