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fulness came back upon the heart; and the of ham, sandwiches, and broiled mushrooms, glorious clouds which fringed the western ho- to enable us to do justice to the liquid delicarizon Looked prophetic of golden years “precies before us. The usual order of wines is destined to descend and bless mankind." This disregarded; no affected climax, no squeamish soft, highly-flavoured Port, in every drop of assortments of tastes for us here; we despise which you seem to taste an aromatic flower, all rules, and yield a sentimental indulgence to revives that delicious evening, when, after the aberrations of the bottle. “ Riches fine. days of search for the tale of Rosamond Grey, less” are piled around us; we are below the of which I had indistinctly heard, I returned laws and their ministers; and just, lo! in the from an obscure circulating library with my farthest glimmer of the torches lies outstretched prize, and brought out a long.cherished bottle, our black Mercury, made happy by our leav. given me two years before as a curiosity, by ings, and seeming to rejoice that in the cellar, way of accompaniment to that quintessence of as in the grave, all men are equal. imaginative romance. How did I enjoy, with How the soul expands from this narrow cell a strange delight, its scriptural pathos, like a and bids defiance to the massive walls ! What newly discovered chapter of the Book of Ruth; Elysian scenes begin to dawn amidst the dark. hang enamoured over its young beauty, love- ness! Now do I understand the glorious tale lier for the antique frame of language in which of Aladdin and the subterranean gardens. It it was set; and long to be acquainted with the is plain that the visionary boy had discovered author, though I scarcely dared aspire so high, just such a cellar as this, and there eagerly and little anticipated those hundreds of happy learned to gather amaranthine fruits, and evenings since passed in his society, which range in celestial groves till the Genius of the now crowd on me in rich confusion !—Thus Ring, who has sobered many a youth, took is it that these subtlest of remembrancers not him in charge, and restored him to common only revive some joyful season, but this also air. Here is the true temple, the inner shrine "contains a glass which shows us many of Bacchus. Feebly have they understood the more," unlocking the choicest stores of memo- attributes of the benignant god, who have rery, that cellar of the brain, in which lie the presented him as delighting in a garish bower treasures which make life precious.
with clustering grapes; here he rejoices to sit, But see! our party have seated themselves in his true citadel, amidst his mightier treabeneath that central arch to enjoy a calmer sures. Methinks we could now, in prophetic pleasure after the fatigues of their travel. They mood, trace the gay histories of these imbodied look romantic as banditti in a cave, and good inspirations among those who shall feel them humoured as a committee of aldermen. A hereafter; live at once along a thousand lines cask which has done good service in its day- of sympathy and thought which they shall the shell of the evaporated spirit-serves for a kindle; reverse the melancholy musing of table, round which they sit on rude but ample Hamlet, and trace that which the þungholebenches. The torches planted in the ground stopper confines to “ the noble dust of an Alexcast a broad light over the scene, making the ander,” which it shall quicken; and peeping ruddy wine glisten, and seeming, by their irre- into the studies of our brother contributors, gular flickering, as if they too felt the influence see how that vintage which fushed the hills of the spot. My friend, usually so gentle in of France with purple, shall mantle afresh in his convivialities, has actually broken forth the choice articles of this Magazine. into a song, such as these vaults never heard ; But it is time to stop, or my readers will our respected senior sits trying to preserve suspect me of a more recent visit to the cellar. his solemn look, but unconsciously smiling; They will be mistaken. One such descent is and Mr. B-1, the founder of the banquet, is enough for a life; and I stand too much in sedulously doing the honours with only in awe of the Powers of the Grave to venture tenser civility, and calling out for fresh store I again so near to their precincts.
ON THE DESTRUCTION OF THE BRUNSWICK
THEATRE BY FIRE.
[New MONTHLY MAGAZINE.)
