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"The people," added he, "adore you, for you are as beneficent as the Almighty; history will record your name with veneration for your love of justice, but you should consider that your own actions are blended indiscriminately with those of your favourites; for under the protection which your name affords them, they do as they please; and every robbery, every act of oppression which they commit, dero gates from your honour and greatness. I I de mand justice, and request that the wife of my friend may be liberated: you cannot reject my request, since you are the father and judge of your people."
The caliph surveyed with surprise and awe
PUBLIC AMUSEMENTS FOR MARCH
Ox Thursday, March 9, a new Comedy was produced at this Theatre, under the title of Independence; or, The Trustee. The author is not known.
The Plot of this Play was very trite.-A younger brother is enjoying a good fortune under the will of his father, who had disinherited his eldest son upon the misrepresentations of the youngest, but the old gentleman baving discovered before his death the villainy of the younger son, who had persuaded hin that his brother was dead, makes a new will, and appoints an honest country Grocer a Trustee under it. This revocation of his former will is carefully concealed from the younger brother, who, upon his father's death, enters upon the estate, and excites a general disgust by his conduct. As he is about to carry off an heiress in the neighbourhood, his eldest brother arrives, the latter will of the father is produced; the younger brother is exposed, and the eldest restored to the estate.
Such is the outline of the plot of this piece; || which, it must be confessed, attempted the best end of Comedy, by delineating manners, and bringing into action the humours of familiar character. The Dramatis l'ersone are, for the most part, a phalanx of sturdy Independents,— | scorning servility, and asserting their freedom of sentiment with churlish pride. This humour is encountered by the violence and caprice of those with whom they are connected. At length, however, they triumph by the pertinacity of their virtue, and are crowned with wives, with money, and happiness.
There was something pleasing enough in the design of this Play, but the execution was very unskilful.-There was not much relief to
the bold and interesting old man, whose eyes flashed with indignant courage. "And what advantage do you expect to derive from exposing your life to imminent danger?"
"The cousciousness of dying in the perform ance of a good action; bat my prince surely cannot commit an act of injustice."
"No," replied the caliph; "your words, old man, bave had a wonderful effect upon me. A good angel has assisted you; for 10 mortal has as yet dared to speak with such an independent spirit in my presence. Go now, I shall send for you when your presence is
[To be concluded in our next.]
the serious parts by any humour either of incident or character; the country Grocer was a very wretched attempt; and the Clerk (a part performed by Liston) a very slight and insignificant sketch. The piece was violently opposed during the two last acts, and escaped with difficulty a final condemnation.
On Monday, Feb. 20, was performed at this Theatre the tragedy of King Lear; the part of Lear by Mr. Kemble.
This is perhaps one of the most affecting of all the tragedies of Shakespeare.-It is a tragedy without the dagger and the bowl.—It is a tragedy which, stript of the common appendages and decorations of the drama, would lose nothing of its effect; such is the force of its character, and the natural discrimination of its passion.
The wound of filial ingratitude, a suffering of the domestic kind, which, from other authors, might have produced a prosiac play, like George Barnwell or the Gamester, has been elevated by the genius of Shakespeare to the rank of a tragic passion; and a father, complaining of the ingratitude of his daughters, is made to command an universal sympathy.
The madness of Lear is perhaps the only natural madness on the stage. It is not the intoxication of an Alexander, or the poetic phrenzy of an Orestes; it is passion worked into natural fury; the bursting of a mind unable to compress its feelings, the extravagance and sensibility of a royal lunatic.
Mr. Kemble is the only actor of the present day who at all enters into the character of Lear; but his performance, rather from natural impossibility, than from any defect of
skill, fails in making that impression of which the character is capable. In the parts of heroic vigour, more particularly in that in which the old King contends with the assassins of Cordelia, and, exhausted by the efforts which he makes in her defence, sinks into the arms of his attendants, Mr. Kemble presented a perfect image of Lear. In the parts of abrupt, passion, when the mind of the aged monarch shifts between insanity and reason, Mr. Kemble was equally happy; but he was not successful in representing the decrepitude of Lear; he was any thing but an old man-He stalked with all the firmness of juvenility, and when he assumed the feebleness of age, the art was too apparent to deceive.
To make the limbs totter, to bend the body, and dim the eyes, is more a trick of art than a requisite of natural talent; and as this is the only part of Lear in which Mr. Kemble does not succeed, his failure cannot be imputed to any want of judgment or skill.
CONSTRUCTION OF THEATRES.
SINCE the year 1792 there have been seven Theatres burnt down in this metropolis. The following observations on the construction of edifices of this description, tending in some measure to prevent a recurrence of similar accidents, may not perhaps be unacceptable to our readers.
The church of Santa Sophia, at Constantinople, is related to have been burnt down se veral times; and the Emperor Justinian is stated to have made the discovery, that if it were to be built of naterials not combustible, a similar accident would not again occur. One would really imagine that there would be no need either of a ghost or Emperor to point out this obvious truth; but experience shews that this is one of the lost secrets; therefore permit me to revive it in the mind of our Theatre-builders.
The naves of Lincoln, Ely, and Westminster Cathedrals, are vaulted with stone; the first is 39 feet wide, and 82 feet high; the second 35 feet wide, and 73 feet high; the third 33 feet wide, and 103 feet high: and these vaults are built of materials of which few architects of the present age would dare to erect a wine vault. The perpendicular supports to these vaults are comparatively slender columns, and the thrust of the vaulting is resisted by flying buttresses over the side aisles; and the naves of the Cathedrals are intersected by towers, against which their vaultings abut. Hence the form of a Theatre and a Cathedral bear a great resemblance; the part over the pit may be compared with the tower, the choir end of the nave to the stage, the other end to the retiring boxes, &c. and the aisles to the lobbies.
grams issuing from the section for the stage and the retiring boxes and galleries. Behind the part appropriated to the audience there are lobbies for communication.