We notice this lamentable accident in our / as transgressions, and to estimate not only dramatic record, not for the sake of inquiry what is done but what is resisted. We can, into its causes, or of multiplying the dismal indeed, do this but partially, yet we should, as associations which it awakens, but for the far as possible, dispose ourselves to be just in striking manner in which it has brought out our moral censures; and we shall find in those the proper virtues of players. Actors of all whom we call “ good for nothing people,” more ranks; managers of all interests; the retired good than we think for. Actors are, no doubt, and the active; the successful and the obscure; more liable to deviate from the ordinary prothe refined and the vulgar; from Mrs. Siddons prieties of conduct, than merchants or agriculdown to the scene-shifters of Sadler's Wells, iurists; it is their business to give pleasure to have pressed forward to afford their sympathy others, and, therefore, they must incline to the and relief to the living sufferers. The pro- pleasurable ; they live in the present, and it is prietors of the patent theatres, who were just no wonder that, as their tenure is more precacomplaining of the infringements on their pur- rious than that of others, they take less thought chased rights, wbich have rendered them for the future. But if they have less of almost valueless, at once forgot the meditated the virtue of discretion, they have also less of injury to themselves, and saw nothing but the that alloy of gross selfishness to which it is misery of their comrades. It is only on occa- allied ; ihey have much of the compassion sions such as these that the charities which which they help to diffuse; and ludicrous as are nurtured amidst the excitements and vi- their vanities sometimes are, they give way at cissitudes of a theatrical life are exhibited, so once on the touch of sympathy for unmerited as to put the indiscriminate condemnations of or merited sorrow. Mr. Kean is an extreme the crabbed moralist and the fanatic to shame. instance, perhaps, both of imprudence and geThere is more equality in the distribution of nerosity; and accordingly no man living has goodness and evil than either of these classes been treated with greater injustice by a mora! imagine ; for the “respectable” part of the and discerning public. Raised in a moment community are powerful and permanent; and from obscurity and want to be the idol of the obtain, perhaps, something more than justice town; courted, caressed, and applauded by the for the negative virtues. Far be it from us to multitude, praised by men of genius, with rank, undervalue these, or to sympathize with any beauty, and wit, proud to be enlisted in his who would represent the ordinary guards and train, he grew giddy and fell, and was hooted fences of morality as things of little value; from the stage with brutal indignities. All but justice is due to all; and justice, we cannot knew his faulis ; but how few were capable of help thinking, is scarcely done to those whose understanding his virtues-his princely spirit, irregularities and whose virtues grow together his warm and cordial friendship, his proneness on that verge of ruin and despair on which to forget his own interests in those of others, they stand in the times of their giddiest eleva- his magnanimity and his kindness! The tion. A cold observance of the decencies of " respectable” part of the community do not life excites no man's envy and wounds no engross all its goodness, although they turn it man's self-love ; and, therefore, it is allowed to the best account for their own benefit. Unwithout grudging; while the dazzling errors der the shield of this character, they sometimes and redeeming nobleness of the light-hearted do things which the vagabonds they sneer at and the generous are more easily abused than would not, and could not achieve; and such is copied. To detect “ the soul of goodness in the submission of mankind to custom, that they things evil,” is not to confound evil with good, retain their name even when they are detected. or to weaken the laws of honour and con- An attorney, in large practice, convicted of a science, but to give to them a finer precision fraud, retains the addition “respectable” till he and a more penetrating vigour. It is not by receives judgment; the announcement of the distinguishing, but by confounding, that perni- failure of a country bank, by which hundreds cious sentimentalists pervert the understanding are ruined, styles the swindlers “the respectaand corrupt the affections. They lend to vice ble firm ;" and a most respectable member of the names and attributes of virtue ; tack toge- the religious world speculates in hops, or in ther qualities which could never be united in stock, without reproach, and, when he has failed nature; and thus, in order to produce a new for thousands, fraudulently gambled away, and startling effect, deprave the moral sensibi- continues to hold shilling whist in pious abolity, and relax the tone of manly feeling. But mination. We have been led to this train of it is another thing to hold the balance fairly reflection by seeing in a newspaper the speech between the excellencies and the frailties of of a most respectable Home Missionary, named imperfect men ; to trace the hints and indica. Smith, at the Mansion-house, in which he tions of high emotion amidst the weaknesses exults in the horrible catastrophe as of our nature; to consider temptations as well triumph of piety in London !” and this person,
no doubt, regards the accidental mention of the hearts against those who have touched them so name of the Supreme Being on the stage as truly; who have helped to lighten the weight blasphemy. It is difficult to express one's in- of existence; and have made us feel our kindignation at such a spirit and such language dred with a world of sorrow and of tears? Their without wounding the feelings of those whose art has the most sacred right to the protection opinions of the guilt of theatrical enjoyments of humanity, for it touches it most nearly. It have not rendered them insensible to the feelings makes no appeal to posterity; it does not aim of others.
at the immortal, in contempt of our perishable It must be admitted that there is something aims and regards; but it is contented to live in in the sudden death of actors which shocks us our enjoyments, and to die with them. Its peculiarly at the moment, because the contrast triumphs are not diffused by the press, nor rebetween life and death seems more violent in corded in marble, but registered on the redtheir case than in that of others. We connect leaved tablets of the heari, satisfied to date its them, by the law of association, with our own fame with the personal existence of its witgayest moments, and fancy that they who live nesses. It forms a part of ourselves; beats in to please must lead a life of pleasure. Alas! the quickest pulses of our youth, and supplies the truth is often far otherwise. The comedian the choicest topics of our garrulous age. It droops behind the scenes, quite chapfallen ; partakes of our fragility, nay even dies before the tragic hero retires from his stately griefs to us, and leaves its monument in our memories. brood over homely and familiar sorrows, Surely, then, it becomes us " to see the players which no poetry softens; the triumphant ac- well bestowed," when their gayeties are sudtress, arrayed in purple and in pall, may know denly and prematurely eclipsed, and their short the pangs of despised love, or anticipate the Autterings of vanity stayed before their time; coming on of the time when she shall be pre- or to provide for those who depended on their maturely old, and as certainly neglected. The exertions. Of all people, they do most for restage is a grave business to those who study it lations; they hence most depend on them ; even successfully, though its rewards are in- and, therefore, their case both deserves and toxicating enough to turn the most sober brain. requires our most active sympathy. The call The professors in misfortune-especially such has been, in this instance, powerfully made, a misfortune as this—have the most urgent and will
, we hope, be answered practically claims on our sympathy. Should wè allow by all who revere the genius, and love the prothose to be miserable who have so often made fession, and partake the humanity of Shakus and thousands happy ? Should we shut our speare.
FIRST APPEARANCE OF MISS FANNY KEMBLE.
(NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE.)
When we predicted, last month, that if Co- tion had gone forth of the splendid event which vent Garden theatre should be opened at all, it was to follow. Even in our youngest days, would derive attraction even from the extreme we never shared in so anxious a throb of exdepression into which it had sunk, we had no pectation as that which awaited the several idea of the manner in which this hope would appearances of these personages on the stage. be realized. We little dreamed that the cir- The interest was almost too complicated and cumstances which had threatened to render intense to be borne with pleasure; and when this house desolate, would inspire female Kemble bounded on the scene, gayly pointed at genius to spring from the family whose ho- Romeo, as if he had cast all his cares and nours were interwoven with its destiny, like twenty of his years behind him, there was an infant Minerva, almost perfect al birth, to a grateful relief from the first suspense, that revive its fortunes and renew its glories. In expressed itself in the heartiest enthusiasm we the announcement that, on the opening night, ever witnessed. Similar testimonies of feelMiss Fanny Kemble, known to be a young lady ing greeted the entrance of Mrs. Kemble; but of high literary endowments, though educated our hearts did not breathe freely till the fair without the slightest view to the stage as a debutant herself had entered, pale, trembling profession, would present herself as Juliet, but resolved, and had found encouragement that her mother, who, in her retirement, had and shelter in her mother's arms. But another been followed by the grateful recollections of and a happier source of interest was soon all lovers of the drama, would reappear, in the opened; for the first act did not close till all part of Lady Capulet, to introduce and support fears for Miss Kemble's success had been disher; and that her father would imbody, for pelled; the looks of every spectator conveyed the first time, that delightful creation of Shak. that he was electrified by the influence of newspeare's happiest mood, Mercutio—there was tried genius, and was collecting emotions, in abundant interest to ensure a full, respectable, silence, as he watched its development, to and excited audience; but no general expecta- swell its triumph with fresh acclamations. For
our own part, the illusion that she was Shak. intellect, and the manifestation of that faculty speare's own Juliet came so speedily upon us, is a pervading charm of her acting. It gives as to suspend the power of specific criticism, her courage, it gives her promptitude-the so delicious was the fascination, that we dis- power of seeing what is to be done, and of liked even the remarks of by-standers that dis- doing it without faltering or hesitation. She turbed that illusive spell; and though, half an always aims at the highest effect, and almost hour before, we had blessed the applauding always succeeds in realizing her finest concepbursts of the audience, like omens of propi- tions. tious thunder, we were now half-impatient of The Juliet of Shakspeare is young and beautheir frequency and duration, because they in- tiful; but no mistake can be greater than the truded on a still higher pleasure, and because idea that her character can be impersonated we needed no assurance that Miss Kemble's with probability by a merely beautiful young success was sealed.