There is always sufficient distance behind the boxes and galleries in a Theatre to erect flying buttresses, the abutments to which will be concealed partly in the walls to the lobbies, and in the waiting rooms, or may project beyond the fronts; the widths of Theatres vary from 40 to 70 feet between the backs of the side boxes; the heights under the ceiling seldom exceed 70 feet. Hence it appears from precedent, that a vaulting to a Theatre is by no meaus impracticable.
The roof over the pit may be a dome, and over the other parts cylindrical vaulting intersecting the dome. If the vaults be erected with stone ribs, and the spandrels filled in with bricks, a few boards and scaffolding will be sufficient without centering, except for the ribs to erect them on; the dome in either case will not require a centre. The dome and vaults may be afterwards covered with lead or composition; no other roof will then be ne
A Theatre is divided into two parts, the one appropriated to the actors and scenery, and the other to the audience; the latter is again divided into two parts, the one being the area, inclosed by the backs of the boxes, and the other, the retiring boxes in the middle of the Theatre; the plan is generally a circle, ellipsis, or mixed curve truncated, having parallelo-much space must be lost, and the expence of
It is evident that while the roof of the building can be preserved, only partial tires can injure the Theatre, and the injuries will be conGined to what with propriety may be called the furniture of the building; and it is also evident, that upon this principle, in any times, this mode of construction, as it relates to the shell of the building, is considerably less expensive; but when the present high price of timber is recollected, it appears with still greater force. It may at first appear that there must be a great increase of thickness in the walls, and that from this circumstance
walling must be enormous; but a recurrence to the principles upon which our Cathedrals are erected, will warrant a very different conclusion. X.
THE TRAVELLER; OR, A PROSPECT OF SOCIETY.
INSCRIBED TO THE REV. MR. H. GOLDSMITH.
REMOTE, unfriended, melancholy, slow,
Eternal blessings crown my earliest friend,
Where all the ruddy family around
But me, not destin'd such delights to share,
That, like the circle bounding earth and skies,
E'en now, where Alpine solitudes ascend,
Lakes, forests, cities, plains extending wide, The pomp of kings, the shepherd's humbler pride. [bine, When thus Creation's charms around comAmidst the store should thankless pride repine? Say, should the philosophic mind disdain That good which makes each humbler bosom vain?
Continued from No. 42.]—No. XLIII.
Let school-taught pride dissemble all it can,
Ye fields, where summer spreads profusion round;
Ye lakes, whose vessels catch the busy gale;
Yet oft a sigh prevails, and sorrows fall,
May gather bliss to see my fellows blest.
But where to find that happiest spot below, Who can direct, when all pretend to know; The shudd'ring tenant of the frigid zone Boldly proclaims that happiest spot his own; Extols the treasures of his stormy seas, And his long nights of revelry and ease: The naked negro, panting at the line, Boasts of his golden sands and palmy wine; Basks in the glare, or stems the tepid wave, And thanks his gods for all the good they gave. Such is the patriot's boast, where'er we roam : His first, best country, ever is at home. And yet, perhaps, if countries we compare, And estimate the blessings which they share, Though patriots flatter, still shall wisdom find An equal portion dealt to all mankind; As different good, by art or nature given, To different nations, makes their blessings
Nature, a mother kind alike to all,
But let us try these truths with closer eyes,
At her command the palace learn'd to rise,
With venerable grandeur mark the scene.
Could nature's bounty satisfy the breast,
But small the bliss that sense alone bestows,
Tho' poor, luxurious; tho' submissive, vain;
My soul, turn from them-turn we to survey
And force a churlish soil for scanty bread:
Yet still e'en here content can spread a
He sees his little lot the lot of all;
Sees no contiguous palace rear its head,
With patient angle trolls the finny deep,
Or seeks the den where snow-tracks mark the
While his lov'd partner, boastful of her hoard,
Thus ev'ry good his native wilds impart,
Enhance the bliss his scanty fund supplies. Dear is that shed to which his soul conforms, And dear that bill which lifts him to the storms;
And as a chiid, when scaring sounds molest, Clings close and closer to the mother's breast; So the loud torrent, and the whirlwind's roar, But bind him to his native mountains more.
Such are the charms to barren states assign'd: Their wants but few, their wishes all confin'd. Yet let them only share the praises due ; If few their wants, their pleasures are but few: For ev'ry want that stimulates the breast, Becomes a source of pleasure when redrest. Whence from such lands cach pleasing science flies,
That first excites desire, and then supplies; Unknown to them, when sensual pleasures cloy To fill the languid pause, with finer joy; Unknown those pow'rs that raise the soul to flame,
Catch ev'ry nerve, and vibrate through the frame.
Their level life is but a mould'ring fire, Unquench'd by want, unfanu'd by strong desire;
These far dispers'd. on timorous pinions fly,
To kinder skies, where gentler manners
I turn, and France displays her bright doGay sprightly laud of mirth and social ease, Pleas'd with thyself whom all the world can please,
Unfit for raptures; or, if raptures cheer
But not their joys alone thus coarsely flow;
How often have I led thy sportive choir [Loire!
And the gay grandsire, skill'd in gestic lore,
Thus idly busy rolls their world away:
Here passes current; paid from hand to hand
But while this softer art their bliss supplies,
Nor weighs the solid worth of self-applause.