woman. Juliet is a being of rich imagination; Feeling that the occasion formed an era in her eloquence breathes an ethereal spirit; and our recollections of the theatre, we compared her heroic devotedness is as different from her, in our imagination, with all the great ac- common-place romance, as superficial gilding tresses we had; and it is singular, though we is unlike the solid ore. By many an observer, can allege nothing like personal likeness, that the beautiful surface of her character is alone Mrs. Jordan was the one whom she brought appreciated, and not that force and grandeur back, in the first instance, to our memory. We in it which is capable of sustaining itself in might have set down this idea as purely fanci- harmony, not only with the luxuriant comful, if we had not learned that it has crossed mencement of the piece, but with the funeral the minds of other observers. As form and terrors of its tragic close. Hence the expecfeatures seem to have nothing to do with this tation has been so often excited, that a lovely reminiscence, we attribute it to the exquisite girl, who can look the character very innonaturalness of Miss Kemble's manner, and we cently, and speak the garden-scene very pretcannot help connecting it with an anticipation tily, is quite sufficient to be a representative that she will one day be as pre-eminently of the heroine throughout; and hence the same the comic as the tragic muse of our stage. expectation has been so often disappointed.
Her traits of family resemblance struck us The debutante may be often carried, without most powerfully in the deeper and more earn- apparent failure, through a scene or two, by est parts of her tragic performance. On one her beauty and pretty manner of love-making; occasion, when her face only was revealed by but when the tragedy commences in earnest, her drapery, its intense expression brought her intellectual expression sinks under its Mrs. Siddons most vividly back to us. Miss terrors, and she appears no more than a poor Kemble's personal qualifications for her pro- young lady, driven mad with the vexation of fession are, indeed, such as we might expect love. from one so parented and related. Her head Far remote from this description is the is nobly formed and admirably placed on her Juliet of Miss Kemble. It never was our forshoulders—her brow is expansive and shaded tune to see Mrs. Siddons in the part, but Miss by very dark hair-her eyes are full of a gifted Kemble gives it a depth of tragic tone which soul, and her features are significant of intel- none of her predecessors whom we have seen lect to a very extraordinary degree. Though ever gave to it. Miss O'Neil, loth as we are scarcely reaching the middle height, she is to forget her fascinations, used to lighten the finely proportioned, and she moves with such earlier scenes of the piece with some girlish dignity and decision that it is only on recollec- graces that were accused of being infantine. tion we discover she is not tall. In boldness Be that as it may, there were certainly a hunand dignity of action she unquestionably ap- dred little prettinesses enacted by hundreds of proaches more nearly to Mrs. Siddons than any novices in the character, which attracted actress of our time excepting Pasta. Her voice, habitual applauses, but which Miss Kemble at whilst it is perfectly feminine in its tones, is once repudiated with the wise audacity of geof great compass, and though, perhaps, not yet nius; at the same time, though she blends not entirely within her command, gives proof of a particle of affected girlishness with the part being able to express the sweetest emotions of Juliet, her youth and her truth still leave in without monotony, and the sternest passions it a Shakspearian naiveté. As the tragedy deepwithout harshness. She seems to know the ens, her powers are developed in unison with stage by intuition, “as native there and to the the strengthened decision of purpose which manner born," and she understands even now, the poet gives to the character. What a noble by what magic we cannot divine, the precise effect she produced in that scene where the effect she will produce on the most distant spec- Nurse, who had hitherto been the partner of tators. She treads the stage as if she had been all her counsels, recommends her to marry matured by the study and practice of years. Paris, and to her astonished exclamation, We dreamed for a while of being able to ana Speak'st thou from thy heart ?" answers, lyze her acting, and to fix in our memory the “ And from my soul too, or else beshrew them finest moments of its power and grace; but her both." At that momentous passage Miss Kemattitudes glide into each other so harmoniously ble erected her head, and extended her arm, that we at last gave up enumerating how often with an expressive air which we never saw she seemed a study to the painter's eye and a surpassed in acting, and with a power like vision to the poet's heart.
magic pronounced " Amen!" In that attitude, At the first sight, Miss Kemble's counte- and look, and word, she made us feel that Juliet, nance conveys an impression of extraordinary so late a nurseling, was now left alone in the
world--that the child was gone, and that the with only one little touch of baser matter in heroic woman had begun her part. By her the mimickry of the Nurse—and closed by a change of tone and manner she showed that death true to nature, and exhibiting, in milder her heart was wound up to fulfil its destiny, light, all the brilliant traits of the character. and she bids the Nurse * Go in,” in a tone of Warde showed his good feeling in accepting dignified command. That there was such a the part of Friar Laurence, and his good taste change in Juliet we have always felt, but to in speaking the poetry of which it is made up: mark its precise moment was reserved for this Mrs. Davenport played the Nurse as excellentaccomplished actress in a single tone. ly as she has played it for the last twenty years,
It is hardly needless to say, that Mr. Kemble's and not better than she will play it for twenty Mercutio was delightful, independent even of years to come; and Mrs. Kemble went through the gallant spirit with which he carried off the the little she had to do in Lady Capulet with weight of his anxieties on the first evening. It true motherly grace. was charmingly looked, acted, and spoken
THE MELO-DRAMAS AGAINST GAMBLING.
[New MONTHLY MAGAZINE.)
There is at Paris, where all extremes meet, appropriate fraud, heartlessness, and misery. a kind of sub-theatrical public, which makes But the last act crowns all, and completes the amends for the severity of the orthodox dra “moral lesson." Here, after another fifteen matic code, by running wild after the most years passed in the preparatory school of guilt, extravagant violations of all rules, and the the hero verging on old age is represented as strangest outrages on feeling and taste. Thus in the most squalid penury-an outcast from the members of this living paradox keep the society, starving with a wife bent down by balance even, and avenge the beautiful and the suffering, and a family of most miserable romantic. If they turn away with disgust from children crying for bread. His first exploit is the Weird Sisters, and defy the magic in the to plunder a traveller, murder him, and hide web of Othello's handkerchief, they dote on his body in the sand; but this is little; the Mr. Cooke in the Monster, and consecrate horror is only beginning. While his last ribands to his fame. If they refuse to pardon murder is literally "sticking on his hands," the grave-diggers in Hamlet, they seek for his old tempter and companion, who had atmaterials of absorbing interest in the charnal- tempted to seduce his wife and had utterly house which no divine philosophy illumines. blasted his fortunes, enters his hut, ragged and If they refuse to tragedy any larger bounds of destitute, and by a few sentences rekindles the time than their own classical poets could oc- old love of play, and engages him in schemes cupy with frigid declamations, they will select of fraudulent gaming. After this little scene three days from distant parts of a wretched of more subdued interest, the party leave the and criminal life, in order to exhibit in full and hut to inter the corpse of the assassinated traodious perfection, the horrors which two fifteen veller, and give opportunity for the entrance years of atrocity can accumulate and mature. of the eldest son of the hero, and his recogniOf all the examples of the daring side of their tion by his mother. In her brief absence, coneternal antithesis, the melo-drama against trived for this special occasion, the friends regambling, produced within the last few months, solve on murdering the youth, of whose name is the most extraordinary and the most suc- they are ignorant; the father watches while cessful. Each act is crowded with incidents, his familiar stabs the stranger on his couch; in which the only relief from the basest fraud and just as the full horror is discovered, a and the most sickening selfishness is to be thunderbolt sets fire to the dwelling of iniquity, found in deeds which would chill the blood if and the father hurls his tempter into the flames it had leisure to freeze. We do not only "sup and follows him! Such is the piece which has full of horrors,” but breakfast and dine on them delighted the dainty critics of Paris, who revolt also. A youth, who on the eve of his wed- from Julius Cæsar as bloody, and characterize ding-day sells the jewels of his bride to gam- Hamlet as “the work of a drunken savage.” ble with the price, and who deceives her by the But the most offensive circumstance attend. most paltry equivocations; a friend, who sup- ant on the production of this bloody trash is plies this youth with substituted diamonds the pretence that it is calculated to advance which he has himself stolen ; a broken-hearted the cause of morality by deterring from the father who dies cursing his son; and a seduc- passion of gambling. What a libel is this on tion of the wife, filthily attempted while the poor human nature! Of what stuff must that husband is evading the officers of justice, are nature be made, if it could receive benefit from among the attractions which should enchain such shocking pictures as representations afthe attention, and gently arouse curiosity in fecting it nearly! No longer must we regard the first act of this fascinating drama. The it as a thing of passion and weakness,-erring, second act, exhibiting the same pair of fiends, frail, and misguided, yet full of noble impulses after a lapse of fifteen years, is replete with and gentle compassions and traits, indicating